Etiquette Hell = Where the ill-mannered deserve to go


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House guests, party guests, Ignorant hosts

2000 Archive

2001-2002 Archive

2003 Archive

Some people have no couth whatsoever. In December 2002, we had a Christmas party. Everything was going great and we were all having a good time until two of my husband's guests got a little tipsy and decided that they were going to make a porno in front of all the guests. "Pete" and "Miranda" were all over one another. She was sitting on his lap sticking her tongue down his throat and he had his hands all over her. Our guests were shocked at their behavior. Now after all the fondling was over, they decided they were hungry. Miranda must have thought I made the whole platter of dip just for her because she decided to start eating it right out of the pan with a fork. I was appalled at what she was doing, and of course now no one wanted to eat it after she was shoveling it in and dropping it from her mouth back into the dip. We have recently been invited to their wedding, which we will not be attending, and they will never be invited to another one of my parties again.

Guests 0802-03

Is there a spot for Etiquette Hell Picky Eaters?

Gal I know is the pickiest eater in history, and rather than downplaying it to cut down on the annoyance factor (as some thoughtful souls do), she apparently thinks it elevates her status. Sort of a Princess and the Pea thing, not that she would ever actually consume a vile legume.

We used to dine regularly with her and her husband, and just ordering dinner was a fifteen-minute ordeal. "What exactly is in it? Would you double-check with the kitchen on that? Because I can't eat _____, _____, or _____. Is it orange? I don’t eat anything that has the color orange in it. Please don't bring me any vegetables, and none of that garnish stuff, and can you put everything on separate plates? And can you substitute ____ for ____, because I never touch _____. Eeeew."

Not content to leave it alone when she was done with her order, she wanted others to know that they were making the wrong dinner selections. Other people's orders were met with a running commentary of "Eeeeew" and "Yuck, how can you eat that?"

And no matter how carefully the kitchen tried to meet all her demands, she sent everything back at least once. Not all at the same time. One by one, so the server had to make extra trips for every single item she found not to her liking, which was invariably all of them.

One server finally refused to serve her anymore when she sent her water back. Twice. It was TAP water, and quite unlikely to magically change its texture, timbre, and tone on the next draw of the tap.

Anyway, these antics reached their zenith when she and her husband were invited for dinner at a friend's house. This particular friend is the most gifted cook it's ever been my pleasure to know --- she's just spectacular with food. The menu that night included boeuf en croute, twice-baked potatoes, fresh asparagus, homemade Sally Lund bread, and a magnificent berry-laden cheesecake. The candlelit table was set with the hostess's finest china and crystal.

The couple arrived forty-five minutes late, explaining that the drive-up window at McDonald's was slow and they had to get something for Ms. Picky Eater because they knew that my friend wouldn't be serving anything she liked.

Then she asked for ketchup and put her French fries, still in their bright red cardboard McDonald’s container, on the porcelain plate, and proceeded to chomp her way through them, all the while doing the "Eeeew!" commentary while the rest of us dined on the hostess's remarkable cuisine.

They were never asked for dinner there again, and we now avoid socializing with them at any event that involves food. All in all, though, it’s provided us with hours of merriment. Whenever my incredible-cook pal invites us over for one of her sumptuous dinners, we always volunteer to bring the McDonald’s French fries.

Guests 0807-03

My husband and I just came back from a week-long vacation during which we stayed one night (one night too long, but one shorter than originally planned) at his brother's home. Having hosted my brother-in-law on more than one occasion (2 or 3?) during the past year, my husband thought it would be acceptable to ask if, since we would be passing through town, we might stay two nights in his home. Naturally and as a matter of courtesy, we phoned about 3 weeks in advance to find out if he had room and if it would be all right to stay. We were told it would be fine and were not given any indication that he might not have room for us.

Fast forward three weeks later: my husband and I call in advance of leaving our home which is four hours away to let his brother know we are on our way. No problems were mentioned. Four hours later, we arrive at his home --- with house-warming gift in hand --- only to be told to basically 'get lost' for about an hour as he and his girlfriend (surely recruited to clean up the place) hadn't showered. Slightly miffed and tired (as it was getting late; we got a late start so as to give them time to have time together), we agreed and came back 1 1/2 hours later. They still weren't ready. We patiently waited for the two of them to shower and get dressed so we might all have dinner, which as it happened, didn't occur until close to midnight! As a token of our appreciation for letting us stay in his home, my husband paid for dinner.

After our late dinner, we returned to our host's home, after which we were informed that despite having a three-bedroom home, one room, which we had assumed was a guest room, was dedicated solely to his pet cats, one was his bedroom and the other was an office. Had we known this in advance, surely we would have stayed in a hotel. Our host insisted on us staying in the bedroom while he would sleep on his couch (which he claimed was comfortable). We reluctantly agreed to sleep in his room, after which he and his girlfriend, who was about to leave, "warned us" about the down comforter. After bragging how he got the comforter at the Salvation Army for $5, our host proceeded to tell us to ignore the "blood stains" on it, but tried to assure us the comforter had been washed. Needless to say, this didn't quite make for a sound sleep. Was this the point?

Next morning after we showered and dressed, the girlfriend comes back, bringing with her breakfast for my husband, her boyfriend, and herself. This was clear to me after the host yelled from the dining room my husband's name, with no mention of mine, to come out for breakfast. I was left in the bedroom to contemplate why, after spending time with the two last night, I would be left out. Feeling hurt, I walked out and proceeded to tell them I was leaving to get my breakfast "since no one bothered to ask if I wanted any."

After taking a leisurely breakfast, I came back, informed my husband we were leaving, packed, thanked my brother-in-law for hosting us, and proceeded to make reservations at a local hotel. I later found out from my husband that my hurt didn't faze his brother and his girlfriend, as they proceeded to play with the cats and talk about them.

Needless to say, the girlfriend, for sure, isn't welcome in our home. It's tougher w/ the brother-in-law, since he's related.

Guests 0811-03

I dated a wonderful young man a few years ago who had grown up better off than most. We traveled quite a bit throughout our year and a half relationship. His family and friends were charming and kind, with the exception of one. On a trip out to San Francisco to attend one of his female friends' birthday parties, I met the rudest human being I have ever encountered: the father of the birthday girl, "Dr. F."

After being introduced to Dr. F and his wife, they immediately shut me out of the conversation. They talked to my boyfriend about how much they had always adored him, and how they had always wished my boyfriend and their daughter had ended up together. They thought it was such a shame; they spent so much time going to my boyfriend's polo matches in an effort to strengthen the friendship between the two families and all for nothing. Mind you, the birthday girl has been married to a very nice young doctor and my boyfriend hadn't even lived in the United States for five years.

At this point my boyfriend began another conversation with an old friend only to have Dr. F and his wife turn their attention to me. They wanted to know who I was, how my boyfriend and I had met, where I was from. I was literally interrogated. When I said I had grown up in Wisconsin and had met my boyfriend traveling in the Caribbean Dr. F. commented that," It must be exciting for a girl like me to do so much traveling." Not believing that I had just been insulted I continued on talking about our travels and how much I enjoyed the people I had met in San Francisco. Dr. F. then said," I agree, people out here are very friendly, a lot like you Midwestern folk. However, out here we have class and sophistication."

At that point I excused myself and grabbed a glass of wine and went on a search for my boyfriend. After explaining to him what had just happened he apologized and agreed that they were the rudest human beings on the planet. On our second visit to San Francisco we made sure not to make any plans with anyone who would invite Dr. F. and his charming wife.

Guests 0825-03

First off, I'd like to say thank you for considering my story. You have a really wonderful website, and you manage to make it both humorous and informative. It's a great resource for those who are *ahem* a little inept as far as social skills go.

These are a handful of stories about Dan, a young man I dated in high school, and his lovely family. The first story begins one evening, when I had come to Dan's house after school. We would usually walk home together, and go either to my house or his. I hadn't noticed it was getting late in the afternoon (around 5:30), until his father poked his head in Dan's bedroom door, where we were studying, looked pointedly at me, and said, "Dan, dinner is ready." Embarrassed that I was intruding, I stood to go. Dan stopped me and said, "Just stay here. It won't take me long to eat."

Shocked, I remained in the room. After I had gathered the guts to leave, I walked out through the house, passing by the dining room as I was leaving. Summoning as much dignity as I could, I said, "I'm sorry to have interrupted you. Good evening" and I went to let myself out. Dan immediately jumped up, grabbed my arm, and said, "I told you to stay in my room. I'm almost done."

I was humiliated that I was no longer seen as a guest but an intruder, and told Dan as much. He seemed surprised that I was upset. I told him I'd see him the following day, and left quietly.

There was another incident when his father had left town for a day or two. Dan's mother worked two jobs to support them, while Dan's father stayed home and did the cooking. Not cooking and cleaning, just the cooking. He was fully capable of working; he simply chose to let his wife shoulder the responsibilities of financially supporting their household. But, I digress. Dan and his mother did not know how to cook, and Dan had mentioned to me the previous day that he would have liked to make spaghetti, but he didn't know how. Eager to help, I offered to come and show him how to make spaghetti.

When I had said, "I'll show you how", I suppose he thought I meant, "I'll cook it for you while you and your mother watch televangelists", because that's basically what happened. Well, I was a little upset (I should mention that Dan regularly ate at my house, at least once a week, and I had never been invited for dinner. I didn't expect an invitation, but I especially did not expect to be treated like a servant when I visited.) When, after announcing to Dan and his mother that the food was ready, he came into the kitchen, loaded his plate up, and said, "Great! You should probably be going home now, isn't it your dinner time as well?"

I have the firm belief that this family is the carrier of the "bad manners gene". His mother quite frequently regaled me with stories of her menstrual troubles (really things which are too graphic to mention here). Not to mention, when Dan and I broke up (much to his father's relief; the man openly hated me not only because I am a practicing Catholic and he disagreed with my choice of religion, but because I am a redhead as well.), his mother felt the need to verbally bash me, saying I dressed like a slut. I may have been a typical teenager, but my dress was far from inappropriate.

Thankfully, I am now with a wonderful man whose manners are impeccable (he actually opens doors for me. Dan believed I should open doors for him!), and whose family is so kind, they are like my own family.

I am truly thankful to have found people who are not carriers of the "bad etiquette gene".

Guests 0830-03

I received a phone call from a friend Judy, whom I occasionally see at church. It seems that a mutual friend-of-a-friend "Rose" was vacationing in the area, staying with several relatives on a rotation basis for about a month. She asked if I could take Rose in for a "few days." I should have given it some thought before I said yes, because, if her relatives found her tedious, that was a sign something was amiss. Rose is not related to Judy in any way. Judy had Rose for about a week, and I guess Rose was running out of free bed and board. Anyway, Judy dropped Rose off. I gave Rose my "nickel tour" of the house, which is a 3 bedroom, 2 story townhouse. Rose's compliment? "Gee, your house is just like a trailer!" What was that supposed to mean? I gave Rose the downstairs guestroom, and she unpacked her 2 bags onto the top of the bed. I previously pointed out that all 4 drawers in the dresser in the guestroom were empty, as was the closet, but apparently Rose felt the bed was a better place to place her cosmetics, toiletries, clothes, and what-not. That evening she asked if she could sleep on the couch in the living room. I asked her why not use the bed, and she said she had her things on it. I again mentioned she had the dresser and the closet, but she insisted she was already settled in. I pulled out the bottom trundle of the guest bed (it was a trundle bed) and made up the bed for her. She said it was too hard and she had a bad back. She said she would sleep on the floor instead. I put a comforter and a sheet and then the top sheet and blanket on top. She said it was "too hot" and wanted to sleep directly on the carpet. The carpet is new and soft, but I couldn't see why that would be "cooler" than sleeping on top of a cotton comforter. I said I think she should have the sheet between her and the carpet, so that it wouldn't get hot or uncomfortable. Rose said she would try that. The next day I found out she didn't like the sheet, and she slept directly on the carpet. Oh brother.

Well, a lot of other things went on that first day. Such as she insisted on cooking dinner, which I gently turned down. But while I was out of the room, she began to make soup from vegetables in my refrigerator. I caught her just taking them out of the refrigerator and just dropping them into the hot water. I said I hadn't washed them, they need to be washed, and she just laughed.

The end of that 2nd day, I found a sealed envelope on my bedroom dresser. I opened it, and it was a printed thank you card, signed by Rose. It said something about "Thank you for your hospitality and the good time" etc. Strange! Rose was staying until Sunday, and it was only Wednesday. Perhaps she was thinking I was going to make her leave prematurely? I had a bigger heart than to go back on my word. I should have taken her over to another friend, because she clearly had some kind of screw loose.

Guests 0908-03

Every year my temple organizes an auction as a fundraiser. They sell a lot of big ticket items like vacations, antiques, etc. as well services. Every year my parents, who are excellent cooks, auction off a dinner party to be held at our home. One year a group of my parents’ friends were the highest bidders. They agreed to split the cost of the dinner equally. However there was one woman in the group who had recently been through a bad divorce and was now raising four children by herself. The group decided to cover her share of the dinner and let her pay them back when she could afford it.

Because the bidders were such good friends of my parents, my mom and dad figured that they could treat this party like any other, and eat dinner with their guests. Everyone was amenable to this but the divorced woman. She literally told my mom that she wanted her to "dress up like a servant, eat in the kitchen and wait on me hand and foot." When my mom protested, the woman said "I'm paying good money for this. I should get what I want." My mother was heartbroken. Their friendship was already falling apart and the dinner party incident pretty much killed it. She didn't find out until later that the woman never paid the other people back.

Guests 0908-03

My father was given just a few weeks to live, and he had asked to die at home. It was Christmas and my mom hadn't had a chance to leave the house in weeks. When I arrived to help, my sisters and I conspired to get Mom out of the house for a break, and I stayed alone with my dad. I had settled Dad in for a nap when the doorbell rang.

At the door was a woman I had never met, but recognized immediately as someone my dad often told stories about. She and her husband are very wealthy but very frugal, and live in Britain for half the year and in Canada for the other half so they can take advantage of the healthcare system. They belonged to a club my parents belonged to and were known for never paying their share. My parents had often talked about how these people would arrive on their doorstep fresh from the airport looking for a place to sleep and how they could never get them to leave. My dad's description of her was "that skinny English witch who always wears a raincoat."

I introduced myself but although she took my hand, she never bothered to tell me her name. I didn't want to let her into the house because I didn't want her to wake my dad. She said, "Are your parents home?" I gently explained (knowing she had been overseas and probably hadn't heard) that my dad was dying and I had just managed to get him to sleep and my mom was out for a couple hours as a break. She looked quite distressed. "Oh my," she said, "M and I have just arrived from the airport and had hoped to stay with your parents for a couple of days while our condo is being painted." I told her that was out of the question as my husband and kids were arriving that afternoon from back east and we were taking up the guest rooms. Plus, she must understand that our family was under a lot of stress. She sighed. Not a word of sympathy or apology for bothering us at such a time. She smiled what to her was probably a winning smile but to me just exposed some very bad teeth. "Well, your parents have three extra bedrooms. Surely your boys could double up? This is Christmas and the hotels might be full. No room at the inn and all that."

I stared her down. "My father is dying. This is our last chance to be together as a family. At this point, we are limiting outside visitors to less than an hour a day. We just can't have someone staying here right now."

The smile vanished. She said, "This is so inconvenient for us. When is your mother home? Her manners are a lot better than yours and I'm sure she would be quite upset with how you've treated me."

Taking a line from a book I remembered reading as a child, I pulled myself nose to nose with her, "I'm sorry, but my mother will not be in .... to you" and closed the door. Then I heard my dad laughing from the bedroom. He had woken up when he heard the doorbell and had overheard the whole conversation. His repetition of the story gave us a lot of laughs over the next few days. When he died two weeks later the nasty couple didn't show up at the funeral.

Guests 0914-03

Reading the "Guests" section of your wonderful website, I was reminded of a visit from my former father-in-law and his (now blessedly ex) second wife. I'll call them Al and Jeannie.

I was pregnant with my second child and working full-time. I was having a very uncomfortable pregnancy; every day at work, my feet would swell so badly that when I got home, the first thing I'd have to do would be to lie down with my feet elevated for an hour to get them to shrink enough to that I could even think about doing anything else. My husband tried to help out, but he was not much of a cook and it was easier to let me rest for an hour and then cook.

Al called one day and said that he and Jeannie were going to be driving around the country, and wanted to stop by and visit us for a few days. This was my FIL, so I wasn't going to say no (even though I didn't like Jeannie very much, like everyone else in the family). All we asked was that they NOT visit after August because of my uncomfortable pregnancy, and that they understand that since we were working full-time we couldn't entertain them very much and they'd be on their own.

So they tell us they're going to show up on a certain date -- and a week EARLIER than the expected date we get a phone call: "Hi, we're in town! How do we get to your house?" Okay, fine, they arrive at our home a week early. I had planned to take some vacation time the following week while they were there, but couldn't reschedule it so I had to get up and go to work the next morning. I get home from work and they're out sightseeing, which is fine; but as I'm lying there trying to get my feet back to normal size, they suddenly breeze in: "Hi, what's for dinner?" And they couldn't even tell by the look I gave them, accompanied by my response, "Whatever you want to cook for yourselves," that they were being rude!

The entire week, they expected me to cook meals for them, put up with their coming and going at all hours, and generally treated our house like a hotel and me like their unpaid servant. After they left, my husband turned to me and said, "You know, I never really disliked that woman -- BEFORE."

Jeannie also endeared herself to my parents when she and Al dropped in to visit them at a time when we were also there. This was outside Chicago in midwinter, and they arrived at the same time as a snowstorm, so we were stuck with them all day even though my father had WARNED them not to come because of the snow. They were also told that Jeannie's tiny rat dog that she called "Poopie" was not welcome because my parents had a very elderly cat that had never had to deal with a dog before, but they brought the stupid thing anyway and because of the snowstorm there wasn't anything we could do about it. Poopie proceeded to snap in my baby's face from inches away and piddle on my mother's kitchen floor. Over Jeannie's protests that "He doesn't mean any harm!" Poopie got exiled to the basement for the rest of their visit. I only wished I could have buried him in a snow bank!

The last time I saw Jeannie was several years later. My by then ex-husband had died unexpectedly at age 40 from an undiagnosed medical condition, and the entire family was in shock. Even though we had been divorced, it was a very civil divorce and we'd stayed friends, and so I brought the kids halfway across the country for their dad's funeral. His dad and brothers were all very nice to me, so it wasn't a problem.

After the funeral, we were all gathered back at his brother's house and I was making polite conversation with Jeannie in the living room. Now, mind you, while not the size 8 I'd been for years and years, I was still only wearing about a size 12 so wasn't exactly fat. Jeannie starts complaining about how she's so gained so much weight and it's just so terrible (if she'd gained more than 5 pounds, I'll eat my hat). In an effort to be polite, I replied, "That's okay, Jeannie, none of us are as slim as we used to be." She looked me up and down and in a really nasty tone replied, "THAT is certainly true!" I just had to laugh about it; to be so rude at a time like that!

Last time I talked to my ex-BIL, he informed me that his dad and Jeannie are now divorced. And to quote him, "Thank God!" <g>

Guests 0914-03

This happened many years ago, when my husband and I were engaged and living together. We received an invitation to a barbecue from my husband's best friend Ron. At the time, Ron was living in an apartment in a two-family house in Queens, NY. We had not seen Ron's apartment prior to the party, and we assumed that he had the use of the back yard for his barbecue.

When we arrived at the house, he ushered us inside and we spent a few minutes chatting while we waited for the other guests. It turns out that there were no other guests -- it was just us and Ron. After about a half hour, Ron told us that it was time to get the grill ready for cooking, and we were delighted because we were hungry. He reached into his closet and pulled out a small hibachi grill and a little bag of charcoal. Then he carried the grill and charcoal down the front steps, but he did not head for the back yard. His rental did not include yard privileges so he decided to cook right in the middle of the city sidewalk. Do you know how close to the ground a hibachi is? Have you ever seen a NYC sidewalk? Believe me, you would not want to eat anything that came close to the sidewalk.

Cars passed by and kicked up dust, stray dogs hung around, and Ron crouched on the sidewalk, poking at the hot dogs he was grilling. My husband just smiled and talked and ate his hot dogs, but he was as appalled as I was. We actually had to sit on the curb with our feet in the street because Ron had no lawn chairs and did not want to sit on his landlord's front steps. Our noses were about level with the bumpers of the cars that occasionally passed by.

One more thing about Ron: When my husband and I got married we invited Ron and a guest to our wedding, which cost $175.00 a person, a lot of money in 1979. We walked from table to table to chat with our guests and when we reached Ron's place, he reached past his date and handed my husband a five-dollar bill and said, "Congratulations". That was our wedding present. Please note that Ron was single, both of his parents were doctors, he worked full time at the Post Office and his parents had a 14-room apartment on Central Park South (for those unfamiliar with NYC, that means that they had big bucks). We're not greedy about presents and it wasn't the amount of the gift that stunned us -- it was the fact that he casually opened his wallet at the table and just handed us the 5-dollar bill. No card, not even an envelope. When Ron got married a few years later, I wanted to give him $5 for a wedding present, but instead we gave him a normal gift and have spent the last twenty years laughing about him.

Guests 0924-03

My husband and I used to be friends with a couple three years younger than ourselves. My husband is military and we live in base housing with two young boys. He's also a jr. enlisted so we don't have a lot of money either. Neither of the couple was employed; they lived with the husband's parents with their little boy.

The night before my oldest son's 2nd birthday, the wife and I went out together to the mall for a very short time, as her husband called saying he'd been called by an old workplace he'd been fired from and asked to work for the night. I was confused and a little suspicious when we arrived at his parents’ home and the husband’s good friends were sitting on the couch and she packed their son up to stay at our house. His parents had cooked a dinner for her but it wasn't made when SHE was hungry so she refused to eat it. She just wanted to come over to my house. I took her back and she mentioned she needed something for her son (diapers, I think) but she was too tired to go anywhere and handed me the $ to get it for her. (never, I was tired and had to get things ready for my son's party the next day) When I came back, I made dinner for myself, my 2 year old and my husband. She came over and planted her nose over what I was making (Plain chicken breast cut into strips for dipping) and said "MMMMMMM that smells good. I'm hungry". I had barely made enough to feed my family and I was very hungry so I gave her half of mine, hoping my 2 year old would have a small appetite that night and I could take his leftovers. He didn't. Then she whined she wasn't full, a couple of times before giving up hope that I'd make something else for her.

The next day we got up and I continued to prepare for my son's birthday party, which would be around 2:00, when I thought he would have risen from his nap. Little did I know my husband would plan to leave for the park an hour and a half early, making a nap impossible. Our friend's husband showed up shortly before it was time to leave for the party. I brought our booster seat for my 6 month old to sit in while we ate so my hands could be free to serve. When we arrived at the park the other girl barely lifted a finger to help me, my husband and her husband set up for the party. Then she picked a fight with her husband for not bringing the high chair for their husband, even though I offered them the booster seat while the baby napped. When it came time for her son to nap she planted herself in the only available seat she'd made herself by removing my son's infant seat to their car. When I wanted to nurse my son in privacy, I was told I could do it in their car as she didn't want to move her (wide awake) son. I could tell the other guests weren't quite sure what to make of this girl. Her husband came over while mine was cooking to ask for the first burger off the grill, as his friend had an accident and needed him to come get him and all their other friends and had to leave his wife and child behind, leaving us to find a way to get her to our home, as he had no idea how long it would take him to get them.

Finally the party was over. My son had managed, despite being tired since his daddy denied him a nap before the party, to open his presents and actually say thank you's. We got a ride for the girl from our very sweet next door neighbor and our two boys passed out before we even put the car in first. When we got home I took my sons to their room. The 2 year old was out so he was no trouble, but the 6 month old was hungry again so I had to nurse him and get him down for a nap. The girl came over and got somewhat huffy that I wasn't helping (she didn't bother to notice that I was trying to get my baby down for a nap) and told her 10 month old son that "Aunt Annie" would watch him. I'd had enough and informed her that Aunt Annie (mind you this girl is NOT my sister, nor is she any relation of mine thankfully) had to take care of her own child and while able to keep an eye on hers, wouldn't be able to stop him from incurring any damage to my home. The girl brought things in from the car and plopped them in the house then plopped herself on my computer and played to her heart’s content while I tried to baby-sit her son as she was ignoring him, put my baby down for a nap and clean up. Finally her husband called around 7pm saying he was way too tired to come get her and his son, could we drive her home? I have never been so happy to drive in my life.

Luckily, as we have cut contact with her and her husband, she will be attending no more birthday parties of my children.

Guests 0917-03

Several years ago, my husband received a call from a couple he’d been friends with in college. They were going to be in our area (they didn’t say why) and wondered if they could stay over at our place. We accepted, of course; we were living on a tight budget and understood how burdensome a motel bill could be. At the time we were living on one modest income in a smallish, 3-bedroom house with our three preschool children. We knew it would be a tight squeeze—especially since our visiting friends had a 3-year-old of their own—but we could put up with anything for a night or two…and hey, it’d be fun to catch up!

Greg and Ally told us they’d arrive at 9:30 or 10 p.m. I made the practical decision to go ahead and put our children to bed at their usual time; late-night visitors would just get them all excited, and I figured it’d be difficult enough to get our guest’s child to sleep in a strange house so late in the evening. We waited and waited, and at almost midnight the visiting family arrived. Although my husband had to be up early for work the next morning, we of course invited our old friends to sit down and visit.

I let them know right away that our children were asleep and that I thought it’d be best if we waited till morning for them to get acquainted with Little Mildred, Greg and Ally’s precocious 3-year-old. But Little Mildred wanted to play, and despite her mother’s instructions to be quiet and to keep away from the children’s bedrooms, it became abundantly clear that Millie was her own boss. Within 15 minutes the boisterous tot had awakened all three of our children, including the youngest, still a babe in arms. We adults continued to visit as best we could, but it was pretty much bedlam. It was after 2 a.m. before everyone got to bed. My husband and I gave our bedroom to our guests and slept (or tried to) on the fold-out couch in the living room. I had fixed up a soft pallet in the floor of the master bedroom for Little Mildred, but apparently the little dear wasn’t too happy with this arrangement: she visited various members of my family during the night, as eager to play at 4 a.m. as she’d been at 10 p.m.

The next day we learned that Greg and Ally were on "vacation," and that their vacation consisted of traveling from home to home of old college friends, hanging out and enjoying whatever amusements each community had to offer. They planned to stay with us "three or four days" (they hadn’t decided for sure). During their stay, they would leave for a short while—sometimes an entire afternoon—to go see some of the local sights with their child, but a good deal of their "vacation" consisted of lounging around our home, both day and night. A certain amount of this we didn’t mind—through rather odd, Greg and Ally were interesting people and we really did enjoy catching up with them. And they weren’t really interfering with our plans all that much—I was a stay-at-home mother, and at that stage in our lives we were basically homebodies because we had tiny kids and very little money. Little Mildred was a bit of a pill, but my kids did enjoy playing with her (after all, they weren’t exactly little angels, either).

But there was the matter of food. Our little family had a strict grocery budget, and eating out was reserved for special occasions only. Serving our uninvited guests a meal or two wouldn’t have been a problem, but Greg and Ally (who were, incidentally, huge eaters and—it must be said—huge people) were joining us for two or three meals a day. Not once did they offer to take us out for a meal or to provide some groceries or grocery money. This struck me as extremely ill-mannered: I could understand needing to beg for lodging, but eating our larder bare seemed to fall decidedly in the category of "sponging." After all, your family has to eat no matter where you are.

The morning of their third full day with us, we were understandably relieved when our friends announced they’d be leaving the next morning. When I mentioned that I’d be going to the grocery store that afternoon, Ally said, "Oh, I’d like to cook dinner to thank you for your hospitality." Finally she was making a move to reciprocate! I gladly accepted her offer. Instead of going to the grocery herself, however, Ally simply added several items to the grocery list I was making. She did cook a nice meal for the eight of us that night, but with ingredients I had purchased and paid for out of our own meager funds.

The next morning, after a hearty breakfast (cooked by me, of course), our guests finally hit the road. He had some nice, bland words for our houseguests as we said good-bye in the driveway, but one thing we sure as heck did not say was, "Come back soon!"

Guests 0925-03

I think this story could be filed under "Ignorant Hosts" in the Guests category. At this point in time it seems pretty funny (actually, I was never offended; I always thought this was amusing).

After my first semester in college (600 miles away) I came home for Christmas break. I was invited over to an old high school friend’s house for a New Years gathering. I decided to go, because I really didn't have any other plans other than crashing in front of the couch and watching TV with the family. At this New Year’s gathering, there was the hostess, me and two other people I had been friends with in High School. We sat around and played the card game Magic - The Gathering. I had never played the game and was pretty clueless about playing it, but I played the best I could. I lost pretty early in the game and sat out and watched (which was fine by me). We played this card game right up until 12:00am when the New Year rolled around. Right about that time, Madison, one of the guests and best friend of the hostess, beat our hostess at the game of Magic, at which point the hostess flew into a rage that her friend beat her at a silly card game.

After howling for several minutes, at approximately 12:05 am she kicked us all out of her house, putting a damper on the New Year because she was a sore loser.

What makes this story better is that this was the same person who after being one of my best friends in middle school, refused to acknowledge me for a year and a half in High School because she and Madison thought I was in Madison's words, "hopelessly immature."

Guests 0927-03

It has been a LONG time ago, but some things you never forget! My story concerns an extended visit from someone that I had once worked with and stayed in touch with over the years. She had divorced and moved with her son (same age as my first son) to live like a hippie in New Mexico. While there, she had several boyfriends and then chose to have a child by a married man. She did not let this man know what she was planning and chose him purely for genetic reasons. Then she went to the town where he lived with his wife and broke the news. It did not break them up, not that she cared; she just wanted them to know. When the boy was born, she named him, giving him the last name of the town he was born in. I think his first name was that of his father.

When the baby, very obese, was quite young, I guess about 6-8 months, she wanted to come back to her former town for a visit. I was married with 2 boys also and lived "in the country", a short distance from a major town. We had a fairly large 2-story house so space was not a problem. At the time, I was a stay-at-home mom, so we said OK. I don't remember how she and the boys got here; they had no transportation, as friends had borrowed her VW camper and wrecked it.

So they move in upstairs, no mention of helping out with food bills, etc., so now we have 3 more mouths to feed and our only income is from my husband's blue-collar job (even though he has a BS in Music, but no ambition). This is in the summer in a central southern state, it is HOT, and we are in a DROUGHT! Every day, we watch the clouds well up in the northwest and drift off to the northeast without a drop for us. There is a bizarre infestation of tiny seed ticks (?) that drop out of the junipers en masse on the back of her oldest son. She takes him into the house and proceeds to de-tick him in the living room!

I have no money to entertain her and the kids, so every day is like this and I am going nuts! Then she tells me that she is "so HORNY"! We set her up on a date with one my husband's workers. He is nice and cute but very shy. He is short, but she is much shorter and cute also. She wears blue jeans and borrows the only top that I have which could even vaguely be described as "sexy". I volunteer to baby-sit and off they go. The baby would not sleep unless I stayed on the bed with him. We were asleep when momma awakens us with the news that I can go now and she will need the bed. It's OK to leave the baby there however. EWWWWW!!!!!!

Guests 0929-03

Hi, Jeanne, love the site. I've got a story that isn't all that bad, but it burns me up because this sort of behavior is so prevalent nowadays.

My friends and I routinely get together for a dinner party at one of our places once a month. Hosting rotates among four people, of which I'm one. We don't get to see each other very often, so having a guaranteed get-together once a month is really welcome, and whoever's hosting usually goes all out on the dinner (lots of good food and lots of wine), so we have a lot of fun at these dinners.

Unfortunately, for the last three dinners, one couple, Dave and Jen, have been arriving late, just as dinner's about to be served, and leaving early, as soon as the dessert plates have been cleared. It feels like they only come for the free food. At the last dinner I hosted, they arrived at 8:00 p.m., even though I'd told them dinner was to be served at 6:30 (and yes, I did hold dinner for them). Then they left at 10:30, even though the party usually goes until well after midnight. (The other guests left at 1:00 a.m.)

Their leaving early wouldn't have bothered me, except they decided they could stay long enough to have dessert (two servings, in fact), even though we waited about an hour after dinner before we were ready to eat dessert.

Even worse, because they didn't want to pay for their cab ride home, they asked my roommate to leave the party to drive them home, even though they had only met him *once* before (at a previous dinner I'd hosted.)

Every time they come over, I feel taken advantage of. I don't know why my friends continue to put up with their behavior: it irritates me to the point that I'm tempted, the next time I host, to make dishes that I know they won't eat. (They're very picky eaters, on top of everything else.)

Guests 1001-03

My roommate from college, who was also a good friend, moved out of the state after college, got married and bought a house. A couple of years ago, she invited me and another friend to stay with her over a weekend, and I eagerly accepted and we made the trip.

From the outside, the house was beautiful. The inside was a different matter. Unwashed dishes were piled up in the sink, and food-crusted dishes were scattered throughout the rooms. There were dirt and muddy footprints all over the kitchen floor. She has two dogs, both of which shed A LOT. Dog hair was everywhere. I sat on the sofa, and my black sweater was immediately covered in white. Two large laundry baskets sat in the living room, overflowing with dirty clothes, underwear and bras. Mere words cannot even describe the state of disarray this house was in. I grinned and bore it, however, because after all, I was invited to stay, free-of-charge. It would be rude to criticize someone who invited me into her home.

But what really made my blood boil was her cavalier attitude about the state of her house. "Oh, I know the place is a mess. I just didn't have time to clean it up before you came," she breezed. Didn't have time? She knew we were coming for two months! How could she "not have time"? Then she said: "And anyways, it was just you guys. I knew you'd understand". Yep, it was "just us". I was revolted, insulted and most of all, angry that she didn't consider us "important" guests, at least not enough to do a little pre-visit clean-up for. I did stay the rest of the weekend, and yes, we're still friends. I never did tell her how insulted I was. I have been invited to stay again, and will see her next month.

However, I've claimed "dog allergies" and have elected to get a hotel room!

Guests 1006-03

After my husband and I moved away from our home town to another state, we offered for our friends and family to "visit anytime". We had many pleasurable visits with friends and family alike as our guests over the years. However, one of the first "guests" we had still leaves me wondering about the nerve of some people.

My friend and her husband planned to visit us and attend a baseball game while in town. My husband and I were not going to attend the game since he had to work but we had several other activities planned for the weekend they would be staying with us. Our guests arrived several hours late with no call to us to let us know that they were safe and indeed on their way. (I had taken a half-day's vacation and they arrived well after I would have been home from work!) We were to go to dinner that night but they didn't want to wait a half hour for my husband to get home from work and opted instead to head to Chik Fil A. Instead of coming back from "dinner" and going with us for coffee and dessert as planned, they made several shopping stops and returned after 9pm. They then informed me that they'd decided to tour the baseball facility the next day instead of going to an event for which I had already purchased tickets. I thought they were coming straight back after the game and waited for them until late in the evening, trapped at my own home because they had no key.

The next morning (a Sunday) I prepared breakfast and they announced at breakfast that they had bought tickets for another game that day! They again left very early to watch the baseball players warm up before the game. This time I was smart enough to give them a key and I left shortly after they did. They didn't want to participate in any activities that evening when they returned because they were too tired from the game and the tour. I had taken a half-day's vacation for Monday but I left them to lock up and hurried to work so I wouldn't waste another half-day vacation! Needless to say, I never invited them back. I wasn't running a hotel!

Guests 1006-03

My parents have a large home and often host events for family and friends. Several months ago they hosted a wedding rehearsal dinner for friends of ours. I was acting as the door keeper as my mother and father were talking to the guests (most of whom we did not know). I answered the door welcomed the woman in and told here where the hors d'oeuvres and drinks were etc. She complimented my parents’ home and then asked "How much did they pay for this"? I was floored!! While I was stumbling around for a polite answer, she proceeded to ask "How many bedrooms", "What is the square footage", "How many bathrooms", "How much land" etc. I could not believe it, ALL before I introduced myself or even knew her name. She then asked to see the house (even before she greeted the newlyweds-to-be). As I showed her the house (what else could I do and still remain polite) she asked me where I lived, how close it was to my parents’ home, the square footage of my house, how much I paid for it and at what interest rate we financed it at!! Needless to say, I politely avoided her for the rest of the evening and as much as I could at the wedding the next day

Guests 1015-03

I have kept in contact with my three good friends from high school, T, R, & L. After graduation, we all went our separate ways to college, T and myself locally, L a few hours away, and R in a neighboring state. Whenever the two travelers came home, we tried to get together for a few hours at least. In the last few years, I have gotten married, T is married with one child and another on the way, and R is widowed with one child (a very sad story), but we are all local. L is several states away in graduate school. So now, whenever L comes home we try and get together.

It's Christmas season 2002 and L will be home from Christmas to New Year's. We plan, via email, to get together on the Saturday after Christmas. I ask if they would like to come to my house as they all live in close proximity to one another and could all drive together, kids included if they wished. T would rather have it at her house (with no particular reason given) even though I live 45 minutes away and would have to drive by myself. We should come around 2pm and we will have pizza for lunch. What should I bring? Nothing, I am told. Regardless, I spend all morning baking cookies to take for dessert. I do not eat lunch as we are having pizza.

I arrive first and graciously hand over my homemade cookies, which are placed in the kitchen. L arrives next with hot garlic bread wrapped in aluminum foil in hand and finally R with her daughter. We say our hellos and are standing around the dining room making small talk as we watch the two young children get acquainted. We proceed to stand around the dining room for the next hour, as we are never asked by our hostess to have a seat or move into the living room.

She finally offers us a drink (the only offer of drinks all day, but no pizza in sight) and says let's sit in the living room. Finally! We sit down and she immediately turns on the TV and starts flipping through channels. One of my pet peeves is having the TV on while trying to have an adult conversation. It distracts everyone and you have to talk over the noise. It was hard enough to talk over the kids.

By this time, I am starving as it is almost supper and I haven't eaten since breakfast. I figure that I just misunderstood and she was planning on eating at suppertime. We continue to talk and play with the kids as I watch the clock hoping that at any minute she will offer something to eat. The entire time her husband is wandering around the house, playing on the computer in a nearby room, and finally joining us in the living room.

At that point, we discover that her husband is on call and could be called into work at any time. He is a train engineer and if they call him, he has two hours to get to his station and he will be gone for 5 days. They figure that he will get called in because of the holidays. We continue to talk and are basically waiting around for him to get called in. At this point, T casually mentions that they are going out for supper in a nearby town if her husband does not get called in. What?!? Where is the pizza?

At 6:30, the call comes and her husband starts to get ready. Of course, we feel obligated to leave so that they can spend an hour together before he leaves for five days and will be gone for New Year's. As we assemble to leave, I go to the kitchen and retrieve my cookies so that everyone can have some "for the road".

We say our goodbyes and as we walk out the door T reminds L not to forget her garlic bread. L probably devoured it on the way home!

I drove away with my stomach about to collapse and stopped at the first restaurant that I could find. I never did ask L or R what their opinion of the day was. I didn't want word to get back to T that she was the worst hostess that I have ever known.

Guests 1031-03

I was visiting my sister in Chicago. When my husband mentioned this fact to his sister, who also lived in the Chicago area, she quickly called and invited us to their apartment for dinner the next night. Although "BB" is not my favorite SIL, I accepted. I asked what we could bring and she suggested a problem.

My sister got off work, took the EL home and we hopped in her car to get out to the 'burbs for dinner. When we got their BB's hubby "AH" answered the door and told us that BB wasn't home from work yet. AH is a complete computer geek and was way too busy watching Star Trek reruns to even speak with us or offer us a drink. AH was then un-employed and yet had made NO attempt at preparing for company. There was cat hair EVERYWHERE in the apartment and the entire apartment was very messy.

Fortunately (I say that with my tongue in cheek) BB was there within about 10 minutes. We asked if we could help with dinner. She said she hadn't really planned anything yet, but thought she had some spaghetti sauce in the pantry and some spaghetti noodles "somewhere". My sister and I proceeded to start supper while BB changed her clothes from work and yelled at her husband. We washed all the pots before using them to cook, even the ones that were "clean".

We ate on the table in the "nook" after AH cleared off dirty computer parts. No one bothered to wipe off the table before we ate, although the cats had been walking all over it. After a sparse (and quickly eaten) meal of salad and spaghetti, we beat a hasty retreat...and stopped for ice cream...laughing hysterically about the whole incident!

Guests 1104-03

I met Sarah at work. We slowly became friends and started hanging out after work. I knew the girl didn't have the best manners when she'd belch in front of strangers and not think twice about it but I had no idea how rude she really was.

On my day off, I got a call from her saying she was in my area and wanted to hang out. So she happened to come by when I was making myself lunch. To be polite I cooked lunch for her too.

Hours passed by and I had an appointment at my gym with a personal trainer. Sarah didn't get the hint it was time to go home so I just let her stay at my house alone until I got back. It was the most intense workout I've ever had and when I got home I was already sore and my body was tired and shaky. We were sitting on the couch when Sarah said to me "You should make dinner now." She already knew what I was making myself for dinner but I was surprised she invited herself to join, let alone tell me when to cook it.

Later I did make dinner and for the second time that day, she stayed. After we ate I was really feeling the effects of my workout and asked Sarah if she could please load the dishwasher to help me out since I could barely stand up (considering the specific diet I was on wasn't cheap and I just fed her twice, I didn't think this was an unreasonable request) she then replied "At home, I have a dishwasher, it's called my mom." I just stood there with my mouth open while she walked out of the kitchen and went and sat at my computer to use my Internet. I was in total awe that someone could be so rude, but unfortunately that wasn't the end.

A day or so later, she dropped by unannounced and proceeded to show me that, when she was at my home the last time, she stole a bracelet of mine and was wearing it that day. I demanded my bracelet back, told her off and never spoke to her again.

Guests 1110-03

A Jewish boy celebrates his bar mitzvah at the age of 13, and a Jewish girl celebrates her bat mitzvah at that age. The occasion is a religious service recognizing that the young person has accepted adult responsibilities within the religious community. The occasion is usually celebrated with a formal party. My daughter attended many such parties during the year when her friends turned 13, and recently celebrated her own bat mitzvah. I fear for the next generation. The manners -- or lack thereof -- I saw among some of her friends surprised me. Several of my daughter's acquaintances, who were not on her guest list, asked for invitations to the party. Several of the people she did invite accepted the invitation, and then called a day or two before the party to tell my daughter they couldn't come after all. One boy had accepted the invitation even though his own sister's sweet 16 party was scheduled for that day -- of course he couldn't be in two places at once, but I wish I'd known that before I finalized my arrangements with the caterer.

One of the bar mitzvah parties last spring was at a lovely restaurant. The parents went to great expense, providing a formal luncheon and dancing (a DJ was hired) in their son's honor. The parents invited their friends and family members, and the son invited a group of his friends as well. I was amazed, therefore, when my daughter came home from the party and informed me that several of the younger guests seriously thought about leaving the party for a short while to go to a nearby arcade to play carnival-type games.

On another occasion, a young lady (we'll call her Tiffany) discovered that her bat mitzvah party would take place at the same time as another bat mitzvah party (we'll call her Sara). There was a group of 4-5 people who were friends with both girls and were invited to both parties. I always thought it was up to the guests to decide which invitation to accept, but Tiffany actively campaigned to have the friends attend her party, and not Sara's.

I can't wait to see what happens 10 years from now, when they all start to plan their weddings.

Guests 1119-03

'Sarah' and I were at university together about 6 years ago but have kept in touch since even though I moved to London and she went to San Francisco with work (she is originally from Northern Ireland). When her contract ended she returned to N. Ireland and started looking for jobs especially in London due to the specialist nature of her field. She was offered a job interview in London (on the Monday) so I invited her to stay at our house and to come for the weekend as we had a lot to catch up on.

So she flew over on the Friday night after work and we collected her from the airport. We were discussing what to do the next day and she said she'd like to do touristy things as, coming from N. Ireland, she didn't get to London very often. I asked her what time she would be up so we could make plans and she claimed 9am, usually. I gulped (a bit early for a Saturday, the only day I get a lie in) but agreed as she'd come a long way and I had lots of exciting things planned. Well, the next day my husband and I slept through our alarm (we'd stayed up late chatting) and at 9.30 sprang out of bed and hurriedly got ready, however, there was no sign of 'Sarah'. At midday we wondered what was going on. By 2pm we thought maybe because we woke up late she had decided to take herself out on her own and forgotten to leave a note. At 4pm she finally got out of bed proclaiming what a wonderful sleep she'd had! I was a bit upset that all our plans were ruined but had used the time to prepare for the dinner party we were holding that night for some of our other mutual friends. It went really well and people finally left at 3am and we crawled into bed.

At 8am the next morning Sarah woke us demanding a lift to the station because she wanted to go out (she is very Christian so we had planned to take her to our church but she decided to go into town instead, despite knowing we were going to church and wouldn't come with her). She got back late that evening and we watched a film and it was nice.

Monday, the day of her interview, I gave her my keys telling her they were my keys as we didn't have a spare set so to please make sure she was home by 5.30 when I got home from work. I got home at 5.30 and the house was all locked up, no one around so I stuck a note on the door and went next door for a cup of tea with my neighbour. I had bought ingredients for dinner which I had to borrow my neighbors' fridge for. By 7.30 I was getting worried as she wasn't answering her mobile and I knew her interview had been at 10.30, I worried she had got lost on the way home. She turned up at 7.45 with no apologies and a takeaway for herself only, I was astounded. Who, when they're a guest, buys only herself a takeaway without checking on their hosts' plans first?? I cooked dinner for my husband and myself only and we ate it with her just sitting watching us as she'd already eaten.

She was due to fly home the next day but in the night became exceedingly ill and wasn't well enough to leave so we told her to stay as long as she needed. During the extra 4 days she stayed she spent the entire time watching films (fair enough, what else is there to do?), except that if we arrived home from work whilst one was playing she refused to acknowledge us until it was finished, however long it had left to play. She even shushed us if we dared to speak whilst she was watching something. She also turned our alarm clock off causing us to oversleep one morning and my husband to miss an important meeting and get reprimanded at work. Apparently it had been going after we left one morning (it automatically switches itself off so we just leave it) so she had gone into our bedroom and just pressed every button in sight until it went off, also deactivating our alarm.

When she left on the Friday we both breathed a sigh of relief. We're still friends and have never mentioned this visit again.

Since this time we have now had a spare set of keys cut, make sure to turn our alarm off if we have guests and when people stay make sure they know our meal plans!

Guests 1219-03

When I was young, my whole extended family got along and was friendly with each other. Over the years, however, my mother's sister and her husband have demonstrated repeated shocking behaviors that have set a wedge in our family, eventually separating holidays into the groups that visit 'Us' and the groups that visit 'Them'. Five years ago, when this was all pretty much starting up, an aunt of mine called to relate one of these stories, and to explain why they would no longer ever be visiting my mother's sister's side of the family again. This is really her story.

Uncle Tom and Aunty Betty came from the era in which Uncle Tom was a Korean War vet. This is important because Tom was something of a war hero, and pretty much an untarnished man. He lived a clean, quiet, respectable and stoic life. "Walk quietly and carry a big stick" was the embodiment of Tom. I've never in my life seen much emotion come out of him. Betty was a -very- typical woman of the age. Sweet, demure, and very much a housewife/mother.

Five years ago, my mom's sister's husband invited Tom and Betty to stay at their winter condo in Colorado for the holidays. This was one 'tactic' he frequently used to "get family on his side". It also made for nice house-sitting. In any event, Tom and Betty thankfully agreed and drove up to their condo from Texas in early December. One week before Christmas, Mom's sister called saying they were on their way to the cabin, and Tom and Betty had to leave. Somewhat shocked, Betty asked how much time they had, and got the reply "just a few hours, we're at the airport now". A little shell-shocked, but still the obliging type, Tom and Betty began to clean up the condo in preparation to leave.

A few hours later Sis and her husband arrive, get out of the car, and immediately begin to try and hurry them along. Feeling more and more embarrassed, Betty is now frantically packing. Unfortunately, some of their clothes were in the process of being washed and dried. As Tom tries to help, he walks thru the kitchen and into the garage to find a load of their clothes heaped, WET, on the hood of their car. Quietly, he folded them up, put them in a trash bag, and put that bag in a suitcase. Betty, walking in on this scene, then became frantic that Tom was going to lose his temper. The embarrassment and shame meter pegged, the two relatives throw everything else in Tom's truck haphazardly, and beat a hasty retreat into the car and away from the house. Several blocks down the road, without anything being said, Tom slams on his brakes, skids the truck thru the snow over to the side of the road, gets out, and commences pummeling the front driver's side quarter panel of the car bare fisted and screaming obscenities as Betty broke down crying in the car for quite a while. Finished, he then got back into the car, put some gloves on his now bloody fists, and announced to Betty that he would 'never speak of this, nor see those two evil people again in this lifetime'. And that was the last of it for him.

That Christmas, Uncle Tom and Aunt Betty spent Christmas Eve at our house. Tom's hands were wrapped in bandages, but he ignored any questions as to why. I got a glance at his truck, when nobody else was outside. The damage to the quarter panel was real and very intense.

Uncle Tom passed away a year ago. Fortunately, my mother's sister and her husband didn’t attend the funeral. After the funeral, Aunt Betty said, about the incident, to my mother the most mortifying summation I can, personally, imagine. She said that Tom had confided in her afterwards that, "Of all the humiliating and embarrassing things I've experienced in my life, that was by far the worst." This is especially sad because Tom spent time as a POW during the Korean War.

Guests 1224-03

First, I am 20, and I live with my mother and her boyfriend. We will refer to the boyfriend as "Grouchy D."

Grouchy D has never been a very personable human being, but for whatever reason, my mother likes him. Today, Christmas, this happened.

I was sitting on the couch talking with my cousin, whom I rarely see, but enjoy her company, as does everyone else in the family, except for Grouchy D, who is not technically family; though we try to include him, he certainly doesn't make much effort to participate. My cousin's husband was standing near the kitchen table. Small house, so couch and kitchen table are certainly within a distance to carry on a conversation. Grouchy D grabs the coats belonging to my cousin's family, drops them in the middle of the floor, and tells them "Go put that ('that' being a dessert of some kind) in the car, and get out of here." This was completely out of the blue. I was shocked. Grouchy D had been known for acting gruff, but never anything like that.

But that's not the end of it. I told my mother, who was not witness to the shocking behavior, and she asks Grouchy D about it. He comes in the den and says to me, "I never said anything like that." Basically trying to make me look like a liar. Then he goes to bed at 7pm and hasn't said a word to anyone yet.

Guests 1225-03

"Mindy" is one of my close friends from college. We both ended up getting jobs in a nearby major city upon graduation, but we live on totally opposite sides of town. One night, Mindy says that she is going to be on my side of town on a dinner date and she was off work the next day, so could she possibly spend the night at my apartment. Not a problem at all, I was actually looking forward to it because we hardly ever hang out anymore. Well, she calls me after dinner and says that the date was fantastic and she was on her way to my house. Lo and behold, the date is obviously not over because she shows up at my door with her dinner date in tow. The guy seems nice enough, but I am still not particular about this stranger being here especially since she failed to mention on the phone that he was coming.

Long story short, they are having a good time talking on my sofa (mainly about the date, so I obviously couldn't contribute anything substantial to the conversation). I excuse myself to get ready for bed as I am dead tired. I bring her a pillow and a blanket to sleep on and remind her to lock the front door when she gets ready to go to sleep, assuming that her date was going to be leaving soon. She agrees.

Anyway, after sleeping for a couple of hours, I wake up to take a trip to the restroom. In my drowsiness, I thought I heard a thud in the living room. On the way to the restroom I peek into the living room and Mindy and her date are having SEX on my living room floor! Not only that, but they have taken the liberty to turn the room into a love den complete with MY candles, MY incense, and soft music from MY CD collection! Words can't even describe the horror. I demanded that the guy leave immediately. Mindy felt bad and was extremely apologetic. I have never looked at her the same way again.

Guests 1226-03

When my sister-in-law, who is seven or eight years younger than my husband, graduated from high school back in 1996, she sent an invitation to, among others, my older sister and her husband. Now, it became clear during our wedding three years prior that there was mutual dislike on the parts of my sister and my in-laws, so it seemed odd that "Shandra" would invite a married couple comprised of someone she didn't like and someone she hardly knew to her graduation. I figured it was just a bid for gifts, especially when my sister told me the invitation was addressed to "Susan and Larry". The problem? Their names are "Susan and JOE"!!! Yikes! I still cringe when I think about it!

Guests 1111-03

I have many horror stories about being a vegetarian in a carnivore's world. But my favorite story is short and sweet:

A (very close) friend called and invited my husband and me to a barbecue he was hosting at his home. Right before hanging up, he added, "Be sure and bring something you can eat!"

Guests 1125-03

Page Last Updated May 15, 2007