It's here, it's here, finally it's here! The new MONTHLY format for a list of ten, and we are starting with 10 Things That Make a Good House Guest. (This was supposed to be November's post, but November was mixed with Think Write Thursdays.)
1. They clean up after themselves. There's nothing worse than the guest who behaves as though you are their personal housekeeping staff, in your own home.
2. They are able to take care of their basic needs. Again, a house guest should be able to make a cup of tea or attend to their own minor needs. They may need to be shown where things are or how to use appliances, but they should not expect to be waited upon by you for every minor need.
3. Swinging the pendulum the other way, a good house guest does not determine that you have things done all wrong and reorganize your kitchen cabinets, medicine chest, or linen closet in a way that is pleasing to them but not to you.
4. They can adjust to accommodate your schedule. Sure, we all have house guests who come when you are able to spend lots of time together. But if you must go to work or your kids need to be driven to an activity, a good house guest should be able to roll with this.
5. They can keep themselves entertained. Some house guests do just that, to the point where they can leave the house without you and may even have planned the visit around making day trips without you. But they also should be able to have some quiet time in the house - you shouldn't feel obligated to provide entertainment or interaction from the moment they wake up until the moment they go to bed.
6. You enjoy spending time with them, whether it's during arranged activities, or just down time hanging around, enjoying each other's company, and there's a satisfying mix of those times.
7. A good house guest contributes in some way that is most appropriate for them. You may have a house guest who likes to share cooking talent, who can help with that window that always sticks, or who will walk the dog or take the kids somewhere, but not everyone can do that. But most folks can do something that helps out while they are visiting you, even if it's just drying the dishes after dinner.
8. A good house guest respects your schedule - if you rise early and eat breakfast early, but your house guest likes to sleep in, that's fine, as long as you aren't expected to cook a second breakfast for the house guest.
9. A good house guest is polite and communicates appreciation.
10. This last one is from my grandma. . . house guests are like fish, they start to stink after three days. Your house guest knows how not to overstay their welcome, whether it's three days or three weeks.
It's funny, I did the house guest thing much more when I was younger. Now that I am older, not so much. We're too many to stay at someone's house, and our house is not attractive to guests - we have three bigs dogs and three teenagers to contend with for shower time. Maybe that should be number eleven on the list: a good house guest knows when it really would be better to stay in a hotel.