Do we put on a face to outsiders?

A friend or family member are coming over to your house. What do you do? You can think about it honestly. Do you clean the house to perfection? Do you quickly hide away last night’s wine bottles, out of the sheer mortification of it? Do you take the tipping ashtrays out of viewpoint entirely? Do you make sure that present they got you is on display?

Let’s face it. We are all guilty of ‘putting on a face’ to outsiders who enter our home. We want to impress, we want them to have a nice visit, but perhaps more accurately, we don’t want them to see the reality we live in. The messy, laid-back but standard reality – that they most likely live in also, when behind closed doors.

When your visitors arrive, you plaster a smile on, you serve them refreshments and drinks, you avoid cursing, you make sure your children are well-presented. But, what do you do once your visitors leave again? Do you continue prancing around your home in such a jolly and sweet fashion? Or do you, like most of us, return to your natural mannerisms? Do you veg out in front of the TV, drink alcohol, behave in an untidy fashion, and play loud music?

My question is this – Why are we all so ashamed of showing our true behavior to visitors? Surely, we know them well. They are close people to us. Why else would they be coming to our homes in the first place? But if we really DO enjoy the company of our visitors, why do we create such an artificial portrayal to them? Are we not comfortable around them?

Is it merely part of our culture that we feel the need to put on this ‘face’ to visitors in our home? Is this ‘face’ artificial, or just mannerly?