There probably only needs to be one general rule for houseguests: don’t be a pain in the ass. Seeing as how that should be enough, but it never is, I think maybe I’ll make a bit more of a detailed list.
- Planning ahead, or as I like to call it, don’t just show up. Even if you (the guest) have a plan, don’t just tell the people you are planning to stay with that you will be coming into town on such and such date, and ‘would like to see us’. First, it’s very transparent that you only want to see us because you are coming to town for some other reason. Secondly, if we had plans, it now makes us the jerks to say, “Sorry, we won’t be around at that time. I know we haven’t seen you in five years – because you decided to move away too far to visit, but…” And we won’t say that anyway because everyone knows the next sentence from you the guest would be, “great, we can just stay at your place while you’re not home then!” It’s a round robin of crap choices forced upon the resident.
- Don’t complain. Don’t opine. Don’t offer ideas, in fact, just don’t talk. No our house is not a million dollar mansion with full time maids and gardeners and handymen, and it wasn’t designed for modern day families or anything else that would make it so much better. We know this and we don’t need to hear how we should really open up that kitchen wall or what a better backsplash would look like or if we had have planted trees when we moved in we wouldn’t be able to see the neighbors by now… yeah, trust me I know. You very much do not need to bring it up.
- Don’t help. It is very nice that you want to make dinner for us. Please do not kick me out of my own kitchen to do it. It makes me want to take your suit cases I have stubbed my toes on three times now and throw them in the street. Also, don’t rearrange our tupperware cabinet. That cabinet is already the bane of my OCD existence and you now, in your infinite helping wisdom, have managed to put all the containers we actually use in the back. With that in mind, stay the hell away from my spice rack.
- A towel a day? Seriously? It is just fine to use our shower and our towels, even at midnight like you managed to think was appropriate to do, but you do not need a fresh towel every single shower. Yeah, that’s right, I reuse my towels a few times just like I don’t put new bed sheets on the bed every morning. Thanks for running me out of laundry soap and taking even the decorative guest towels down for your one time use.
- For lack of a dedicated guest bedroom (read into that what you may), you are sleeping on a blow up bed in my office. I use my office, please do not make it look like you unpacked your suit cases by unzipping them, holding them by the bottom, and then spinning around in circles until they were empty. It looks like a five year old’s bedroom in there.
- At least pretend to offer to pay when we go out to eat. Yeah, we’re are not starving, and for some reason you are on your way to a skiing vacation from a part time minimum wage job and have told us how tight money is, but if we go out, just pretend that you don’t expect us to pay.
- Don’t bring up touchy subjects. Even if you think you are of the same political or social leanings as us, you have no idea the complexities of my views, and I don’t want to hear yours, no matter how well informed, or how close they may even line up with my overall leanings.
- Don’t come here and not get along with people you haven’t seen in a long time. Picking a fight with our parents the one night we have them over so they can see you is a dick move. There’s a reason no one balked when you decided to move away. Even parents can admit that while they love their kids, they might not always like them very much.
Good to see ya, Sis. Congrats on getting engaged. I hope he gets a prenup.