Are you a good guest?

I’m planning to spend the weekend with my sister and this has me thinking about what it takes to be a good guest.

I’ve had those nightmare quests who so put me off having visitors in my home ever again, as well as the dream guests I hardly know are there. I started thinking about the two of them and what they are like. Here is my research.

Nightmare guests move in, take over, take up space and cost you money. You know the ones I mean.

They move in – meaning they give no thought to what and who they bring into your home, where might be the most appropriate place to store it and expect you to make them comfortable.

They are really good at commandeering the TV, refrigerator, washer and dryer and computer. They think nothing of moving your things out of the way to make room for their personal items. It is truly a nightmare if you have no guest bath they can make their own. They drive you nuts asking if they can have the rest of grapes, the unopened bag of chips or your unused ream of printer paper. They are constantly asking for your mealtime schedules. If they are sleeping on a hide-a-bed couch it will never be put up until you strip the dirty sheets after they leave. I suppose in their mind as a guest washing their own linens and towels is your job as host.

I’ve had that guest who proceeded to inventory my refrigerator and panty and tell me what I needed to buy for them, as if I was waiting breathlessly to have this chance to serve them. It never seems to occur to them to offer to pay or contribute some cash for these extras.

I’ve also had guests who show up, disgorge themselves into my house and the first thing they ask is if they can do “a couple of loads” of laundry real fast. What happened to hello it’s so good to see you and thanks for letting us bunk here? It’s as if they are doing me a favor by staying with me.

And what about those humans who stop by with just a brief phone call warning on a work night and once there will want to stay up eating, drinking and catching up until all hours? They may be on vacation and their time is their own but I’ve got to get up early.

Are you a nightmare guest? If not then good for you. Remember the old saying to treat others the way you want to be treated. I would love to hear your own experiences.

-N

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