Sunday, December 31, 2006

The 3-times rule

I get odd looks from people whenever I talk about this. It is in many respects quite different from the way many people run their own houses, so I can understand how it might need a little explanation.  Here goes...

The Wayfarer House 3-times Rule

The first three times you visit Wayfarer House you are considered a formal guest. As a guest, you are offered food and drink when you arrive, and you will be fully cared for during your visit and extended every courtesy. After this period of time, you are usually considered family and, therefore, extended all the rights and responsibilities of any familial member of Wayfarer House. Among these are the following:

The right to get it yourself. If you know where stuff is, you don’t need to ask. If you don’t know where it is, you can go searching for it.

The right to come and go as you will. For chrissake, stop standing and knocking at the damn door! Knock once if you want, but come in, already! Notice is usually given if we’re closed but and easy way to tell is to simply try the door. If the door is locked, we’re not home. If you know where the key is and you need to get in, use it.

The flip side to this right is that, if you are under the protection of the House and you go off on an adventure, you must always tell someone where you're and when you'll be back, so as not to worry anyone. The reason for this will be told someday, but suffice it to say that it was established for cause.

The right to use the equipment and facilities of the House. If you need it and we have it, ask. If we can, we’ll give it.

The responsibility to protect the sanctity and safety of the House and its family. You are looking out for more than just yourself now. You are part of a large and caring family, every member of which expects to feel supported, loved, and respected for themselves when they are here. Share of yourself freely, but don’t bring negativity into this place unless it’s to seek help in working through it.

The responsibility to be part of the life and culture of Wayfarer House. This means the big things like teaching the children about good ways to be and guiding us all with your wisdom, but it includes the mundane stuff, too. Trust us, there’s always some way to contribute around here and the only way we keep this thing going well is to have everyone help when and how they can.

The responsibility to keep coming. You’re family. We miss you when you’re not around! However long you’ve been away, whatever has happened in your life--good or bad--we love you and will welcome you with open arms.

Some notes about the 3-times rule:
• You can opt past the 3-times rule at any time. If you actually go and get something yourself, you’ve as much as said you’d like to be considered family; we will consider you such from then on.

• Anyone who sleeps over is automatically considered family. This is not a hotel.

• No one is required to accept the standing of family member at Wayfarer House. We’ve never really had it happen, but it would be presumptive not to say that you don’t have to join the fun if you don’t want to.

• This standing is not automatically granted to everyone who visits. If there’s a question in your mind, ask, but you will know if it’s not extended to you.

• People of venerable age or status are exempt from the 3-times rule.  They are always treated as honored guests, though they are still considered family.

How does the 3-times rule fit with the way you do things in your world? What do you do that’s the same or similar? Do you do things differently? How so? I’d love to hear people’s responses to this, if they’re willing to post them!

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