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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:
bellavita · 29/04/2011 22:27

Grin Grin Agent! I have just reread your opening post.... Drinking and not wearing my reading glasses is a bad combination Grin

Truffkin · 29/04/2011 22:28

Luckily for me Spero my friends aren't offended as you are so I can enjoy having them to visit without feeling bad! I was hoping my perspective might show that not everyone feels upset if their hosts aren't up with the lark to accommodate their kids Grin

heliumballoons · 29/04/2011 22:45

I went and stayed with a friend once - and not again. (an old friend of mine and DS didn't know her children)

I took food, bought a childrens DVD for them to watch and keep for her dc's and helped with the tidying up.

Thing is she had some food in already and one day offered DC's a yoghurt and asked which one they wanted. DS chose one but was told there was only one of those, so not fair and I had bought lots so they should chose one of those. Fair enough, except she let her youngest have the one DS wanted as she stropped. Even her other 2 dc's pointed out that was unfair. And they never watched the film as her oldest didn't want too, although the other 3 did, but got told never mind they could watch it another day as they could keep it. (poor DS hadn't seen it either which is why we chose it).
And I was sleeping downstairs (very comfy sofa) and she would send the DC's down in the morning as they'd wake her DH - and she would stay in bed too. Thing is I wouldn't mind but hers ran around screaming and fighting.

When we left DS made me promise we wouldn't stay again. Grin

I now only spend weekends/ holidays with people who are considerate.

Thing is I actually agree with my house, my rules. But that means everyone sticks to them - not just the guests.

Spero · 29/04/2011 22:52

Truffkin, since when was 8am up with the lark? Not since you were an arsey clueless teenager, surely.

the key here is communication. If my 'friends' had said - we have no children. We don't intend disturbing our weekend routine because you have a child. We will get up when we feel like it, and this is probably going to be many hours after you have to get up. But here is a jar of Nescafe and a bucket to weep in as you sit in our silent kitchen for four hours, unable to find CBeebies on our wanky tv'

that would have been fine. Because I would have said, thanks for the invite, but I would rather sit on a spike all weekend, be seeing ya.

Absolutely fair enough if you are so uptight and OCD that you cannot deviate for one second from your precious routine, AS LONG AS YOU TELL YOUR GUESTS IN ADVANCE so they can make an informed decision whether or not they value your friendship so much they will be made to feel uncomfortable and embarrassed in your house.

AgentZigzag · 30/04/2011 00:04

I acknowledge, respect and embrace your RAGE spero


I hate being in other peoples house when they're not around, in fact the only thing I like about going to other peoples houses is getting home and realising how comfortable it is when you've got it all set up how you like it Grin

OP posts:
textfan · 30/04/2011 00:38

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Kewcumber · 30/04/2011 00:51

"not to stand on bath mat with wet feet" - how do you not stand on a bathmat with wet feet. UNless it doesn;t involve actually having a bath of course.

textfan · 30/04/2011 00:57

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Tortington · 30/04/2011 00:58

pretty much ok with whatever people want when they come to ours.

if they dont like howi live

fuck em

AgentZigzag · 30/04/2011 01:01

You stink the bog out when you've got guests to prove a point don't you custardo? Grin

OP posts:
cat64 · 30/04/2011 01:51

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moondog · 30/04/2011 05:04

Tex, they sound unhinged!
Had your ex dh grown up like that?
What did ihe think of it all?

ledkr · 30/04/2011 10:28

text-you dont!Mine are worse and i am still married!! Total idiots,i have to squeegy the shower after use but they dont apply the same courtesy here and take the piss and expect to be waited on,2 days after my section 12 wks ago mil shouted at dh as they "needed feeding" i had been home from hospital 5mins and they werent even meant to be here,he told her she had to go but made them food first!! Never felt quite the same about them since tbh.I could go on but will resist Grin

MrsSchadenfreude · 30/04/2011 14:14

Moondog - yes, those are the "guests." My appearance from the office triggers the immediate question "What are you cooking tonight? We're starving."

She came to stay on her own last time, and spent all the time saying how ill she felt, and that she didn't want to do anything. Her symptoms were very non-specific (a bit like man flu), and as she is always a drama queen and always has something wrong with her, and she didn't have a temperature, my sympathy was somewhat limited. I did trek back and forth to the pharmacy for immodium, paracetamol, nurofen etc, and she was certainly stinking the bathroom out. (I suggested she might use the spray and open the window after she had been, but my suggestion was not well received.) She decided to go home a day early (hoorah!), DH took her to the airport and she blagged her way onto an earlier flight. Apparently she "collapsed" on the flight and was taken straight to hospital and had some sort of gastric flu. I should have felt guilty that I wasn't nicer to her, but you know what? I didn't. Grin

Oh yes, and those people who remove EVERYTHING...I used to let friends stay in my flat in London for the weekend or a week, free, if it was empty, provided that they made sure that there was tea, coffee, long life milk, loo roll, soap powder and other basics there. I came back one weekend, desperate for the loo, to find that not only had I no loo roll at all, there were no tea bags, coffee, washing up liquid or any cleaning stuff at all, and the door was hanging off the washing machine. I was furious - it could have been one of two people, but both denied it. I didn't let them stay there again, needless to say...

moondog · 30/04/2011 14:16

Astounding, the stone hearted psychopathic tendencies of some, isn't it?

Spero · 30/04/2011 20:15

Tex, you win.

Cat64, hahahahahahah hollow laugh. Believe me I have tried the 'darling, lets have some snuggles and a little snooze shall we?' Believe me, after ten minutes of small fingers pulling up your eyelids and a little mouth bellowing in your ear shouting 'whenareyougettingupmummyGETUPNOW', then even sitting weeping in some ridiculous modernist kitchen is preferable.

it is all about communication and caring for your friends. If you care about your friends, you want them to be comfortable in your home. If you can't shift your arse out of bed at a reasonable time the one weekend in the year they are staying with you, then what a poor, miserable excuse for a friend you are.

Anyway, I am pleased to see my RAGE has been duly noted and respected so I will cease making the same point over and over. If you don't agree with me, you are clearly mad and have my sympathy.

EmmaBemma · 30/04/2011 22:24

Spero, I often stay with my children at our childfree friends' house - I wouldn't expect them to get up before 10 to make our breakfast! But I do feel at home enough there to raid the fridge and food cupboards as necessary.

Spero · 30/04/2011 22:55

Well exactly Emma. You feel comfortable there, its no big deal, you can sort yourself out for breakfast (but I still ask myself, who on earth are all these adults who can stay in bed gone 10am? Even if I didn't have a child my bladder would make sure I was out of bed by 9am at the absolute latest).

I interpret such a lack of consideration as a massive passive aggressive 'fuck off'. If they don't like me, why on earth are they inviting me into their home? If they do like me and value my friendship, why are they making me feel unhappy and uncomfortable?

Its not bloody hard to make guests feel ok. Give them a towel, either get up and make their breakfast or make sure they can find their way around your kitchen.

If you lack the selfawareness to realise that some of your little habits (as so horribly outlined on this thread) are unlikely to be shared by your guests, please do at least have the common human decency to take that into account.

So, long story short, op is not remotely unreasonable.

cat64 · 01/05/2011 00:07

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Spero · 01/05/2011 00:11

Cat sweetheart, at no point did I ever suggest or would ever suggest anyone else had to get up at 6am.

What I have been bleating on about is that if you are not going to get up at some more reasonable time - say 8am - to make me feel wanted and welcome then ffs make sure I know my way around your kitchen.

It never occured to me that they would be so shortsighted and selfish to leave me in that position. My bad. I just credited them with half a brain cell and thought as they had invited me, they would want me to have a reasonably pleasant time.

I do not expect anyone to make ALL the changes. But if you invite someone into your home, don't let them leave wishing they had never gone.

That is all.

cat64 · 01/05/2011 00:15

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AgentZigzag · 01/05/2011 00:17

Just out of interest spero, did they know you'd got up at 6 and were at a loss until they got up? If they did what was their reaction knowing you were down there for so long?

If they were mortified because they didn't know some DC can be such persistent (ie 'I'm awake mummy so you should be too') early risers and felt bad about staying in bed so long, that would go a long way to making you feel better about it.

OP posts:
Spero · 01/05/2011 00:36

Thank you for letting me make this thread all about ME! My rage is dimming somewhat.

As I recall, we had all gone out to dinner, with a babysitter at their house. I had to be a party pooper and said I had to be back by 11pm as no doubt dd would be up at the crack of dawn - she was about 2 1/2 at the time and only started sleeping in to more civilised time (7am if lucky) when she was about four. So they bloody knew.

I had bought milk for dd but nothing else as I naively assumed they would have 'normal people' food in their kitchen. I certainly didn't expect them to get up with me but I had hoped that they would be down by 8ish.

They had no bread, a coffee machine I had no clue how to use and a very complicated TV system so I couldn't find Cbeebies. Had to play with dd. (the horror!)

I can't remember what happened when they finally drifted down, I think RAGE has dimmed my memory. But I left shortly thereafter. I didn't moan directly to them as I am very passive aggressive and prefer venting about it several years after the event. So much healthier and constructive.

tbh I think they really didn't like children and felt a vague contempt for anyone who had them - they had very pristine and spotless house, went on loads of foreign holidays etc, I could see them wince when my dd touched anything etc, etc. So I think they thought that as it was my choice to have a child, I would just have to take the consequences.

I think a lot of people just drift around in a self centred bubble. They are not conciously malicious or mad, just can't see beyond their own expectations. I am much more efficient at filtering these people out and now only accept invitations from people I know are sane and reasonable.

AgentZigzag · 01/05/2011 00:45

You had to play with your DD Shock

Well I'm fucking with you then spero, that's fucking hard work (and I actually mean that at the same time as being tongue in cheek Grin)

DC can be a bit scary and unpredictable to people who don't have them.

I make sure I have in what the DDs need, but it's so much more lax when you're on your own, so long as you've got beer and pizza in then what else is there?

But the mark of a good host IMO, is asking guests if they need anything on a regular but not obsessive basis, and mostly just being about to give them what they need, be it chat or coffee and a dripping with butter toasted cheese and marmite sarnie (mmmm).

OP posts:
Spero · 01/05/2011 00:54

I know. The memory haunts me still.

But show me a parent who enjoys playing with a toddler at 6am with not even a cup coffee and I will show you a LIAR.

I know, you are right, I can't assume that people without children are clued up to what that might mean for waking up, food requirements etc but I think you are spot on - a good host, nay a good person! ASKS people what they would like, especially if you have invited someone else into your home.

If someone really isn't bothered to take any time or trouble over guests, I am frankly amazed they ever have any.

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