Houseguesting For Dummies

I have no idea how to be a good houseguest.  In fact, I suck at houseguesting.  I don’t do it often so I don’t know all those unwritten rules that frequent houseguesters somehow know.

Who wants to host me? Image credit: Wikimedia commons

Who wants to host me? Image credit: Wikimedia commons

My most recent stint as a HG proves I need a giant, bright yellow book called Houseguesting For Dummies (it can go next to my unread copy of Moving Without Going Psycho for Dummies).  Here are the areas where I need tips/guidelines/boundaries.

  1. Invitation.  Are you allowed to invite yourself to someone’s house? Can you bring your two kids along?  Recently, I emailed an out-of-state friend to see if I could come crash for a night with my super tidy and hardly-talk-at-all-except-with-indoor-voices children.  I used the private messaging over at Facebook, and I totally acknowledged her newborn son, so I get some points for that even if I lost a bunch for inviting myself and my kids to stay with a friend who has a newborn.
  2. Giving The Hostess An Out.  I think this was an area where I scored high, because I wrote, “You can say no if you want to. Please don’t feel obligated. It’s not like we’ll sleep on the streets, though Jeff and I might end up in D-court if I don’t get all three of us out of the way while he deals with our movers.  But totally. For reals. Say no if that doesn’t work.”  Who doesn’t respond well to that type of passive aggressive victim-y correspondence?
  3. Fending For Myself.  This one is nearly impossible for me. I am rabidly afraid of opening someone else’s fridge or cabinets. I trace this back to being a fat young kid who internalized the idea that I had no business looking for food. Or eating.  Today, this phobia makes it hard to get myself breakfast unless there is a fully cooked bowl of oatmeal just sitting on the counter with a spoon in it with the following engraving: Christie Tate, please eat this! You gotta put some meat on those bones.
  4. Asking For A Blanket.  This is like #3 but it doesn’t involve food.  Let me illustrate: Once I was a HG and the room I was staying in was so cold that I scooched off my air mattress and into the closet, because I thought it would be warmer to be near clothes.  I was a grown ass woman but too afraid to look for a linen clost or GASP! ask for a blanket.  I operate as if a HG is not allowed to take up space or need anything.  Because everyone loves invisible HGs.
  5. Bringing A Gift.  This one’s tricky, right? Do you stop and get a generic Yankee candle from TJ Maxx before showing up on someone’s doorstep?  You could.  I’ve certainly done it.  In a perfect world, I’d have some baked goods that are in concert with my hostess’ dietary aspirations or offer something wonderful I’d crafted just for her front door.  Most recently, however, I faux pas’ed.  Yes, I bought a soft cotton onsie for the little baby, but I also brought my hostess and her partner: two (unused) vibrators that I scored (for free) from BlogHer ‘1312.  Nothing says I appreciate your hospitality like “hey, want some sexual healing in a dusty box from a blogging conference I went to last year”?

You can see why I need that manual right?  Feel free to invite me to be your houseguest in the comments, but please know, I am all about of female pleasure devices, so you’ll likely get a wreath from the clearance aisles at The Homegoods Store.

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39 thoughts on “Houseguesting For Dummies

  1. Girl you crack me up. My grandmother used to say, upon our arrival at her summer cottage for a stay of at least several weeks, “remember what mark Twain said? Guests and fish stink after three days.” We like to think she said it with love.

  2. You guys NEED to come back to CO and stay with us! We have toys for both genders, extra blankets in the guest room closet and no hostess gifts are needed – although the wreath idea is FABULOUS. 😉 It would be a blast!

  3. The Art of Manliness actually has posts on houseguest manners (the blog is aimed mostly at young men aged 18-25) — one was for their “Dim and Dash” series, a pastiche on “Goofus and Gallant” in Highlights magazine. (It quotes the “guests and fish stink after three days” saying, too.)

    As for the vibrators? Better solution in three words: Hitachi. Magic. Wand. Serious. More discreet, too.

  4. I’d almost always rather have guests than be a guest. (Exception being my in-laws 2 week stay last Christmas. Resentment, anyone?). I struggle with the gifts and never considered a vibrator. Good to know I have options.
    I generally offer my culinary services or my take-out ordering skills & wallet. And I often think I should show up with a Costco pack of TP. It’s practical. Everyone needs it. Much like a vibrator.

  5. I’m about to be hostess to not only my guy, but my parents and my brother + his family. Good thing none of them are shy! 🙂 This was hilarious. But hey, vibrators make for great gifts! Ahem… not that I’ve ever…. oh, never mind.

  6. I love hosting people, but I hate being a houseguest. It’s always so uncomfrotable, especially in the morning. I never know what to do when I get up. Do I leave my room? What if they’re not awake? Do I make myself at home on the couch with coffee and breakfast? Make them coffee and breakfast? Is it ok to stay in pajamas or do I need to get dressed immediately? Better to avoid this insanity and just stay in a hotel.

  7. Oh, this is funny. I love it. I never even considered the gifts I might get (ahem) if I had guests more often….this is a thing? I HAVE A GUEST ROOM, PEOPLE! WITH ITS OWN BATHROOM! I’LL PUT MY KEURIG IN YOUR ROOM!

  8. Alcohol is always my go to gift. Never thought of self-pleasuring devices, but now that gives me an alternative for those friends who don’t drink. Hilarious, as always.

  9. Thank you! Now I know what to give my best friend (girl who has everything) when I visit next. Just gotta make sure her five year old isn’t around or he’ll want to play with the “rocket”. Great post.

  10. You might not survive in my house – I make everyone fend for themselves. Well, not really. Only if I’m not awake yet. But the puppy gets me up at 530. So if you get up later than that, you’re good. So c’mon over and bring me a gift!

  11. I actually have a blanket I bring with me when I travel just so that I don’t have to ask for a spare one. I’m not sure if that’s more or less awkward than being afraid to ask for one.

    Though I’m just weird enough that getting to (unused) vibrators as a hostess gift would send me into hysterics AND guarantee that I’d immediately bestow complete and total free reign of my home to you!

  12. Pingback: Hostess Gift Ideas: Summer Getaways | The Gifting Whisperer

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