I think that when I was seven years old, we called it “staying overnight” or “pajama party.” Now I hear my grandchildren talking about “sleepover.” I think all of these terms generally refer to spending the night at a friend’s house. Usually, the expectation is that the participants are children.
This weekend I broke that paradigm and arranged to sleep over at my friend’s house. I actually invited myself. What led up to this was an anticipation that my friends from Malaysia were going to spend the weekend with me. I was really looking forward to their coming. There is something about having a guest in your home that provides more intimate time than when you just arrange to meet with them for a scheduled appointment.
My plan became questionable when I remembered that one of the guests had a cat allergy. Since my cat has total freedom to wander our house, there is not a square inch that could be labeled non-allergenic. Reluctantly, I made arrangements for these guests to stay at the house of a friend who does not have a cat. It was then that this brilliant idea hit me. I will simply leave my cat at home with my husband and I will be a guest in this friend’s home as well.
I packed my bag with clothes I would need, toothbrush, book and other things that are totally unnecessary but somehow essential to drag along on a trip. When the weekend was over, I came home and unpacked. I felt like I had been on vacation. I had watched the lifestyle of a beautiful family and been embraced by them as one of their own.
I was very tired after this experience as we had talked well into the early morning and there was not much time for sleep. (Not too different from what happened when I was seven years old.)
I wonder if, with traveling being expensive and cumbersome, we should resurrect the idea of sleepovers. I could invite myself to a friend’s house or invite a friend to mine.
Maybe there is not so much difference between seven and seventy as we think?