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To think if you invite visitors to stay you should modify your behaviour a bit to accommodate them?

77 replies

AgentZigzag · 28/04/2011 19:12

I'm just on a thread about a poster who was invited to stay at a relatives house overseas and was made to feel pretty unwelcome.

In this posters case it was the strict cleanliness rules and petty penny pinching that made her feel it was more like staying in a boot camp than a nice visit to the rellies.

I'm not saying you should totally change the people you are to fit in with, what can be, difficult guests (not suggesting the OP was in the thread) but surely you shouldn't behave exactly as you would when you're on your own, or expect them to fit in with sometimes bizarre routines.

So what kinds of things wouldn't it be acceptable to do when you've got people over (and I'm talking about shortish term visits, not when your MIL stays over for months on end)?

What about not locking the bathroom door when you're using it?

Stinking the bathroom out and not giving a warning before the guest goes in?

Sitting glued to your fave TV program while they sit there in silence bored stiff?

There was a thread on here about a poster (it was Yankandcock I think, I've no idea why I remembered the posters name Grin) who was Skyping her mum and her mums husband was stood behind her with not a lot on, he clearly didn't think it was a problem because he was in his own house, but the OP was a bit embarrassed Grin

Some people do think 'it's my house and I'll act like I want', and others go the total opposite and try to control smother their guests with constant attention.

So what would be the nice balance?

OP posts:
madonnawhore · 28/04/2011 19:21

YANBU. My aunt, uncle and cousins went to stay with my uncle's brother at his house in France and when they left, the brother asked them for money to cover all the toilet roll they'd used!

Adversecamber · 28/04/2011 19:23

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

pjmama · 28/04/2011 19:25

Adverse that made me gag just thinking about it!!

AgentZigzag · 28/04/2011 19:30

Shock at madonna, I bet they only use two sheets per visit, whatever they do Grin

We eat really late as well adverse, but I'd offer any guests something to munch on while they were waiting.

OP posts:
coastgirl · 28/04/2011 19:34

I would also add eating your dinner early when you know guests are arriving at 7 and then offering them leftovers they have to put together themselves! (Yes, ILs, I'm looking at you. And yes, they knew we were coming. They couldn't wait an extra hour to eat?)

PregolaLola · 28/04/2011 19:36

yanbu, especially as when i first stayed at DP parents i was confronted with a naked FIL at the stairs, frightening, worse still he just said mornin'

Spero · 28/04/2011 19:37

Totally agree. I remember staying with a couple who didn't have children. My daughter got up at 6am and I got up with her. The couple did not emerge from their beds until after 10am!!

I am certainly not suggesting they should have joined me at 6am but I thought a slight modification to their usual routine might have been nice, especially as I didn't know my way around their kitchen and couldn't find the coffee etc.

Maybe they were just absolutely clueless about children getting up early. But did put one of the nails in the coffin of that friendship.

Elk · 28/04/2011 19:39

My stepfather doesn't even close the bathroom door when he is having a wee let alone lock it. I have lost count over the years of the number of times I have walked in on him.

Other relations have told us not to arrive before a certain time, not because they were out but because they had 'things to do', they would be at home but we were not welcome at that time. We were only driving 5 hours to visit them and it turned out that they wanted to rearrange their filing cabinet before going on holiday in a weeks time! (we were only staying for 2 nights)

Elk · 28/04/2011 19:41

Spero, I have stayed with childless relatives who didn't get up until past 11am and then suggested we went and had a breakfast in a local pattiserie (sp). We were about ready for lunch.

Bucharest · 28/04/2011 19:44

Dp (on his first visit to the Uk bless) went to stay with a friend of mine and her boyfriend......we arrived (as they knew we were due to) at 12.30. They had already had lunch (which we thought was a bit Hmm) Dp and this bloke were going to the football, so I had to ask "could we er, grab something to eat before we go out" We were given a loaf of bread and a lump of cheddar, stood up, in the kitchen. We paid for the footy tickets, and the evening meal (which dp cooked) and then the bloke insisted we played Trivial Pursuit all night (he had been on 15 to 1 Hmm) dp with nary a word of English made to sit like a drip all night trying to answer questions.
Following morning, I asked if it was OK if I had a shower, and bloke said "no". I thought he was joking and so had one anyway.....I'm not sure he was.....
He then holed up in his room all day and wouldn't come out even to say goodbye to us...she told us he had an exam to revise for....when we asked, she said it was in 8 mths time.....
He was, and I guess still is, the wankiest wanker I have ever met. He had all Chelsea's strips chronologically displayed in a glass cabinet at the top of the stairs, and a boxed set of Erasure videos.....Grin

coastgirl · 28/04/2011 19:45

My FIL doesn't close the toilet door to wee at my house!

Spero · 28/04/2011 20:04


I know you can't expect people without children to automatically know stuff, but I always thought an important part of having guests was making them feel welcome - they could at least ask what time you would like to get up, what kind of breakfast children might like etc.

Elk · 28/04/2011 20:14

coastgirl, my stepfather also doesn't close the door to wee at my house, even when he has walked through my bedroom where I am packing to use my en-suite!

I always thought that having guests was making them feel welcome, and part of that comes from not complaining when they use the wrong cloth for the washing up.

Although most people find my attitude to having guests a bit too relaxed.

Eglu · 28/04/2011 20:25

YANBU. Although in the case of the other thread, I think people like that probably have no idea that their behaviour is wierd. They see it as normal.

FIL used to ask us if we didn't have news where we lived. If he wanted to watch the news he just had to ask.

Tee2072 · 28/04/2011 20:27

My thought exactly Eglu. What's weird to you is normal to them.

purplepidjin · 28/04/2011 20:30

I stayed with friends once and got up at 6:30am with their children (I don't have kids) they emerged at around midday Hmm

They had just flown in long-haul, though, hosted a barbecue the night before and their kids are awesome so I didn't mind much. Was a bit odd rooting through their drawers trying to find clothes for each child and hunting the kitchen cupboards for breakfast, though Hmm

darleneconnor · 28/04/2011 20:52

I went to stay at a friend's with my toddler. I thought we could have a good girlie catch up for a couple of days. When we arrived (at lunchtime) she said that as it was a sunny day we would get a taxi to her friend's house and spend the day in the garden getting pissed! The fridge in this house was bare, so much so that I thought they must have just moved in and the only food that was offered all day was a chinese takeaway. We stayed there until 10pm, my poor toddler was exhausted and pretty grumpy from a lack of food. There were no toys for her to play with, they just expected her to sit and watch nickalodeon for 8 hours!
And these 2 people were mothers themselves!

AgentZigzag · 28/04/2011 22:35

What is it with FILs and leaving the bog door open??

Shock no, don't tell me, I don't want to know Grin

OP posts:
springydaffs · 28/04/2011 23:10

Yes, i had a fabulous trip to see a very old friend and his french wife in france last summer. The first evening's meal, the husband was carving the joint (NB: little clue there to what was behind their bizarre behaviour) and his wife was complaining nonstop about where I had put the table - they are doing up an old barn and the house is like a building site, the table portable. The husband suddenly flipped, screaming, and threw the carving knife across the room. Wifey started screaming and screaming, he screamed back... after about 5 minutes of no let-up of the screaming I quietly got up and left the room and went to bed, supperless. In the morning I asked them if that was the way they behaved with all their guests and, if so, I'd rather they didn't do it when I was a guest. That went down well. Apparently the problem was that the table was in line with some dodgy lay lines and that was the reason for their appalling behaviour: subtext, it was my fault everything kicked off because I had put the table in the wrong place.

I lasted 3 days and left them to their weedy, psychotic selves. Took me 2 days to get to the coast and find a ferry home. Poor ol me, that was a crap 'holiday'.

WhiteBumOfTheMountain · 28/04/2011 23:27

My MIL thinks it fine to sit and pick her teeth/feet/dry scalp while she watches tv and falls asleep on my sofa.[vom]

I stayed somewhere where it was normal throw things at the dogs when they misbehaved....on the second throw I leapt up and yelled "DONT throw things at the dogs!"

They were all Shock

But they were chucking boots and stuff and aiing to hit! I never went back I thought that was disgusting.

Gay40 · 28/04/2011 23:33

I'm afraid I'm in the "Fit in or fuck off" brigade. However, I live in a tiny house on purpose so that we can't have guests.

AgentZigzag · 28/04/2011 23:59

'However, I live in a tiny house on purpose so that we can't have guests.'

Grin us too gay40.

Although there's always a couple of 'em who seep through the cracks.

OP posts:
Gay40 · 29/04/2011 00:03

The people who offer to bring their own sleeping bag. "The sitting room is too small, sorry" which is true.

"I thought you'd had your loft done out" yes we have, but it is full of boxes.

"I'll sleep on the sofa" it's not long enough, which is true.

ledkr · 29/04/2011 00:23

gay and agent-my next plan is to get rid of my bigish pil/grown up son friendly house and buy the smallest box i can find,more money less cleaning and no bloody house guests,in the meantime anyone who wishes to stay will not be preventing me having a lie in/time with dd or dh.Oh yeah and i will not be giving up my bed for pil 2 days after a c section so never ask again grrrrrr

sunnydelight · 29/04/2011 06:28

Staying with relatives is a minefield, it is very rare that everyone in the equation is happy to be/have you there. Having said that basic manners should prevail - the thought of someone being hungry in my home is horrifying to me.

If on the other hand you invite yourself to come and stay for two weeks and end up here for a month sitting on your arse with your hands firmly in your pocket even my good manners will wear thin after a couple of weeks....... I will still provide food and wine though!

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