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Emails to my Therapist

Hostess and Guest

My 22 year-old nephew Walker and his girlfriend Caitlin, both UNC students, came over for lunch today. She had never been to our house.

From 9:30 until 1, Bob and I madly scurried, getting ready. Mostly that meant near-renovating our house. He took more than a wheelbarrowful of papers and books out of the kitchen and den, that all might have a place to sit.

I wouldn’t call it hostess anxiety, but it was definitely host-and-hostess hurryup.

And I realized that when I was that age and going to visit boyfriend’s family, it never occurred to me, while obsessing over what to wear, that BF’s family might be engaged in the same minor uproar.

Similarly, when I was teaching at Duke in 07, I was nervous before class fairly often, very much so at the start of the semester. When I was a student at Duke in the 60s, it never crossed my mind that a professor might be scared. What a ridiculous idea!

I find it calming now to flip the situation around, to remember that the other person may also be in a dither.

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