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House guests, party guests, Ignorant hosts

2000 Archive

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Two highlights of the year I had living with 2 roommates (one of which was my best friend) in a neighborhood where it was safer to walk down the alley rather than the street. But I digress. One night we had a party and a lot of people showed up. My friend and I knew pretty much had the same friends, but our other roommate had friends we didn't know, and vice versa. So, it never occurred to any of us to question the presence of one person there who's behavior was a tad odd. Trust me when I say that we were a bit wild back then, so if we deemed someone as being weird, believe me, he was really weird. He kept making the rounds introducing himself to people saying "My name's Bob, B-O-B as opposed to BABA" with a very strange affect. Gradually, it dawned on all three of us that something had to be done about this guy as he was starting to creep everyone out, and we (the roommates) had a confab in the kitchen. It started out with me asking our third roommate who the hell was this guy, and he answers "I don't know him, I thought you knew him." "We don't know him we thought you knew him........" After we stopped laughing we kicked him out and he went peacefully on his way into the night.

Story 2) Same townhouse, same roommates (it was an interesting year.) Our third roommate would occasionally bring some friends home after my other roommate and I had gone to bed, but it was never a problem until one particular night. On this memorable evening I was getting ready for bed when all of a sudden I heard two women literally fighting with each other down the hall from my room. Figuring they were drunk as all get out I wanted no part of this altercation, and promptly locked my door (why and how they were upstairs I don't know.) Unfortunately my door wasn't as impenetrable as I thought it was, because all of a sudden these temporarily insane women crashed through my door nearly knocking me over, and now there were three of us fighting. Or should I say I was fighting with them to get them out of my bedroom while they continued to beat the living hell out of each other, pausing now and again to take a swing at me. Meanwhile I was screaming for my male roommate to get up here and get these psychos away from me, when finally both my roommates came to the rescue. I never did find out what they were fighting about.



No horror story here but just something to avoid frustration on the part of the host & hostess and the guests. My MIL moved a couple states away last year and recently came to visit for the first time. Always before she was close enough to come for just a few hours. My husband and I have been married for 18 yrs so my MIL and I have known each other a long time and get along well. 

Dec. is a very busy time of year at my husband's job and I just started a new job so neither of us were going to be able to take more than 1 day off during her visit. I wanted to make sure that there was plenty of things for her to eat while we were gone to work all day and she is a diabetic so I asked her what kind of foods she would like to have on hand. She told me that anything that we normally had would be fine. Since she wouldn't narrow it down I bought a huge variety of things. Everything from bacon & eggs to cold cereal (3 types) for breakfast and lots of stuff for sandwiches, green salad & macaroni salad for lunch. I even made a big batch of homemade soup, a big roast and potato casserole so that she could heat them in the microwave and have something hot without much work. When she arrived I told her that our home was her home and she should help herself to anything there was. I wasn't saving anything and if she wanted it she should go ahead and eat it. 

Well, after a couple days it was clear that she wasn't eating much of anything while we were gone. I had my husband tell her again that she could eat anything in the house. The next evening she called her daughter while I was making dinner and when she said goodbye I heard her say that she had to go because dinner was almost ready and she hadn't had anything but a roll for breakfast and she was really hungry. The next night we took her to the grocery store and asked her what she would like us to buy. Again she says that whatever we normally buy is fine. My husband explained that we didn't want her to go hungry and that she needed to tell us what she wanted. She just kept saying that anything was fine. So basically, she starved herself for 2 weeks in a house FULL of food. I find it hard to believe that she didn't eat because she didn't like anything I had, simply because I had so many different things. Maybe she just didn't feel comfortable in someone else's kitchen but no one else was there and I had told her to make herself at home. I don't know what the problem was and that makes me dread her next visit because I don't know what to do to fix it. 

The moral of this story that I would like your readers to take away is to tell people of your likes and dislikes regarding food. There is a limit to how demanding you should be but especially if you have a special diet, like a diabetic, you should tell your hostess what you would like. It's very disconcerting to have someone starving in your home but they won't tell you what they want to eat. Also, if someone tells you to make yourself at home, relax and do it.



I'm not sure where this story goes or if its even gruesome enough but I wanted to share the tale of the night my husband and I went to dinner with Mr. and Mrs. M.

My husband and Mr. M. worked together and Mr. M had a side business that my husband had been helping him with. As a gesture of thanks (really very nice of him) he and his wife wanted to take us to dinner.

We arrived at the M. household on time and rang the bell. No answer. Rang again and stood looking at one another. Finally, one of the M. children answered the door and we were admitted entrance to the house. There we stood, awkwardly, with no adults around, as their child watched TV. Eventually Mrs. M. came into the kitchen and we walked over to meet her (we had to go to her as it was clear she was not going to come and invite us away from the door herself) and attempted to talk to her. She never offered to take our coats or to have a seat and needless to say no manner of refreshment was offered. She wasn't exactly rude, but it was like pulling teeth making conversation. I steeled myself for a loooong evening.

Mr. M. finally made his appearance and we went outside to leave for the restaurant and Mr. M. announces to us that we will be driving. We all pile into our car and begin the drive to the restaurant.

Now, I don't know how to describe this next part without being too graphic or too gross so I will try to be as delicate as I can. Lets just say Mr. M. apparently had a sinus drainage problem that caused him to sort of make this huge sucking sound (I cannot call it a sniff as that implies a level of discreetness not at all in evidence here) as he pulled the drainage back into his head. It was a loud, gurgling, mucusy sound that was wholly unappetizing and horrible. (My husband later told me his secret nickname at work was "Oyster.")

So we arrive at the restaurant and have dinner which was actually not unpleasant. Mrs. M. had warmed up and we engaged in an almost normal conversation. Except that Mr. M. had an unfortunate and rather obnoxious habit of saying loudly and often, "You miss my point! You miss my point!" as if we were rather stupid. Anyway, dinner and the ride home passed pleasantly enough and we were soon back at the M. household where they quickly said goodbye, exited our car and entered their house. No invitation inside - not that I was all that disappointed.

It wasn't that any one thing they did was all that terrible or shocking (except the snorking sound), I'd just never encountered people with so little to work with in the way of social graces. Although my husband and Mr. M. worked for the same employer for a few more years, my husband found Mr. M. increasingly irritating and we never socialized with them again.


My four year old daughter was invited to a birthday party for a little boy in our neighborhood. The invitation was sent about two weeks before the party, and I really wanted to attend, but being relatively new to the area, I was unable to find a babysitter I was comfortable with for my two older daughters, who were ten and eleven at the time. I didn't want to leave them alone all I called my neighbor and gave her my regrets.   When I explained the situation, she insisted that her son really wanted my daughter there, and said that my two older girls were welcome to attend. I told her I thought they might feel uncomfortable at a party that was for little kids, and I didn't want to impose on her.....but my neighbor told me that there would be some children their age there, as her son had older cousins. She assured me they were welcome to attend, and repeated how much it meant to her son to have my daughter there......

 Finally I agreed to come. I brought a gift that was a little more expensive then I usually bring to a child's birthday party because I felt that since all three of my children were going, it was only right.

The party was huge....tons and tons of little kids and quite a few older ones and adults as well. Everything was beautifully decorated, and there was a lot of delicious food.

It was near Easter and one of the games they had was an Easter egg hunt. All the children were given bags and told to come to one spot when the hunt began.....all, that is, except my two older girls. They were told that the Easter egg hunt was only for the little ones.....which was fine with me, and perfectly understandable.......until I noticed that all of the other older kids had bags. I began to look around and noticed that my two were the ONLY kids not given bags for the Easter egg hunt. I tried to tell myself that possibly they were the oldest ones there and that is why they weren't being included, but I noticed a couple of kids who looked to be at least fourteen  holding bags.  I thought....well maybe she only bought enough bags for the invited guests, and since mine were sort of an afterthought, they were unprepared...but then I spied a stack of extra bags on the table.

 It was obvious to me and my kids they were the only ones left out....but they were pretty cool about it....Not wanting to miss the fun, they volunteered to help some of the really tiny kids hunt for their eggs so they would get as many as the older, more ambitious kids. There were TONS of eggs.....and my four year olds bag was loaded and she shared with her sisters.  The rest of the party went well, with face painting, and crafts, and my older girls helped the little ones with so their parents could enjoy the party. They did a wonderful job with the face painting and the hostess thanked them profusely. Many of the guests complimented me on my well behaved girls, who were such a big help.........but when it came time for cake, my children were asked by the hostess to wait until everyone else (including the adults) had cake before they got a piece. Their faces just fell....This was totally was a VERY large cake....(there was almost half a cake left over.)

To add insult to injury, there were goodie bags for everyone.....even the teenagers.......with the exception my two older children.

Why did she tell me they were welcome and then make them feel so UNwelcome? I just don't get it.  I think it was really rude .Guests0208-04


My DH works for a fairly large company, but his branch consists of only seven people. Every year for Christmas the local branch has a party at the same upscale restaurant. Spouses are welcome/expected to attend this gathering. Also, let me add here that there is no pre-set "party menu". You are welcome to order anything off the menu, including alcohol. 

Well, there is a nice but rather unpolished man in this office. Despite his lack of polish, he has never been anything but polite in my presence. His wife is the problem. At the most recent party she committed two rather large etiquette sins in my book. It didn't start out that badly. She mentioned that her daughter was going to have to have more surgery. (Her daughter has numerous health problems and is wheelchair bound). Someone politely asked, "Is it anything serious? Will she be alright?" At this point, this woman began an in-depth discussion about her daughter's INCONTINENCE problems. All of this as we are trying to enjoy a lovely main course. At one point, due to the green facial color several people were developing, my husband's boss told her that was enough and that she was making people sick. 

The last straw happened just as we were all leaving. The office secretary was writing a check from petty cash to cover the cost of the meal (easily $1000). The same woman then comments "Well, since the check has been paid I'll just take these bottles of wine." (There were several unopened bottles of wine on the table as part of the decorations.) Our waiter heard her and explained that "No ma'am, I'm sorry those weren't included on the check." I found out from my husband the restaurant called asking for their $150 the next day to cover the cost of the wine that SHE HAD TAKEN AFTER BEING TOLD IT WASN'T PART OF THE CHECK. She later tried to blame the secretary's husband saying he had taken them, but had given them to her in the parking lot!!! Something tells me the company may change which restaurant they use this year - if they throw a party at all after that!!


I was amazed I had one story to contribute to your site, which is now proudly in the Bosses from Hell section, but now I have a second.  This is about the guest from hell.   My daughter is in High School.  One of her friends, Christa, really did not get along with her mother.  She had just graduated from high school and was taking classes at the local college and working part time.  She had babysat for us on occasion and we liked her.  

Well, one day our oldest comes to us and says that Christie's mother has thrown her out and asked if she could stay with us for a while.  My husband and I talk about it and decide that the kid is nice enough, and with a few shufflings (we are a family of 7) we can manage it.  We tell Christa that she can share a bedroom with our oldest and the house rules.  We had told her that this was just temporary, she was to keep looking for another place to live because out house was already so crowded.  At first we had discussed telling her 3 months, but that put it right at the end of the holidays so we told Christa she had 4 months to find some place else to live, at the end of that time she had to leave.  We came to an agreement on rent and all other minor details.  I figured this wouldn't€™t be a problem, so many people in the house already, what's one more.  Big Problem!!!

First, she never paid her rent on time.  It was really more of a token payment as it didn't even cover the increase in our electric and gas bills.  But, we would have to ask for it every month.  Then, she broke things.  With all of the kids we have we don't have a lot of money for extras.  One of the things I got when my grandmother died was an 8 cup measuring cup that I loved.  Something I would never buy for myself.   She broke this, never apologized, never even told me, one of my other children ended up telling me about it.  

Christa never cleaned up after herself.  I was constantly digging her socks out of the couch cushions and asking her to please use a coaster or not to leave bags of popcorn on the couch overnight.  She would take over the TV from the younger kids like she owned the place causing quite a few hard feelings among the younger children who were told to be nice to Christa.  Things also started disappearing, a good cooling rack, my make-up, and other things that don't cost a lot, but I really don't have the money to replace on a whim.  Then we find out that she helped our oldest daughter to skip school by calling in to the school and saying she (Christa) was me and that my daughter had a doctor's appointment.  

Finally the end of January comes and we let Christa know she has to be out.  She waits until the last day to finally start calling around and trying to find a friend to put her up for a few days.  She finally leaves, without ever paying us January's rent.

To top it all off January's phone bill came, and there is a 90 minute long distance phone call on it that cost $25.  No one else could have made the call but her.  I told my husband and daughter, never again!!!


My story is about in-laws dropping in and expecting me to give up my plans to entertain them. These visit happen in a two day notice. They are usually traveling to FL. They use my house as a DEW DROP INN. On there way back to there northern home they stop again expecting dinner and entertainment. What is the best way to tell these traveling people I do not run a hotel.


My Bat Mitzvah was in 1990.  A baby photo of me was blown up to poster size and surrounded with thick white matting, to be put on display at the evening party.  The guests then wrote messages on the matting with black markers.  You'd think we'd have known better than to have the photo out there with a bunch of 12-and-13 year old boys - by the end of the night, my baby face had a moustache and glasses drawn on it.  (The culprit's mother paid for a replacement photo.)   


I was spending the summer with my sister - quite a few years back now. Her husband was in the armed forces and away most of the summer so I went out to work there and had fun keeping her company. The summer was great until ... her sister in law arrived for a visit. Lets call her .... oh something polite for a change - Ethel!   Ethel arrives, virtually unannounced to stay for a "brief" visit. Turned into two weeks of torture. She is a chain smoker, my sister and I don't smoke. She insisted it was rude not to let her smoke in the small apartment. Okay. Strike one. Every time we turned our backs she lit up.

 She wouldn't pay for anything. And I mean anything (you'll see later how extreme this was), and expected my sister to pay for her to get into all the touristy things. After all she was the guest wasn't she.  Oh... and she expected my sister to drop what she was doing and take her around the city. Strike two. My sister spent a fortune on this witless gob.   Now comes the big finish. Ethel is getting ready to leave and fly home. Big relief all around. She finally leaves and my sister and I discover the biggest lack of well... we were speechless. An hour after Ethel left, I went into the bathroom - it was that time of the month for both my sister and I. Opened up the bathroom cupboard and ... yup... Ethel cleaned us out of all our sanitary products. I mean ALL! Not a couple (could have understood taking some) but every pad, every tampon, everything. 3 empty boxes sat in the cupboard.  How's that for class.

I won't even get started on the Turkey leg incident that occurred years later, the yappy, peeing dog she acquired later, her boorish and crass behavior at my sister's funeral 2 years ago (lets just say I very firmly pointed out to her, we were grieving and did NOT want a family reunion - complete with numerous people we didn't really know, booze and lots of loud conversation - in our living room so please leave), nor were we willing to baby-sit her very dysfunctional granddaughter while she went out that night.   I'll leave that for future installments.



I offered to throw my friend Candy a baby shower for her second child. Her first child had been born without lungs, so he was stillborn. She and I have been very good friends since she was a freshman and I was a junior in high school, and we had a lot of the same friends. Her husband's grandmother offered her house for the shower because she has a big living room and kitchen and we were expecting between 20 and 30 people. I sent out invitations with maps and phone numbers and asked those who could make it to please RSVP. I had about 25 people call and RSVP. I came up with 6 or 7 different games and I even bought awesome prizes to give out for the games. Only 7 people showed up. I had food, cake, punch, favors, and games/prizes for the 25 people who said they were going to come. I felt bad for my friend, since most of the no-shows were her family. In the end, we played all the games (everyone won at least one prize) and we ate a lot of food, and she did get some nice things for the baby. I just think that if someone RSVP's for anything they should call if they are going to be unable to attend. That is just common courtesy.



Reading the many stories on your site reminded me of my first, last, and only visit to my Aunt and Uncle's home. I was a nineteen-year-old student working almost full time at a variety of jobs to help pay my way through university. Making ends meet was tricky at best most of the time.

One of my aunts spent most of the big Thanksgiving visit with the grandparents that year inviting me to come visit her family for a long weekend that winter and teach my cousin to ski (one of my jobs in the winters was as a ski-instructor). She lived about a five hour drive from my university, so just making the trip wasn't trivial once I counted in time off work and gas money. My mother also quietly warned me that there's a reason nobody in the family visits them. I declined several times on the grounds of needing to work -- especially busy holiday weekends -- to make ends meet and not being able to afford the trip.

My uncle jumps in reminding me how much the cousin loves me and really wants to learn to ski. I suggest lessons. They say she tried group ones, but they didn't work and she's too shy to deal with a stranger one on one. Still, finances don't work. The pair of them finally realize I'm a poor starving college student worried about money (which is a rather foreign concept for them as they are quite comfortable financially). They repeatedly assure me that money isn't an issue here. They'll take care of everything and pay me my usual rate for lessons to make up for missing work. So I agree to make the trip on the indicated weekend -- mostly because I adore the cousin.

Having no Friday afternoon classes that semester, I arrived at their house around seven in the evening rather tired and in need of rest. I'd hit rush hour in a nearby city, it was snowing, and it had not been a fun drive. They greeted me warmly. I give them a small hostess gift I'd knit for them. They just looked at it funny, told me to toss my things in the guest room upstairs, and that I could find sheets and things in the closet. I got into the room to find a stripped bare bed, make it up from the things in the closet, and freshen up a bit.

When I got back downstairs they informed me that they're hosting a dinner party that night for some friends. Okay. Not ideal in my current mood and I didn't bring dinner party clothes, but I figure I can paste on a bright smile and go with it. Then they inform me that I'm not invited and I'll need to steer clear of the house from then until at least eleven. They suggest places I can go like clubs and restaurants.

I'm flabbergasted, but attempt to beg off that I'm too tired after the trip. Could I just rest and maybe do a little studying in the guest room? Absolutely not. It would be rude for me to be in the house and not at the party, but it's an exclusive rotating dinner party thing they do with this group of friends and they can't invite me. Cousin is staying with a friend and I must go out for the night.

Like an idiot, out I go. Hungry and not wanting to spend much money on clubs or restaurants, I grab a small baguette and some cheese from the grocery store, eat it in the car, and find a book store with a coffee shop to haunt for the night. Of course the store closes at ten and I wind up with nothing to do for the last hour but park somewhere and read by the dome light in my car.

Finally back at the house, they inform me we're going skiing the next two days and I should be up and ready by six. The next morning they rush me out the door without breakfast because they were running late and wanted to get there when the slopes opened. They assure me we'll stop for breakfast. We do. At an expensive bakery where they order a bunch of things and don't even ask what I want. After they pay, the aunt turns to me and informs me that everything is good so I should get whatever tickles my fancy. Gee, maybe not having to spend ten bucks to get a pastry and coffee for breakfast? What about that covering everything bit? I hedge that this is a bit out of my price range and Uncle informs me it's less than the food will be at the mountain. I buy the least expensive thing I can find and ask for a cup of water. Aunt sniffs as I join them at the table and makes some pithy comment about how she can't believe that's all I'm having. The urge to strangle grows in intensity.

We get to the mountain. Shocker of shockers, their family membership doesn't include cousins. My uncle argues with the management for quite some time and then turns to me and says, "Well, I guess you're just going to have to pay for your own lift ticket." My jaw drops. I stammer for a long moment and try to politely get across the notion that I wasn't expecting to spend that money nor can I afford it. I hadn't even brought enough funds along to buy lift tickets and have enough gas money for the return trip.

My uncle looks at me incredulously and says they thought the membership would cover it and they didn't intend to pay for it either -- especially after they were already paying me to instruct. Now, I rode with them and have no transport for the hour drive back to the house. It's apparently either buy the lift ticket or sit all day and disappoint my cousin who'd been excitedly emailing me for weeks about the trip. Like an idiot, I dug into my meager stash of money and pay for the lift ticket with most of the funds I had on hand.

I spent an enjoyable morning getting my cousin comfortable on the slopes and used to moving on skis. We actually had a great time together. She's a fantastic kid. Shame about the parents.

Lunchtime comes. I have literally five dollars in crumpled bills in the bottom of my wallet and some random change. There's no ATM. I hesitantly explain this to the parental units and request payment for the lessons as agreed. Recall they were going to pay my normal hourly rate. Aunt passes over ten bucks.

That, um, no. Just no. That does not get you a full day of private lesson time. Not at my mountain. Not at any mountain anywhere.

I explain my normal hourly rate. She indignantly declares that a total rip-off and says she gets group lessons for ten dollars a day as part of their family membership. And this has what to do with our agreement? Give me the couple thousand dollar membership fee and I'll work for ten bucks a day, too. Cousin pipes up that mom wouldn't pay for private lessons at the membership rate either because it was too much. Apparently somebody wasn't as shy as reported.

At this point I realize there's just no point in trying to deal rationally with these people. I take my ten bucks and get myself some tea, soup, and a big stack of crackers. Aunt again makes a remark about how little I'm eating. My violent fantasies move from strangulation to beheading.

As soon as I can possibly get away, I take the cousin out for a pleasant afternoon teaching her Stem Christie turns and getting her off the bunny hill and onto the beginner slopes. The group lessons must have been lousy because the kid picks it all up very quickly. She's also very gracious and thanks me several times for all the help. Apparently being dumped on my mother for the summer had taught the kid some manners because she apologizes for her parents' behavior and hopes I'm not mad at her. Yes, the eight year old completely outclassed her parents. I praised her heavily for it, too.

So, homeward we go. Yes, we stop at the bakery again on the way home. No, they don't pay for anything for me. I order nothing. Aunt mocks again. Cousin gives me half of hers claiming not to be very hungry. Bless the kid. I was starving after such a workout.

We get back to their place and I just start packing. The aunt and uncle can't believe I'm leaving. I'd agreed to spend two days giving the kid skiing lessons. I point out that I'd expected to have my lift tickets covered and be paid my normal rate. They call the rate ridiculous. I apologize, but insist that I simply can't afford to miss this much work and spend another sixty dollars on a lift ticket the next day.

They indignantly insist that I get the fun of skiing. Oh, yea. A day of bunny slope and beginner trails with an eight year old neophyte in tow is a ski instructor's idea of a fun day skiing. I love the kid dearly, but that was work. The good kind of work, but work nonetheless. Also, I have a staff pass at my mountain and don't normally have to pay for the fun of skiing.

They throw a hissy fit that I promised and cousin will be hurt. Ha! Cousin the non-shrinking violet got the big picture better than her parents did. I promise to assure cousin I'm leaving for reasons having nothing to do with her personally.

Acting very put out, they grudgingly offer to pay for my lift ticket the next day if I'll just stay. They don't want to disappoint cousin and since I'm being so difficult about it, they'll split the unexpected lift ticket cost with me. Since cousin is so great and I'm not likely to be able to pick up hours at work on no notice anyway, I stay. More the fool am I.

They insist on going out to dinner that night. There's a long awkward moment where I get the impression they're expecting me to pick up the check. I don't. I imagine their heads exploding instead.

Sunday: Make ordeal out of paying for lift ticket? Check. No breakfast at home? Check. Stop at expensive bakery twice? Check. No help with lunch? Check. Cousin caught onto this, orders big and practices sharing? Check. Seething parents at her antics? Check. Make mental note to self to do something wonderful for the kid when I get a chance? Check. Wonder how strong acid would have to be to disintegrate these people? Check.

Just when I think it's over, they have plans for Sunday night. Just the parents. Another dinner party with the exclusive friends at somebody else's house. They point at a folder of take-out menus and tell me the kid loves pizza. Then they bolt before saying another word leaving me to baby-sit for the night. Did they leave money to buy the kid her pizza? No. Do I have more than a couple crumpled bills in the bottom of my wallet after buying a few cups of tea at the mountain? Nope. Is there food in the house I could use to make dinner instead of buying it? Unless I want ketchup and soy packets on some moldy bread, nope. Convince self doing time for murder really isn't worth it even if it would keep the crazy people away from the perfectly nice kid? Yup ... barely.

I slap on a smile, load the kid in my car, and go searching for an ATM in the unfamiliar town. Luckily I'd remembered seeing one near the book store. I empty some funds out of my meager bank account and take the kid out for pizza. What else can I do? Not feed her? Abandon her and go back to university? None of this was the kid's fault. She seemed downright mortified that this was happening at all and kept apologizing for her idiot parents. And how bad does it have to be if a third grader is mortified by their parents' lack of class?

We actually have a fun night out at a thankfully inexpensive and pretty decent pizza place the cousin suggested. We got lost a few times trying to find it since she only knew it was near her school and didn't quite have the directions thing down, but all part of the adventure. The cousin and I still laugh about having to ask a guy in a clown suit for directions. We still don't know what was up with the clown suit either. There wasn't exactly a circus or kid's birthday party nearby.

The next morning, the idiot Aunt and Uncle inform me they have a hockey game. They're going to take cousin and pick up breakfast on the way. I'm supposed to tag along and try to get an extra ticket. I cut my losses and develop a sudden deep desire to make it back to university before the library closes.

A few days later, my mother calls. Apparently the Aunt called her to complain that I visited for the long weekend, took advantage of their hospitality, didn't help out with anything, and stuck them with the check when I took them out to dinner!

And they wonder why nobody in the family likes to visit them.



My parents and I first met the fiancée of one of my uncles when I was in high school. They came from the state they were living in to visit all of my uncle's relatives in our state. On Christmas Day, at the home our my parents and I, my uncle's fiancée asked my father if she could use the telephone. Uncle's fiancée neglects to mention she wants to use the phone to direct-dial a long-distance call, so of course my father said yes. My dad didn't really stop to think that there wasn't really anyone she knew in the local calling sphere that she'd absolutely have to call on Christmas Day, or that she'd try to stiff us on a phone call. 

But, lo and behold, when the phone bill encompassing Christmas Day arrives, there's a charge for a call for something like 20 minutes to where we were able to figure out was the number at the home of Uncle's fiancée's mum. As I mentioned, she made a general request to use the telephone, and I think most people would agree that when you're a social guest in someone's home (especially when you're meeting someone for the first time), being granted a general request to use the phone is permission to make a local call only-- not a toll call, or not to get some other service that might cost money, like directory assistance. 

And, surprise-- neither Uncle, nor Uncle's Fiancée ever offered up, "Hey, let us know what the charge is when the bill comes in," or, "Here's some money for the call, if you find it's not enough, let us know." My parents and I were busy visiting with our other guests at the time, so my dad had no idea who she was talking to or for how long. I had no idea she'd used the phone until I happened to go into the kitchen (can't remember now what I even went in there for) and I happened to see her hang up the phone, and my mom didn't know she'd used the phone until the bill arrived. My parents initially chewed me out, and said they were going to give me a list of extra chores because I had a number of pen pals at the time, and they thought I had called one of my pen pals.



I saw an e-mail sent from my uncle to my parents, stating that he and his wife were going to be coming in a few weeks to the area that we live to attend my uncle's 20-year high school reunion, and to have a short reunion because of their 10-year wedding anniversary. Granted I'm not psychic, but I got the impression from the way the e-mail was worded that the e-mail was sent more to scope us out for a free place to stay in the event that their friend they were planning on staying with flaked out, and a free ride from the airport, again in the event their friend bailed on them. 

Just minutes before boarding their first leg, and only about three hours before they were going to need to be picked up at the airport, my uncle drops on us that we're going to have to pick them up at the airport, and that we're going to have to put them up for all nights except the night of the reunion, because,  SURPRISE, their friend didn't come through.  Granted, a couple days before, my uncle had been "nice" enough to let my mom know that he still hadn't been able to speak with the friend they wanted to stay with, but that he was going to keep trying. I don't know why at that point he didn't just decide to abandon that plan and get a room for every night or ask my mom if they could stay with us (and, yes, yes, in the absence of him doing that, my mom should've politely told him to tinkle or get off the potty earlier).  

Then, when they arrived, it should have been quite obvious the bathroom they were using had been freshly cleaned (I'd worked hard to clean it up to "company standards" on short notice" ) and that fresh towels were up, yet my uncle's wife got a big, huge glob of eye make-up on one of the body towels, and just hung it back up.  I wound up using that towel, and got eye-make up all over my leg.  OK, I've never worn make-up, ever, but I thought women thoroughly washed the make-up off their faces in the shower.  Call me crazy.  Clearly I am wrong.  Learn somethin' new every day!  Also, one of them tracked in a big set of muddy footprints into the shower floor, which I had gotten down on my hands and knees to scrub.  (As I said, it was clear this was a freshly cleaned bathroom they had goin' on here for 'em!)  And they had to have been blind to see they tracked in that dirt!


I received an invitation to a Rubber Stamp party (similar to Tupperware: you hear the spiel, see the product and then the hostess gets prizes/discounts based on whatever the guests buy) from a friend that I hadn't seen in almost a year. The invitation came about two days before the event (hmm... was I a last minute addition in an attempt to boost the number of guests?). As I had already made plans, I called to let my friend know that I could not attend. After telling her this, she suggested that we "get together for coffee so we could catch up". I agreed, and having my datebook in front of me, asked when a good time was for her. She made a few stuttering remarks, and paused for a while - at which point I apologized and said "Oh, I'm sorry. You probably don't have your calendar in front of you!" She said, "Actually I do...", and after a few more awkward moments I suggested that she give me a call when she knew of a good time. Surprise, surprise - I haven't heard from her since. For goodness sake, if she didn't want to go for coffee why would she even suggest it!


My cousin and his wife recently purchased a house. We were very excited for them because they had been living with his wife's family for at least 3 years and they needed their space! We received a invitation to their housewarming party and as we opened it, a two page, HAND-WRITTEN list of "Gift Suggestions" fell out. This list included items such as coffee maker (in black and chrome), Martha Stewart muffin tins, and queen size sheets! Yikes! I was under the assumption that a housewarming gift was a bottle of wine or a plant. Apparently not! When they came to our housewarming party 2 years ago- they did not even bring a card! Now, we are expected to furnish their son's room (a fluffy rug in brown and creamy yellow). The topper on the whole invite was that my mother already gave them a housewarming gift but she still got the hand-written list!   Guests0528-04

I don't know if there is something wrong with me, or if I just choose the wrong people to be friends with. During the Olympic season of 2000 a friend of mine was flying over for a month to see the Olympics and travel around. What ensued was the holiday from hell (except getting pregnant was the only good outcome from this).

First, I had arranged with my friend that I would pay for travel and we would be able to stay with friends and family. I arranged everything months in advance.

Before Alien even arrived Anna and I were to spend 2 days with Kathy. When we arrived at her home she wasn't there and her flatmate told us that she was at the pub. We went down to meet her and some point through the night, without warning, she vanished on us. Upon returning to her home the next day after a shopping expedition we found that she had locked the doors and kept everything of ours inside. Fortunately for us, when she answered our knock I was wearing steel capped boots so when she slammed the door I felt nothing. After a big fight (I have never seen Anna so angry in my life) we got inside and got our stuff. There was no valid reason for this behavior and her now ex flatmate told me that it was because she hadn't wanted to return the shoes that Anna had lent her.

Then Alien arrived. I thought that paying for airfare was pretty generous, but she expected me to pay for everything. And I mean everything. She arrived with $30 for a months holiday. For the next month on a payment that wouldn't normally support me I had to support the two of us, and she expected me to pay for gifts for her friends and family, food, the whole works. Needless to say there was days that went by that I didn't eat anything. She'd eat my meals on the plane (in one case that was good because she got some nasty food poisoning and I missed out) and then the worst night was a night at a casino.

I'm not much of a gambler so I watched Anna and Alien play. I was watching Anna play roulette when Alien approached the table, picked up one of Anna's chips without asking and place it on a number. Oddly, it won a lot of money. Now it would be fair to say that she didn't deserve the money because she hadn't asked for the chip but Anna was willing to go halves in it. Alien refused to part with one single cent of the money. Obviously Anna was upset and stormed out of the casino. I would have been fine with that because she had every reason to be angry, but she had my wallet in her pocket with our train fare home. Its okay, I thought, Alien has some money. Nope, would not pay a cent for me to get on the train. All she said was when I asked she pay for it was "What would you have done if I hadn't won the money?" I told her I would have paid for it with the money in my purse. She didn't care and left me there, in the middle of the night in Sydney. I had to walk as far as I could until I found someone who would lend me money. I didn't see Anna for 2 months following that. I gave up there and then and decided that I was just going to ignore Alien for the next 2 weeks. On the last day I couldn't find the tickets so I looked in Aliens bag and found that she had stolen several of my CDs and things from every single place that we had been. When we arrived at the airport for her to leave I just said "It was nice seeing you" and walked away without even a hug. 4 years later and I haven't spoken to either Alien or Kathy.



 I enjoy inviting my closest (read: few) friends over for food and drinks every now and then. One of them had recently given me this great DVD and made me promise I'd watch it with her as we are both huge fans of the movie in question. So I invite her and a few more friends over, everyone thinks it's a great idea, etc.

Come Saturday, I'm cleaning the place, preparing the food and drinks when, a few hours before they are supposed to show up, another friend calls and pretty much says she's not in the mood to watch a movie - since the weather is so nice, she wants to have a swimming pool party instead! I should have told her it's rude for a guest to try and change the host's plans, especially 3 or 4 hours in advance, but because I hate confrontation, I just told her about the promise I made the other friend. Guess what? She had already called the other guests, "taken a poll" and apparently "everyone" agreed her idea was better.

I was too shocked - and worried about not being able to move everything outside and clean the swimming pool in time - to tell her she didn't have to come at all. So I didn't and she had it her way.

Let me just say that normally this friend is a great person. I don't know what possessed her to do such a thing - or perhaps I'm overreacting - but I'm glad I didn't let it affect our friendship. She still won't RSVP, but other than that she's very considerate.   



When I was a senior in high school, my uncle came to visit from out-of-state with his wife and their young child. (My cousin was only 3 or 4 at the time.) My uncle and his family were sleeping in the living room, as the guest bedroom was occupied by my grandpa, who was also visiting at the time. The long window-seat in my bedroom wound up becoming a storage area for luggage, so that nobody would be tripping about over luggage. 

My uncle's wife is a very assertive woman, and some people who don't know her very well may feel that this assertiveness may sometimes border on hostility or aggression or snobbishness sometimes. I got the impression that my uncle's wife felt that having her luggage storage in my room gave her a license to go into my room whenever she felt like it, and to linger about as long as she liked to tidy up her things or take her time searching for something, even when I was clearly attempting to do homework or wanted personal space.  (C'mon, all 17-year-olds are entitled to a certain degree of being sullen and resentful, especially when it comes to "in-laws" they barely know bogarting their rooms! A teen's room is their only real private space! But feel free to disagree.) 

I think after already being a tad cross with me for asking for a little more space in MY OWN BEDROOM, I came out of the shower one morning and darted into my bedroom to find my uncle's wife and my cousin in my room. It was clear that my uncle's wife has just finished dressing my cousin, and was about to put her shoes and socks on. It was an obvious choice that the dressing would be done in my room, as this was where the clothing was stored, and I was cool with that. But what rankled me was that my uncle's wife didn't need to continue to use the privacy of my bedroom to put shoes and socks on my cousin, yet when I came in wet, wearing nothing but a towel, she made no movement to leave. I had to firmly ask her to leave. She said she would when she finished putting shoes and socks on my cousin, and proceeded to stand and make me wait until she was finished.


Sorry but 17-year olds do not have a right to be sullen and resentful to family house guests who have no choice but to accept the accommodations their hosts offer them.  

I have a very good friend that I met in grad school, herewithin called "Tom".  He was engaged to a girl I wasn't crazy about, but was more than happy to tolerate for his sake- we'll call her "Rosemary".  Tom graduated and moved away, but one weekend he and Rosemary came back to visit.  They stayed at my place, and I was more than happy to have them.

Tom, myself, and my then-boyfriend-now-husband are all Christian.  However, myself and hubby are both very, very quiet about it, and Tom is only vocal if directly asked.  Rosemary was an atheist.  Tom was completely accepting of this: his philosophy was "God chooses to approach different people in different ways, and sometimes He doesn't approach them at all." 

The weekend went well.  Knowing that Rosemary was an atheist and hubby isn't much into religious discussion, Tom and I didn't go anywhere NEAR the topic all weekend.  We didn't avoid it either, we just politely didn't bring it up.  At all

So we decide to play Scattegories.  We roll a "J", and one of the topics is "Fictional Character."  What does Rosemary put down?  "Jesus' father."

What?  If we'd been badgering her, maybe I could understand it.  But no one had said a WORD about religion all weekend, unless you count "God bless you" when someone sneezes!  And to say that to your FIANCÉ?  Who at the time was merely concerned about what sort of candy and what notorious villains began with J?  (Especially when you know he's a devout Christian?)  It was the rudest thing I'd ever seen.

Well, we got her on a technicality.  (If you're Christian, you don't believe God is fictional, and if you're not, then Jesus' father is Joseph and he did exist.)  But the blatant disregard for his beliefs- in front of his friends and entirely unprovoked- was just disgusting.  Fortunately, they never made it to the altar and he married a wonderful girl who, while not sharing all his beliefs, respects the fact he believes them!


Page Last Updated May 15, 2007