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slightly feral guests ARGGGG

(38 Posts)
pfft Sat 08-Aug-09 11:46:59

We have some old uni friends staying with us while one of them finishes off his PhD and hands it in.

They're good friends so we're happy to have them, particularly as we have space to not all end up in each other's hair.

But they're really feral, and annoyingly free and easy with our stuff. They have their kitchen stuff with them, so we could just not worry, but they're destroying all of ours...

They've scratched the surface off all of our pots and pans, despide DS (4) helpfully handing them wooden spatulas rather than metal spoons (not under instructions from me, though GAAAAH it certainly could be)... they sometimes do their dishes, but only after they've been sitting by the sink for 5 days, covered in food and flies... they sometimes even do some of our dishes, by chucking everyting into the sink with cold water and then taking it out again (usually with a few glasses and mugs broken - of course always our glasses and mugs) and dumping it in pools of food-filled greasy cold water on the kitchen table. They seem to like using plates that have a pre-coating of food... and the wife keeps pointedly telling the husband to WASH THE DETERGENT OFF THE DISHES because she can't stand soapy plates.... it's not soap on those plates!

These people are professionals, in their 30s, one of them is a medic.... it's not like they've never heard of hygiene!

How do I politely get it across to them that they're being really annoyingly feral?


pfft Sat 08-Aug-09 11:58:02

oh and they've been here for 2 months and there's probably another month or two to go... so we're not talking just a few days' irritation here...

I tried the "DS is a little bit feral and got sick after licking one of your fly-ridden plates" - which was true blush - but they made a joke out of it and now keep telling DS not to lick dirty plates... which of course makes DS very hmm given that he only licked clean one of their plates because they'd used all the plates in the house and he wanted his supper on his favourite plate...

Help! anyone?

GrapefruitMoon Sat 08-Aug-09 12:01:37

Get a dishwasher?

pfft Sat 08-Aug-09 12:03:59

um. not an option... rented, very old house with dodgy plumbing...

but wouldn't need to be an option if I had the people skills to work out how to get these feral sods to clean up after themselves!

Katisha Sat 08-Aug-09 12:04:07

How much longer will they be with you?

blinder Sat 08-Aug-09 12:04:48

shock Can you stay in a hotel for a month? Can THEY?

Why are you doing this? Why? WHY? I would not be able to cope with that for months. <gets out medal and solemnly offers it to pfft>

GrapefruitMoon Sat 08-Aug-09 12:07:05

I think you will need to sit down with them and spell it out - sugar coat it as much as you can but you should tell them that they can only continue to use the kitchen if they clear up immediately after every meal. Are they paying rent while they are with you?

themoon66 Sat 08-Aug-09 12:07:35

definately get a dishwasher.

Is it just pots and pans that they are scummy with, or do they stretch to general muckiness with laundery, bathroom use etc?

TrillianAstra Sat 08-Aug-09 12:08:31

I agree with Grapefruit, if they are there for a long time they need to start behaving more responsibly and living up to your (perfectly reasonable) hygiene standards. Or else they could leave.

Nancy66 Sat 08-Aug-09 12:09:17

oh god poor you, I'm a complete neat freak and would be permanently on edge.

It's your home, you're going to have to take control and do something - but in a jokey way.

Can't you say something like: "How can you get to 30 and not know how to wash a plate? - I am going to show you how we wash dishes in this house. Watch and learn." it's done in a light hearted manner BUT will hopefully get the message across.

Katisha Sat 08-Aug-09 12:10:24

Oh sorry - you said a couple more months.

I think you may just have to say something and point out the ruined saucepans. It's not on and you will just get more and more tense.

Easy for me to say but maybe try have a non-angry conversation along the lines of I'm sorry but we have different ideas of how the kitchen should be used and your bohemian take on washing up is making me feel very stressed.

I had this for one week on a shared holiday and it was hell just for a week.

pfft Sat 08-Aug-09 12:13:38

they are hard-up academics, living on savings, waiting to go back to their home country and try to find jobs - but they have to wait until the bloke has finished and handed in his PhD.

Living with us rent-free makes the difference between him finishing the (long, drawn-out, stress-filled) PhD and them needing to just leave the UK and get jobs ASAP.

We understand that it's hard and stressful for them, but there's hardly a shortage of dishwashing liquid, clean tea-towels, wooden spatulas for the saucepans (not that it matters anymore there hmm)....

DP keeps telling me I'm being PFB/Stepford wife-ish and not to say anything - but he finds the filth and flies and everything getting broken all the time just as irritating as I do... ARRRGGGGGGGGHHHH

GrapefruitMoon Sat 08-Aug-09 12:17:09

If I was someone's guest for any period of time I would be trying to minimise my impact on the household not taking the piss as they seem to be. It's one thing to leave the washing up till the next day if you are tired or something, 5 days is not on (and I have low standards!)

What is the wife doing while her dh is finishing his PhD? Is she working or just hanging around?

Katisha Sat 08-Aug-09 12:18:39

How about if you pointed redid the washing up a few times?

DH tends to regard my washing up with suspicion and says things are "covered in food" if he sees so much as a speck of weetabix, but if these people are really leaving things horribly filthy I think you have two options :

say something

do it yourself

The latter may with any luck lead them to try harder? And if not at least the place is clean and safe from breakages. I would probably rather do it myself than let it lie about in stinking greasy water - you need to be able to get to your sink.

Katisha Sat 08-Aug-09 12:18:53

Sorry pointedLY

RumourOfAHurricane Sat 08-Aug-09 12:18:57

Message withdrawn

CurlyhairedAssassin Sat 08-Aug-09 12:20:41

Is this just a cultural thing in their own country or something? Is that kind of standard just what they were brought up with?

If not, then you have to have a word. They sound very erm, eccentric.

Katisha Sat 08-Aug-09 12:20:51

I suspect they think this is normal nehaviour and haven't come across anyone who would dare to tell them otherwise.
People do have different standards. I suspect they are doing it in blissful ignorance, not because they know they are getting away with it.

bigchris Sat 08-Aug-09 12:25:33

Are they really your friends?
They sound hideous people who disrespect yuo and your home, slobby spongers tbh
It must be a crap friendship to treat you like that

pfft Sat 08-Aug-09 12:26:28

I agree with Katisha - it's blissful ignorance. They are lovely lovely people otherwise, but just seem to have no clue... husband's hygiene standards seem to have dropped off the radar in his 5 year PhD - which is time out from surgical training, so he should really have a lot more clue than he seems to... they've both done PhDs and have lived in college for some years, channelling up the standards of the 18 year olds.

Deep breath... i am off downstairs to start doing dishes and have a word...

Katisha Sat 08-Aug-09 12:29:23

OOh good luck - let us know how it goes down!

edam Sat 08-Aug-09 12:30:38

Good luck pfft. You sound like a fab friend.

bigchris Sat 08-Aug-09 12:35:14

I don't get how they can be lovely people and break your things and not clean up after themselves tbh

TrillianAstra Sat 08-Aug-09 12:40:50

I know what you mean bigchris, surely "lovely people" would consider the feelings and property of the people who are kindly letting them stay rent-free in their house?

bigchris Sat 08-Aug-09 12:42:11

If I was living with s friend for 3 months rent free I'd be falling over backwards to be as helpful and not get in the way as possible

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