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Helpful hints for houseguests:

(338 Posts)
lovelybertha Mon 29-Aug-11 13:05:25

1) Take care not to make the assumption that because your host lives in a seaside town, they want to be running a guest house.

2) If you'd like a clean towel, ask. Leaving wet towels in the bath/on floor of bathroom will not provide a signal for housekeeping staff (see point 1).

3) Attempt to keep your belongings as contained as possible. Hanging your manky dressing gown up in the living room is neither appropriate or necessary.

4) Take care to remove any pubic hairs that might stick to the communal bar of soap. Particularly if their colour makes them very distinctly yours.

5) If breakfasting extra specially early in a household with pre-school age children, note that it will be much appreciated if you don't eat the last banana and drink the last of the milk.

6) Leaving mugs and inadequately scraped plates in the sink is not as helpful as putting them in the dishwasher. Running a bit of water on to them is not the same as washing up.

7) Bags of bread are to be opened from the top. Ripping a hole in the side and taking slices from the middle, is quite simply, really fucking annoying.

8) If you offer to 'treat' your host to a 'night off cooking', they will assume you are offering to either cook a meal yourself or take everyone out. A ready meal from Asda will underwhelm.

9) If your host is providing you an alternative to hotel accommodation whilst you work (and earn loads of money) in their home town, failure to note the above hints, and going on about how much money you're saving will be interpreted as 'Taking The Piss'.

10) Following from point 9: It's nice to say 'thank you'. Gifts (ie. bottle of wine/ flowers/ chocs) will be gratefully received by your host.


Carrotsandcelery Mon 29-Aug-11 20:09:27

MrsCog I would imagine asking for instructions how to do whatever is not working for you, rather than assuming the item was broken, would be fine. It would all be in the wording I think.

whomovedmychocolate Mon 29-Aug-11 20:09:59

Do not say to your hosts 'you've been cooking all week, let's go out for lunch today' and then expect your hosts to pay hmm especially when you have had three courses and wine and I've only had soup and a roll. <double hmm >

Haha. We now conveniently have too many DCs and not enough room for anybody to stay. Shame. If we get a bigger house, we're both determined that there Will Not Be a spare bedroom. No way.

HeavyHeidi Mon 29-Aug-11 20:11:09

Don't say that you would also love to have dogs, but you don't want your house to smell like mine. Especially if mine is sparkling clean and definitely not smelly and yours would terrify even Kim and Aggie. A whiff of Eau de Dog would only be an improvement!

in the named household with dogs - if you're there alone, don't be helpful if this means taking the garbage bag out and leaving it open in the middle of the kitchen before you leave.

if I say that sure you can use the computer, I certainly didn't mean that this includes personal emails. Especially if you are planning to discuss them in public later.

whomovedmychocolate Mon 29-Aug-11 20:11:39

MrsCog - the trick is to say 'would you mind helping me because I can't work X' and then listen to the reply. By all means ask for it to be repeated, and then try it yourself, but then do not come back every time for a week and ask the same thing 'how do I flush to loo' (you press the button) 'oh right thanks'. <ten minutes pass> 'umm how do I flush to um loo' (Gah!)

whomovedmychocolate Mon 29-Aug-11 20:13:56

Originalposter - it's not just Lynx. My MiL frankly marinates in perfume and it makes the entire house stink. It's really choking. Horrid. I don't know if she has no sense of smell or what but it's just too much. She doesn't do it at home though - I think she must not like the smell of our house hmm

<house smells like most houses with small children in - sort of biscuits with top notes of laundry (unless DS has had a poonami recently).>

LRDTheFeministDragon Mon 29-Aug-11 20:17:06

MrsCog - I tend to say if there are quirks, but not being able to flush a loo without guidance is honestly a bit odd. You pull the handle. If the handle doesn't work, fine, ask. But don't assume it'll be different from the toilet in your own home ... no-one has yet been sufficiently interested in toilets to design one that required a user manual.

BreastmilkDoesAFabLatte Mon 29-Aug-11 20:22:12

Don't demand that your host keeps pets out of your room. Ask.

Don't put used towels back in the cupboard. Use the laundry basket.

Don't tell you host to stop the baby from crying. She's doing her best.

Don't complain about the rain. Yes, I know the British also complain about the rain but we complain with resigned and self-deprecating humour rather than abject despair. You'll be back in your nice warm, dry place soon.

If you'd like the heating on, ask. You don't need to appear downstairs in a polar fleece and gloves to make the point.

Never talk about the host in front of her in a language she doesn't speak. It's not only rude, she might understand more than you think...

BlingLoving Mon 29-Aug-11 20:23:01

Do not invite your friends over to your hosts' house. Without telling them. Particularly when they have a 8 week old colicky baby and your friend has been invited round for 9. Do not act surprised when your hosts go crazy or use phrases like , "but they are coming to visit me. It does not impact you."

MrsCog Mon 29-Aug-11 20:24:49

Yes ok - thankfully it hasn't happened to me with the loo - it's normally taps I can't struggle with! I am getting better at not being so painfully shy in other people's houses! It was when DH pointed out that it could be rude that I pulled myself together! I seriously can't believe some of the stuff on here though - I am seriously lucky with the houseguests that come over!!

umf Mon 29-Aug-11 20:25:28

Now I feel really bad for every time I've been even slightly irritated with a house guest. Who are these people??

BlingLoving Mon 29-Aug-11 20:26:12

However, I would like to also boast about one friend and her dh who came to stay - I walked in after a long hard day at work. The lawn had been mowed blush, dinner was ready and a glass of ice cold wine was placed in my hand within 20 seconds!! I love them!

LRDTheFeministDragon Mon 29-Aug-11 20:26:52

In my case, my parents, umf. Aren't family the worst houseguests?!

<boak> at the ones leaving poo stains/walking around naked though!

umf Mon 29-Aug-11 20:27:06

Oh, actually, I've thought of one. Don't wince and move your PFB 1 year old ("It upsets him") every time your host's baby cries.

whomovedmychocolate Mon 29-Aug-11 20:27:11

MrsCog - I urge you to be positive, everyone loves the houseguest who is willing to engage and be happy and hopeful about everything. The houseguest who says thank you and please and is actually grateful for having been providing with a bed and a cuppa is delightful. It's the gitwizards who just smarm or snipe constantly or just don't plain say anything that are annoying.

umf Mon 29-Aug-11 20:28:29

Bling, can we have them too? Maybe on some sort of rotation? They'd save a fortune on their housing.

ChristinedePizan Mon 29-Aug-11 20:32:05

When there are SEVEN adults here for the weekend and only one of me, I really, really do mean it when I say 'please help yourself to tea/coffee/drinks. The cups and mugs are here, the drinks are all here'

I do not want to wait until I am parched and put the kettle on only for everyone to leap forward excitedly and say 'ooh are you making tea?'

grin (a very small gripe - my friends were lovely and all the women helped loads. The blokes on the other hand sat on their arses all weekend but that's a different matter)

JobCarHouseNoBaby Mon 29-Aug-11 21:06:14

Don't make a big fuss when arriving and vacating your vehicle to ensure that your DH puts "all the valuables away out of sight because this is a crime ridden area". Particularly in the street in front of my neighbours.

Don't hog the tv remote and then proceed to sit on MY laptop playing sudoku.

Don't moan about the spare bed -it was YOUR old bed which you passed onto me! You slept in it for 10 years and thought it was fine!

(Can you tell my rules are mainly directed at my mother)

ToriaPumpkinPasty Mon 29-Aug-11 21:52:05

MrsCog there is nothing wrong with my front door (or my fridge door come to that, which she also leaves open for entire days, usually when she's left the country) and she also used to leave my front door open when I lived in a particularly rubbish estate in Edinburgh. I once walked in, through the entire house, shouted her and had made a cup of tea before she realised anyone was in the house. I'm not being overdramatic when I say that that was plenty of time for the local colour to walk in and remove any electrical equipment that was lying around as it happened to our neighbour!

Agreed, if there is a quirk or fault with doors/toilet flushes then point them out to guests, but this particular guest is just a pain!

Can I add another one? Don't expect your hosts to move their car off the drive so you can park your precious penis extension directly in front of the house in case someone wants to steal it. Nobody wants to steal it. And if they did putting it in front of the house, outside the bay window which has floor legnth lined curtains isn't really going to help is it?

Mummalish Mon 29-Aug-11 22:09:24

When I am a guest in your house, and behaving perfectly well, by washing up, cooking meals etc, please try and look a little happier. You invited me to stay, and you're making me feel uncomfortable. I would much rather be at home anyway.

When you come to stay with us, try and be a little happier too. Your vibes are infectious, I don't care how stressed you are. We're all stressed. You make me feel like I can't relax in my own home.

DoubleDegreeStudent Mon 29-Aug-11 22:17:37

Don't comment that your host has bought "really nice smelling fancy soap for the loo, not like the squidgy bottle stuff everyone else has" when I've accidentally left my nice (fairly expensive) facewash bar in the bathroom on the sink NEXT TO THE BOTTLE OF CAREX. I had to throw it out...

BibiBlocksberg Mon 29-Aug-11 22:23:40

Crying here at Pungent Trotters and Parmesan-esque shavings <eeww>

Some of mine:

Do not tell the host she is a 'fusspot' and rolling your eyes when she tries to establish sleeping preferences\sort out other common courtesies.

Do not bring two bottles of wine as a 'gift' then proceed to drink them yourself.

Do not insist your 4 year old child be driven to the local beach after a 7 hour drive especially when he/she hasn't eaten since 7am and it's now 4.30pm. Then proceed to moan that dinner is taking so long LO will be asleep before it's ready. The host does not have children but even she could see that was a daft plan angry

Do not phone when you're half an hour away from your hosts house and breezily announce you have the neighbours child with you as well as your own and it will be 'fine' she'll sleep anywhere. Then get the arse when said host tells you she would have liked more notice of an extra arrival.

Do not hammer on my door at 4.30 am because you got upset at a party and your husband 'doesn't care' - then proceed to force me to listen to you screeching and wailing for two hours before even saying good morning.

That was very therapeutic smile

rumpleteaser Mon 29-Aug-11 22:27:46

when visiting for a wedding don't leave it until 10mins before the bride and her entourage are leaving the house to have a bath and then break the door handle.
You will either miss the wedding and spend the day locked in the bathroom or face the embarrassment of having half the street trying to bust you out.

Also, don't ruin the brides hen night by drinking too much and puking all over the restaurant.

Do not criticise the way your host looks after their child.

Do not have the cheek to ask your host to lend you money after having not spent ONE penny the whole time you stayed in their home, almost ruined their wedding and deeply offended them.

StillinMyPJs Mon 29-Aug-11 22:40:04

If your hosts suggest that as you have travelled so far to see them that you might like to extend your stay, do not rebook your flights for the day that your visa expires. Three whole months with four adults and a baby in a tiny house is not good for anybody.

Also do not imply to my mother while I am in hearing distance that the reason you have extended your stay is because 'they can barely cope'. That was 2.5 years ago and it still rankles today.

We have now moved to an even smaller house where guests have to sleep in the lounge so hopefully there will be no more long term guests.

beanandspud Mon 29-Aug-11 23:02:58

Please don't walk in and immediately ask for the password for my wi-fi so that you can 'check in' on Facebook. I haven't seen you for a year - I was rather hoping that you might sit down and have a chat and a glass of wine first?

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