In Macedonia, being a good housewife is the definition of a good woman. A young woman who is on her way to being a good housewife is said to be diligent. I often make light of this, and jokingly talk about one day being a proper Macedonian housewife. So, with that said, I have a funny story to tell you and then the lessons learned thereafter.

It was a Monday. Monday is my designated stay at home and do nothing day. This particular Monday I decided I was going to stay in my pajamas all day. Previous experience should have told me that pajama days always result in awkward moments with unexpected visitors. However, I carelessly proceeded as planned.

First, I had friends from Skopje call and ask if their baby could take a nap at my apartment while they were at the beach. No big deal. I was planning on being home all day anyway. So, they brought the baby and after a good bit of crying she was finally asleep. Next thing I know there is ringing at my doorbell. Not just 1 ring, but repetitive ringing. I went to the door (in my pajamas mind you) to find my landlord and two people that I had never seen before in my life.

My landlord asked, “Can we come in for coffee?” Embarrassed at the fact that I was in my pajamas, I said yes and let them in. They were very excited to be at my apartment, so I had to ask them to quiet down because of the sleeping baby. My landlord decided he didn’t want to stay for coffee. Maybe it was my pajamas? Or maybe it was the sleeping baby? Whatever the case, he decided he would just show his friends the apartment and then leave.

So, they looked around a bit and left. Just a small blip in my day of doing nothing. The next day, as I was walking in town, I ran into him and his wife. Along with talking about the previous day’s events, they also told me that my neighbor mentioned me having the same clothes on the line for nearly 2 weeks. They had two lessons to teach me:

One: A woman should always be ready for guests.

Two: It is shameful to keep clothes on the line for 2 weeks.

Needless to say, since this incident I have indeed been very diligent about keeping my apartment in tip top shape. I am ready for unexpected visitors at any given time, and have even kept up with doing laundry.


Do you often have unexpected visitors to your house or do people usually call ahead of time? Is there a special way to receive guests in your culture? Have you ever had a guest come over unexpectedly and it wasn’t really the most ideal time to have a guest over? How did you handle it? As always, we’d love for you to share in the comments!



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