into the mess: a friendship invitation


It stands to reason that those of you I’ll have into my home while my laundry ripens, while the ketchup turns to concrete on the plates, and while the fruit flies make away with the good half of my apple, you are the truest friends. You walk in and see me – not my mess. Or if you see my mess, it’s within me, not the outward expression of it – not the snake drawn with yogurt on the window pane.a Sister Party

Some days, true friends, you look into my eyes, you tuck away that strand of hair that didn’t quite make it to my ponytail, and you see me. You call me beautiful. You call me complete. You know I’m not okay and that I am okay all at once. And yes, I did miss a spot with my spray-on tanner, who cares? You know all that stuff.

The problem is that too few of us have these sort of relationships. The problem is that when I brought up The Sister Party, as many of you wrote me emails about not having close enough friends to invite over as did comment with passionate yesses toward a party and the giveaways.

Wondering about friendship, and watching a few that I consider really good at it, I’ve been realizing that to have friends, I must be a friend. It’s not that we don’t know enough girls. It’s too often that we don’t know many girls we want to let in on our dirt – or worse yet, we don’t want in on their dirt.

Could it be that part of the problem within our friendship circles is that we maintain such a high level of distaste toward the messiness of life that we pretend to be above it? Could we be better friends by stripping the veneer and by not living in fear of what people will think of our flower bed full of poke salad? {The poke salad part is probably just me.}

Today’s sister challenge is to send an invitation to your mess and to accept an invitation to not make faces at the messes of others. With this in mind, sign up today to have a Sister Party, comment within that post and invite your in-the-skin friends over, even if the purpose is only to say, “Look. I’m messy, and I accept you as you are.”

Bloom Posy Pin Collection - Set of 3

Each week until October 22, we’re giving away the loveliest things to one person signed up to invite her friends over, and today these beautiful posy pins, via The (In)Courage Shop, are going to commenter #3, Deidra from Jumping Tandem – a pin for you and two to share, maybe.

Next week, Sincerely Yours is giving away these gorgeous 4.25X5.5 folded notes, printed on sparkly white cardstock that mails in a coordinating sparkly raspberry envelope. Sheets of adhesive crystals will be included to meet your inkling to bling!One personalized box of 8 folded notes with envelopes for EACH ‘sister’ at the winning party!

Aren’t they pretty? Now, SIGN UP!

What are your thoughts on how to be a better friend? Or what is it that is keeping you from gathering some real-life people into your home or even at the local Starbucks? Is it even worth it? Can anybody testify?

Subscribe to theRunaMuck? Support me with a Divine Caroline vote? Tweet with me? I’m Amberrunsamuck.

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7 Comments

Terri
Reply October 1, 2009

Oh........... this hit home! I am so guilty of passing up on certain friendships once I saw the "mess"... yikes! And although I committed to having a Sister Party, I don't have the close friends here. But I do know some sweet, local bloggers I would love to spend more time with in real life. I am inviting them. Blessings!

Ginny
Reply October 1, 2009

such an interesting post for me to read today, amber. lately & not on purpose at all, sister parties just happen at my house b/c of how dependent i currently am on everyone else. & talk about inviting people into the mess...i'm there.

Boy Crazy
Reply October 1, 2009

You know, I think this is an interesting topic. Because while I agree we need to look past the messes (and here I'm talking about the life messes, not the house), we also need to set boundaries to make sure we aren't pouring our energy into unbalanced friendships that end up only draining us. All of us have some degree of a mess, and for most of us the real messes wax and wane. But I have found that I have had to distance myself from some people in my life who seem to invite the mess into their lives over and over, because their needs were draining my energy and leaving me empty for myself and my family.
That being said, I think it's crucial we work on friendships. I think as mothers, we are often spread so thin between partners, kids, work, time for ourselves, that maintaining friendships can fall by the wayside. I have found my closest (and longest lasting) friends are those who share my priorities. We make time for each other, but we also understand that sometimes a couple months will pass before getting together because family or selfcare is calling more loudly.
Just food for thought. Not trying to be disagreeable here. ;)

Muthering Heights
Reply October 1, 2009

I struggle terribly with letting people in to my messes...which is part of the reason I admire you so much. You are so brave to allow us in!

Frelle
Reply October 2, 2009

What a wonderful post. I was at my friend Beth's house yesterday, and she said "you're probably the only friend I have who I can allow to just come over spontaneously". That was a huge compliment :)

I am signing up to have a Sister Party. Right now. Thank you for inspiring me again. Your posts are very motivating!

Sugar Jones
Reply October 5, 2009

It’s a deal. I will accept the invitation to invite and to sit in each other’s messes… and to smile… and to possibly tear up a bit… and to just be sisters.

Thank you, Amber… for letting me into your home. Your kindness made my bruised heart sing.

Joy
Reply October 10, 2009

Love this. And I just found your site today.
My because or excuses would be...

The people I trusted in the past "gathered together and ran me down" like you wouldn't believe. They want to make me feel alone. Not worthy. And you can bet your bottom dollar they try their darn best to do it.
People that I love. People you would not expect that from.

I am not a perfect person. I do no more than what others do themselves then judge me for it.
Therefore I am very guarded. My sister is my best friend and thank God for her. I can say the same for my mother. They know me and love me for who I am and just the way I am.

One reason I prob wouldn't invite others into my house freely because I have the ugliest green carpet ever! :) And my home is lived in, yeah you will find dishes in my sink as well. Plus I have a dog and he doesn't get bathed often. I mean I have kids to bathe and keep clean! :)

Now, as for Starbucks, I've been known to meet up with others and a night out for dinner.

I have gone out of my way to be there and be nice for others. They do not care.
Why do they do this? Do I allow it to happen.?!

Great post.

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