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Glad they come but glad they leave

January 15, 2012
By JANICE R. KIASKI - Community editor, Herald-Star ( , The Herald-Star

The thing about having company is that you're generally as delighted to see them leave as you are to have them arrive.

That's the reality of stay-for-a-week visitors, whether you're the visitor or the one being visited.

If you don't feel that way, if you don't kick back on your sofa, breathe a sigh of relief and hail the return to normalcy as your company motors off into the interstate sunrise, away from what has been the full-fledged interruption of your blissful domestic sanctuary, then you, dear reader, are one incredibly unique individual in the hospitality and entertainment department.

A medal awards presentation must be in your future.

I consider myself normal here and preface the comments to come in regards to having visitors as being the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

I am glad when you go home.

I was glad when you got here. Yes, I was very excited about your arrival and enjoyed our time together, but I am happy, too, that you left, so that our exciting Kiaski life of doing crosswords puzzles, napping on the couch and having bathrooms always open and available can resume.

The anticipation of company-to-come begins when the phone rings, and the message is conveyed and calendar scribbled upon that family will be arriving and family will be staying. In this case it was my stepson and two step-grandchildren, age 5 and 8, who are incredibly adorable but made me quickly realize I am really out of the kid loop - the toys and games they play with and the TV shows they watch.

"Granny Janny" is not with it.

Their visit generated family get-togethers, and our house was the hub of these hello's, an occasion to shoehorn in more visitors into a small home in hopes that no one was claustrophic or had oxygen issues.

Better Half and I start having the dreaded food discussions a couple of weeks in advance - what to serve for dinner each day they're with us.

Oh, the humanity.

On the one hand, it would seem like more time to plan and prepare, but in our case, it's more time to angst and argue.

I get paper and pen and map out the menus.

We have food fights, not that we're throwing anything physically but we are throwing suggestions back and forth on what to fix.

It's like a game of ping-pong or tennis only there usually aren't any winners here.

About all we can agree on is to have pizza one night.

We ultimately also agree on another concept: Let's make it easy on ourselves.

That means order a bunch of food, make a few dishes of your own and get on with the business of visiting.

It will soon all be over and all parties involved will come to the same conclusion: There's no place like home.

(Kiaski, a resident of Steubenville, is a staff columnist for the Herald-Star and The Weirton Daily Times and community editor for the Herald-Star. She can be contacted at

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