The Lighter Side of Company in Paradise – Who invited all these people? What do you mean we did?By: Suzanne Marie Bandick

First, my name has been changed to protect the innocent. To the assorted six weeks of company that we just had arrive and leave one after the other, this has nothing to do with you and is definitely not about you.

When we live in paradise – is it any great surprise company is going to want to come? No, we expect visitors, but we always picture it will be way later – even years from now – I mean you just moved here only 5 short years ago right? But no, they wont wait, one day we all get that fateful call or email with the news that friends or family are coming for a visit, then life changes.

What to do we think? Then the answers become obvious – you only need to do a few things. Change the beds, clean the house, paint the house, fix the leaky tap, fix the door, fix everything that needs fixing, wash the curtains, bake some cookies, wash the car, dust the plants, fix up the garden, and stock up on food and alcohol. Boy, by the time the company comes you’re ready for a holiday. Admit it. But do they want to lie around and relax with you? No way! What do you mean now we have to play tour guide? How many times have you been to Xcaret anyway?

Remember what it was like to have a 2 year old around who asked “why?” all the time? Your company will now sound like that two year old with their numerous questions on why do they do that? Why do they tear up all the roads at once? Why is that there? Why do they do it that way? How do you live like this? The good news is after about four visits they finally stop asking – like you, they have given up.

Oh yes and the food part – how come we are always eating? When you get tired of eating out you need to be able to cook something presentable. Having pancakes for dinner every night just doesn’t seem to cut it.

The company has finally left? Quickly change the beds, wash the linens, re paint, clean the house and buy more food and alcohol because now it is all gone and you really need it. Have the family congratulate each other on a job well done and all pass out on the couch. Do not answer the phone, the door or check your e-mail for at least a month – incase they want to come back or someone else wants to come. Change your email and street address to prevent this.

One could maybe avoid all this by not telling people your address in the first place or even by telling people you actually live in a different country than you really do. If it is too late and they show up – you could take them to the beach and forget them there. No, no, I’m just kidding. Did I say that?

I really do say all this in jest. I enjoy company, but maybe just give me a couple of weeks before anyone asks to stay with us again. By the way, I now live in Alaska.