Where did all the guests go?


Mr Bierut referred to a short story by John Updike, “Enter the set“In which the house of a proud couple beautifully decorates their salt box in New England and invites guests who cause confusion, necessarily to the displeasure of the couple.

“I had to work to enjoy the clutter that guests bring,” Mr Bierut said.

Since then, he and his wife have relaxed a bit and allowed their children to visit. But they are an empty nest and have recently been questioning the meaning of holiday decorating. If a Christmas tree rises in their living room and no one admires it, does it really exist?

For designers based in Los Angeles Gere Kavanaughinviting people to her home offered, as she grew older and less driven, “a way to get in touch with the rest of the world.”

On Sunday, Mrs. Kavanaugh liked to have old friends and new acquaintances for tea and showcase your collection of teapots and cups. “I would say, ‘Choose a cup and saucer and pour tea.’ “Everyone liked it. It was a bit of a ritual,” she said.

Now Mrs. Kavanaugh will make do with the phone and since May she has been organizing “picnics on the porch” for a maximum of six guests, four on the porch and two on the lower steps. She will be on the porch for Thanksgiving with several neighbors and will eat the pumpkin soup she intended to try instead of turkey.

Mr. Bierut canceled the party he holds every year in his house. A meaningful social exchange for yourself and your employees will disappear.

“It’s partly a pleasure to welcome someone to your house, and it’s partly a voyeur joy at what the host sees in the bathroom closet,” he said. “It adds dimension to how we understand it, doesn’t it?”

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