If the weather forecasts are any indication, summer will be here before you know it and, for many of us, that means the phone calls, emails and Facebook messages from somewhat estranged friends and relatives who have suddenly remembered they know someone who lives near the ocean.
It's hard to blame them, really, the thought of escaping their land-locked locales for a long weekend in a warm place is alluring, particularly when their lodging expenses would be, essentially nil. That is, if they don't mind couch-crashing or the comforts of an air mattress.
And while being the vacationer is a relatively carefree experience, as evidenced by the scores of questionable fashion choices we see each day during the summer, playing host can be a more stressful affair.
This angst is due, in large part, to the fact that we often take for granted the amenities and things that make living in this area so worthwhile and thus have a hard time imagining what anyone not native to these parts would find entertaining.
After all, you drive by it every day and barely give it a second thought so why would your friends from Chicago or New York find it interesting?
Chances are they will and, by playing host, you'll likely get a chance to rediscover the place where you live and enjoy a kind of domestic renaissance that might help remind you why, out of all the places in the world, you choose to live here.
In that spirit, I thought I'd offer a couple of tips about hosting in the hopes that they will ease some of the anxiety about having to entertain people in a place you occasionally find mundane and ordinary but is really anything but.
This week, in honor of houseguests, a playlist comprising eight songs by artists and bands from South Carolina as a tribute to this place where we get to live and so many others seem to wish they did.
Seriously, lather your guests up with sunscreen yourself if you have to before hitting the beach or find some way to deafen the screams that will inevitably be coming from your shower.
Follow reporter Patrick Donohue at twitter.com/IPBG_Patrick.
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