I used to be the Entertainment Queen of my crowd. It was more than 40 years ago, but I was the hostess with the mostest. I fed the hungry, housed the homeless, cheered up the downhearted. I rescued cats, dogs, and lost people. No living creature was ever turned away.
It got crowded.
Life — in my own home — became one long hustle. It was like running a party that never ends. Anyone could show up. Anytime.
One day, I realized I didn’t want to do it anymore. I wanted privacy. I didn’t want to clean up the mess or cook gigantic meals. I was tired of spending all my money on other people. The crowd that assembled nightly in my living room weren’t necessarily friends, either.
Home had become a facility. A place to crash. Where there was always music, food, something to smoke and probably a good conversation and a sofa.
So I started locking my front door and asked people to call before showing up. About half the crowd never came back … and I never missed them. Others drifted off in the course of time. The rest are still friends.
Where friends … and guests … are concerned, quality is not necessarily quantity. These days? Fewer are more fun.
now – THE joke
A very poor man goes to his Rabbi complaining his house is too small and he can’t stand it anymore. “What should I do?” he asks.
“Get a big dog,” advises the Rabbi.
Puzzled, the man buys a sheepdog and brings him home. The house is even more crowded, and the man returns to the Rabbi. “It’s worse,” he moans.
The Rabbi nods his understanding. “Get a goat. He can be friends with the dog. Oh, and get a cat too.”
Even more confused, the mad does as instructed. The house is unbearable. He returns to the Rabbi. “Please, Rebbe, it’s horrible at home. The dog, the cat, the goat … and it smells really bad.”
“I think you need a lamb,” says the Rabbi. “And a calf.”
“Rabbi, OY VAY, IT’S TERRIBLE. The animals go all over the house and they chase each other. We have no peace, no privacy.”
“Get rid of all those animals,” orders the Rabbi. The man heaves a sigh of relief and the next week returns to see the Rabbi.
“Rebbe, it’s wonderful! We have so much room. The house is clean again. Life is wonderful!
No more hustle. Peace reigns.