House guests, party guests,
I love the site and forum. Thank you for collecting all of
these stories for us to read and enjoy. I have a little story of some truly
tacky and disrespectful people. It pales in comparison to some of the things
I've read on the site, but the night it happened was an absolute horror for me.
Here it is:
Last summer, I went on a backpacking trip through Europe,
where I stayed in a hostel in each city. Each hostel is dormitory-style and has
between three and ten people in a room, and most of them are coed. By doing
this, I met many wonderful people from around the world. I didn't have any
problems with bad roommates until I got to Rome.
After spending hours in the bus and on the train, I was
exhausted when I reached my hostel. There was only one other person in the
room, and she was already asleep when I got there. I ended up in bed around
9pm. I slept a little bit until three of my hostel roommates returned, loud and
One of these young women was leaving around 3am for the
airport and needed to pack. She did so with the lights off (after I asked her
off course), since there was a little bit of light coming in from an outside
street lamp. After a little while, a young man came into our room, our last
roommate (there were six of us total). The girl packing introduced herself and
began to talk to him. I was slightly irritated by their chatter and asked them
to please keep it down. They began whispering (loudly), which didn't really
help, but whatever. I was sure that I would be able to ignore them and
eventually get some sleep.
The girl and the guy talked for about an hour and then
decided to go to bed. They were sharing a bunk bed--he was in the top bed and
she on the bottom. By this time, they were no longer bothering to whisper. She
got into bed and complained that she was hot. As a result, she took off her top
sheet, ran it in the sink under cold water and then climbed into bed naked. You
can probably guess what happened next.
At some point, she climbed up to the top bunk (his bed). I'll
skip all of the disgusting details, but there was some point when I yelled at
them to leave the room because there were four other people in there. She
apologized but neither of them left. I was at a loss as to what to do (I have a
feeling the rest of the people in the room were too, since none of them said
anything the entire night).
Hence, I just suffered until she left, trying to ignore them,
which is close to impossible. It was tough to pretend that there weren't two
people (who were complete strangers) having sex on a bunk bed less than ten
feet away from me. The worst part of it was that our room was fairly dark, and
neither of them had really seen the other's face before they slept together.
Needless to say, I got very little sleep that night.
Our younger three sons were home for Christmas, and daughter
and Son-IL, who lived near us, came over for Christmas Eve dinner. For
the cocktail hour, I served two large platters of everyone's favorites:
artichoke leaves with a lovely hollandaise for dipping, and a big bowl of
cocktail sauce ringed around with several pounds of jumbo shrimp.
The hors d'oeuvre plates and napkins I'd set out in the
living room were apparently not adequate for fSIL, who went into the dining
room and chose a dinner plate from the table, along with its crisply ironed
white Battenburg napkin (a gift from my Mother). He loaded
the plate with shrimp and sauce, munched heartily and with great gusto, so I
just set him a fresh plate and napkin, which he apparently did NOT notice.
When I announced dinner, I stepped back into the kitchen,
then turned to see him standing over the garbage can, wiping the bright red
tomato sauce and polishing his plate clean with my beautiful white napkin.
What CAN you say at a moment like that? The stain has long
outlasted the marriage.
Our daughter's former in-laws live several states away,
and would always stay a week or 10 days a couple of times a year when they came
to visit. She was always desperate for SOMETHING to amuse them.
The MIL could SHOP 10 hours a day, and both MIL and FIL insisted on cruising
car lots several times every visit, just to see what they were going to buy
So, my husband and I would have them over to dinner at least
once each trip, plus having lunch for us three ladies, or meeting them
somewhere for lunch, etc. After about five years of doing all the
entertaining, we were invited out to dinner ONCE, just once, but not BEFORE
this very telling event:
Our daughter and former son-in-law have the same birthday, so
we have always celebrated doubly on that date. One year the in-laws
were here, and I invited everyone to dinner, as usual. They said
no, they were taking the "children" out for a very special dinner,
but would come by for birthday cake. Daughter was sort of caught in
the middle; she was embarrassed that we weren't invited after all our
hospitality, but hated to just invite us, plus knowing we would never accept a
pity invite. Son-in-law, having few manners in the first place, was
I ordered a lovely cake from a special local bakery, and set
out the coffee service, liqueurs, etc., plus chilling champagne for toasting
the special event. They showed up at 5 P.M., BEFORE dinner, saying
they had late reservations. We toasted the birthday couple; the
in-laws said they didn't want to spoil their dinner. MIL said,
"Just cut yourselves some cake to keep and we'll take the rest to have
We lit the candles and sang; I cut two slices for us and
handed over the rest in the cake box.
(And yes, they DID continue to eat at our table every visit,
including FOUR Thanksgivings before the divorce).
I have a very good friend that I met in grad school, here within
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 Scategories. 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!
My daughter became friends with a long time Internet buddy of
her older brother. They liked each other so well they decided he should come to
visit. Much to my shock I found an unknown man standing in my kitchen coloring
with my granddaughter with my daughter standing next to them on a Saturday
morning. She announced he was going to stay for a vacation. I was aghast
my daughter would pull such a thing on me but I allowed him and his 3-year-old
son to stay in our home because it was thundering and lightning and he said he
planned to pitch a tent.
The entire week and a half he was here I played polite
hostess, providing them each with a nice bedroom, food to eat, and I even sat
with the kids while my daughter and he slept into the afternoon. You guessed
it. They wound up in the bed together. During his stay I had to ask him to buy
some groceries and put gas in my van while they were driving it on that day. I
had to pay him back. Not one time did this "man" offer me any money
to defray the cost of an additional family in our home. If that wasn't bad
enough he, my daughter and each of their 3-year-old children went out to eat
several times but they never once even thought to bring me a nice sandwich or
an entire meal, not even the leftovers. Both he and my daughter sat around most
of the time caring only for the children when they had to, offering to help
with any of the additional housework only a few times. As far as I'm concerned
the entire incident was a faux pas but I'll explain what I would have done in
the situation if it were I traveling.
To begin with I would never have surprised or shocked any
prospective hostess. According to all my dear departed mother taught me it's a
faux pas to expect anyone to put you up that's a friend or relative unless
you're an invited guest. Additionally, I was taught to help defray the cost of
staying in someone's home and the additional work that's involved in having
additional guests. Whether or not it's proper etiquette makes no difference to
me I wouldn't have gone out to eat without bringing something for my family or
my hostess whether she was disabled or not. You can believe me I will handle my
daughter as soon as she arises late this morning before she goes to work. I'm
still in a state of shock and anger for this rich brat having taken my
hospitality for granted. We may be poor but we're proud has a new meaning to
me. Of all the poor people I know THEY have better manners and are more
considerate than some of the wealthy that I've encountered. As a matter of fact
a couple of weeks ago I invited a couple of poor ladies to eat lunch with me
while we were visiting. They knew enough to return the favor and neither of
them have much education or money. By the way, his name is Andy. Look out for
him to drop in on you.
I didn't think I would have an etiquettehell guest story, and
I guess I still don't since this was a friends guest. My friend and her fiancé
had a small one bedroom apartment in the town center of a suburb of Boston.
Her old friend from High School just got out of jail and had no place to stay
so she offered to let him stay with them until he got on his feet (I guess his
relatives wanted nothing to do with him and THAT should have been a clue).
I stopped by for a visit and he hit me up for $20, said he would pay me back
Next week I stopped by and he told me he had a friend that
owed him some money and if I would give him a lift he would pay me back plus
gas money. I had nothing to do so I said OK. When we were on our
way he asked if we could stop at a local mall. OK, but I stayed in the
car and told him to be quick.
About ten minutes later he hops in the car with no bags (what
did he buy?) and directs me to his "friends" house which turns out to
be a housing project with a very bad reputation. Then he starts pulling
his pants off (I'm like...what can I hit this guy with and how quick can I push
him out the door!). He has three pairs of expensive jeans that he had
just shoplifted from a department store at the mall under his sweat pants.
He left and said he would be back in 15 minutes. I wasn't an angel but I
had never stolen anything before, now I'm an accessory to theft! To this
day I don't know why I didn't just drive away (and possibly call the cops!).
He comes back with two people in tow, gives me the $20 he
owes me and $20 more for gas and asks if I can give his two friends a lift back
to my friend's town. By now I just want to get rid of jacka$$, tell my
friend what happened and have nothing more to do with him. I told him I
was in a hurry and I would only be able to drop them off in the town center.
That's OK so they hop in the back.
When we are on the highway I look in my rearview mirror and
these two broke out a needle and were tying rubber hoses around their arms (my
idea of "experimenting" with drugs at the time was smoking a joint).
I told jacka$$ that his friends had two choices, they could stop what they were
doing immediately or I would drop them off in the breakdown lane of the
highway. Jacka$$ yells at his two friends telling them they are
"disrespecting" his friend who was nice enough to give them a ride
and they put the drug paraphernalia away. I told my friend what
happened, advised her to keep an eye on her valuables and that I wouldn't be
coming buy until jacka$$ was gone. He left at the end of the month and my
friend seemed happy that everything was still in her house. A few weeks
later she got her phone bill...$800 in 900 phone sex calls!!! About six
months later she told me she had heard that jacka$$ was back in jail, BIG
Greetings: I just LOVE your website! –So educational,
inspirational, and entertaining! It is great to have a place to vent the
injustices committed by the ignorant and inconsiderate -upon the gracious and imposed-upon
-from all facets of society: while it is sad that there are so many of us
who have been abused by the etiquette-challenged, I hold hope that future
generations WILL aspire to be behave better, stop talking with their mouths
full, and remember to say "Thank you" for even SMALL favors!
Please allow me to share my all-time worst “House Guest
From Hell” experience”: the following is long –but I left out the
worst of the details, believe me. My SO, myself, and my two young
children, had been living together for several months, before I’d finally met
“dad”, my SO’s father: “dad” had been divorced 12 years, and
living alone the entire time –I’d heard “about” the father through
co-workers at a new I’d taken recently (he was a “temp” worker we sent
out to work elsewhere), but what I’d heard was not very appealing. I
finally met “dad”, and he seemed to be quite pleasant –but turned out to
be FAR from fastidious (or even mildly tidy!), and ultimately quite ignorant,
lazy, and inconsiderate.
The day my SO took us all over to meet his father (at
“dad’s” rented bungalow), I could barely endure the stench through the
introductions beyond the threshold, and I wouldn’t sit on the sofa for fear
of getting stuck to the no longer identifiable substances which liberally
camouflaged the upholstery (beneath the protective layer of dog hair and duct
tape). When my 5-year-old son whispered in my ear that he needed to use
the rest room, I politely excused us -and drove him to a convenience store
instead: I’d already seen the bathroom -and it wasn’t a matching tank
set, rugs and towels that were in the room –it was a thick layer of MOLD and
mildew that made everything in the small room appear to “match”, visually,
from a safe distance! Anyway, “dad” came to stay with us a year
and a half later, after we’d moved 65 miles away: for the first MONTH
of that visit, he neglected to tell us that he’d lost his rental home, had NO
money, NO job -and NO desire to be “independent” any longer (he was only 52
or so then, and far from disabled). I was pregnant at the time and
strictly ordered to continual bed rest due to complications: I awoke from
a nap to discover that “dad” had unloaded all of his smelly, grimy, damaged
and otherwise deteriorating worldly possessions from his filthy and dying car
–and moved into my den… and there he STAYED –it was as if a virulent
strain of mutating fungus began to gradually grow over everything in the
small room… for the next 11 months.
The man would not bathe, he would not change his linens (or
let ME do it), and he didn’t believe in changing even his clothes from week
to week –I found myself stealing his laundry and sneaking it into my washer
during his lengthy sabbaticals in our only bathroom. He would not pitch
in on chores, not even the dishes –even though I was forced to stay in bed on
an IV by then, his son was gone 11 hours a day for work (80 miles away), and
the children were far too young to help out other than to pick up after
themselves (unlike “grandpa”). The man left a trail of trash, spilled
food, dirty dishes, cigarette butts (and burns!), false teeth (oh yes –he’d
take them out, pick at them –leave them behind and wander off… eeeewww),
and he drank incessantly –but hid the bottles under sofa cushions, behind
bookcases, etc. –so as to keep things “looking tidy” he said.
He watched cartoons all day, constantly asked ME what the
next meal would be, although –due to MY condition -he said he didn’t change
his clothes so often so that *I* wouldn’t have the extra laundry burden to
deal with (so thoughtful!). I would try to “remind” him to
bathe: his response to that was that he didn’t sweat, so he didn’t
NEED to bathe –not even once a week in the summer, where our daily average
temperature was over 90+ degrees! The smell was overwhelming, and he
never seemed to comprehend my increasingly less polite “hints” as to his
lack of personal hygiene or the pigsty he had turned our “spare room”
For 9 months, every effort to rid our home of him failed.
One day, I announced that his niece (a very dear friend to this day) was coming
to stay during summer break from college in Wisconsin; we lived in central
California –she considered our climate a paradise and had talked of nothing
else since we’d laid the plan (er… plot!). I let “dad” know that
she would arrive in two months, and that we’d be needing our “spare room”
back to accommodate her; I explained that, being a young student, SHE would not
have the funds to stay in a motel or rent a place, that she was excited about
our new baby (due just before her arrival) and that SHE had happily offered to
help out with the children and household in appreciation of our extended
hospitality (hardly an effort on our part –for such a delightful young lady,
We finally persuaded my SO’s younger brother to take on
“dad” a week before the girl’s arrival –to allow time to completely
fumigate the room, have the carpets steamed and the walls sanitized, and
REPLACE the bed and linens before her arrival. Her visit was like a
godsend –most refreshing after the previous houseguest.
However, “dad” didn’t stay at #2 son’s home for long;
within a week, the son’s resident g/f had delivered an ultimatum, and
“dad” was apparently not the more appealing option of the two offered.
Dad was back –and sleeping in his decrepit car, parked out in front of our
home, until our strict Home Owner’s Association reminded us that this was NOT
acceptable. I’d refused to allow him to “move-in” on our sofa in
the living room (it had JUST been cleaned and deodorized from his last
“visit”), and the small home had no other space to offer. Mind you, I
liked “dad” as a person –I just couldn’t take the smell of having him
as a housemate!
Worse yet, “dad” was the laziest, most chauvinistic man
I’d ever known –he couldn’t empty an ashtray on his own: after
he’d filled it up, he’d fill another and another, and then tea cups, soda
bottles, tin cans, etc…when he ran out of “containers” to fill up
–he’d litter my small flower beds with his butts!
Fed up, I finally put my foot down: like his brother before him,
my SO chose the more appealing half of the ultimatum, and dad moved on… or so
Two weeks later, about a week before the niece
was to return to college, we got a letter from the Home Owner’s
Association once again: they were writing because our neighbors were
complaining about “the vagrant LIVING in the broken-down car”, which
was parked in front of THEIR homes -where “dad” had been sleeping
every night for weeks! Apparently, their homes were on the market at
the time (in our brand new subdivision), and they felt that such a
disgrace and eyesore was affecting their property value and marketability,
and thus threatened to fine us if we didn’t remove “our
acquaintance” immediately! I was mortified; we’d thought he’d
moved back to the #2 son’s home, or was imposing upon another relative;
nope –he’d merely moved around the corner –and everyone in our tiny
neighborhood knew he “belonged” to us! Sure enough, a stroll
around the block revealed his new “residence” –and my SO had to ask
him to leave the neighborhood.
We moved down the street into a much bigger home
about 2 months later –with a guest room for “dad”, under the
conditions that he would bathe, pick up after himself, do his laundry and
linens, and lay off the booze. Rather than agree to that, “dad”
moved into the STORAGE CLOSET under our stairs, despite my having a fit
over it: there, he was perfectly at-home, with his filthy futon and
puke-coated comforter (used to build his “cozy” nest), and there he
stayed, for months, until we left the state.
We relocated almost annually for the next 7
years, due to my SO’s profession; each time, “dad” found us -he'd stake
out a sofa or conquer a spare corner, for months at a time –leaving only
when we moved on again. It was taking a toll on an otherwise great
relationship between the rest of us –I'd even caught the children
referring to “grandpa” as “the ogre under the stairs” to their
friends one day. By then the children were beginning to imitate
bad habits and ill manners that "grandpa" exhibited, and I was
at the end of my rope, when we finally moved on yet again. We
left the sate.
Once we relocated, I still (cautiously) wrote to
“dad”, "in care of" whomever he was currently visiting on
the family roster –I simply wouldn’t put a “return address”
on the envelopes. When he finally found out where we went, I made it
clear that our new neighborhood had an ordinance against people sleeping
in cars outside, and that we had no “spare room” (I had trashed the
old sofa –replaced it with 2 small love seats instead!). When he
finally found out where we were living, his next visit only lasted a day
-and it was while I had to be out of town (lucky for him!). That was
the last time he “stayed over” with us. We weren’t dad’s
only victims either (he passed away a few years back); to this day,
dad’s “visits” are still shared at family reunions and around the
campfires –as either bad jokes -or horror stories!
My roommate/best friend invited a friend over, who will
be called G (for Glutton). That day my roommate had also spent many hours
slaving away making a very expensive and complex one dish
layered-casserole type dinner. The recipe made around 10 portions, and
since we were poor college students and wouldn't normally spend this much
on one meal, we were counting on the leftovers to feed us for a few days.
Well, G showed up right around the time the food was
done, so my roommate offered him a piece. Note that we weren't inviting
him to dinner. He was supposed to show up a couple hours later, but was
early and my roommate didn't want to be rude and eat in front of him. He
accepted and ate with us. The food was great, and G asked for seconds.
There was still a lot of food, so we said sure. Then after eating that he
asked for more. I offered him what was left of mine because I cut my piece
in half and didn't touch one part of it. He ate that as well. Dinner was
over so my roommate wrapped the casserole tray in foil with about 6
meal-sized portions left, and put it in the fridge while I brought out the
G asked if he could smoke, and even though we live in a
non smoking building and G knows this, my roommate and I are both social
smokers and said sure, he could have a smoke as long as he turned on the
kitchen stove exhaust fan and opened up all the windows (my kitchen and
living room are pretty much one big room). The tone in our voices was
pretty obvious that we meant he could have ONE OR TWO smokes but we really
didn't want him smoking that much. If he wanted to smoke more, he'd have
to go up on the roof which was a sundeck type place for smokers/barbecues etc.
My roommate and I both had a few beers with G, although G was easily
outpacing us both on beer. By midnight my roommate and I were tired and
wanted to get ready for bed, and G was drunk. He lived about a half hour
away on the freeway and we knew we couldn't let him drive home. So we
offered to let him sleep on our couch. He did.
About an hour after I went to bed I heard vomiting, as
my room is right off the bathroom. I figured it was G from drinking too
much. Then I smelled cigarette smoke, and heard the (very loud) stove
exhaust fan start up. Then more vomiting, then smoke and fan. This went on
for about 2 hours, until I heard my roommate get up and tell G to stop
smoking in the apartment, as we live in a non smoking building and the
smell and noise was keeping us up. G went in and out of the apartment all
night to go up on the roof to smoke (did I mention he's a chain-smoker?).
He also vomited until about 7 am. Needless to say I didn't get much sleep
It gets worse... G left early without saying goodbye or
thanks for the food or folding up the sleeping bags and blankets he had
used. When I got up a few hours after he left I stumbled to the kitchen to
grab my daily dose of Gatorade (I have low blood sugar and must drink
something w/glucose in it first thing after waking, especially after
having a few beers the night before) and found the ENTIRE UNOPENED
GALLON-SIZED JUG I had bought the day before was missing. That's right, G
had taken the WHOLE GALLON JUG without asking, and on a college student's
budget gallons of Gatorade isn't exactly cheap. I woke my roommate up and
said since it was his friend, he had to go to the store and buy me more.
He said fine, right after we ate. He pulled out the dish he made the night
before, and out of the 6 portions, there was ONLY A HALF PIECE REMAINING.
Also there was only one beer out of the original 12. Now we were really
really peeved. My roommate said he heard the refrigerator open and foil
crinkling all night, but he assumed it was me, since no guest in their
right mind would get into food that was obviously put away, especially
with us talking in front of G about how excited we were to have the
leftovers to eat for a few days. We always have bags of chips and other
snacks out for overnight guests to munch on so they don't have to get into
our fridge without asking.
Turns out the reason why G was vomiting is because he
was GORGING himself on our food, then vomiting, then eating and drinking
some more, then vomiting. We guess he must have done this all night. He
also vomited ALL over our apartment complexes sundeck without letting us
know, as we found out when we went up there later that day. Not to mention
when I was putting away his sleeping bag I noticed there were 3 HUGE
cigarette burns in the rug from where he had burned holes probably while
drunk. He never apologized for any of this, or even was aware he did
anything wrong. When he called my roommate a few days later and my
roommate said 'you ate all our food' he said 'yeah, it was good' or
something like that. I asked if he had an eating disorder or a mental
problem, and my roommate said "No, he just has no manners and doesn't
stop to think about his actions especially when drunk. He probably ate
until he was full, then got sick from eating too much too fast, and
repeated that cycle 'till it was almost gone." Needless to say I told
my roommate G wasn't allowed over anymore, and within a month of this
event, my roommate got sick of G's repeatedly inexcusable behavior and
quit hanging out with him at all. Good riddance, I say.
Have to say that I love your site, and am very thankful I
haven't had most of the experiences listed therein. Was just getting
caught up on the latest updates when I came across the brief comment in
Guests, from a vegetarian. I've had similar experiences. I suppose these
would go in the Guests from Hell section as well; though they'd be more
accurately labeled as Hosts from Hell, one in particular.
As an introduction, I'm a vegetarian myself; and have
had quite a few unpleasant experiences with self-described
"unrepentant carnivores". Now, I'm not a Vegan, nor an I any
sort of ethical vegetarian. I am vegetarian because of certain allergies
and digestive-system issues; I simply cannot eat meat. No matter to me, I
find I don't really like it all that much anyway; and I'm not about to
condemn anyone else for their particular dietary choices. I also have
something of an aversion to many ethical vegetarian/Vegan types; because
of their preachiness and self-righteous attitudes. I'm also heavily
involved with the local Goth subculture; which is quite large and a very
strong community, with regular events and so on (this is important to the
setting of the second story); as well as several other interest-based
I get invited to a lot of events, either directly by
friends and acquaintances; or as part of open invitations to one of the
various communities I'm involved with (there is a lot of crossover between
the groups). There are a lot of these events, and most of the groups have
a significant number of vegetarians of various sorts. People generally
make allowances for dietary restrictions among their guests. However,
there also seems to be a strong anti-vegetarian contingent that seems to
want to go out of their way to make things difficult. When offered
meat-based dishes, I generally decline politely, generally mentioning my
preferences -- a simple "No thank you, I'm a vegetarian", or
"No thank you, I don't eat meat" -- and leave it at that.
This suffices for most people, and there isn't a
problem. Others seem to want to make an issue out of it; and spend the
next five or ten minutes loudly justifying their diet, or ridiculing mine,
or both. Even if they're not involved in the conversation, but only
eavesdropping, they seem to be unable to avoid some inane, dismissive
quip; generally some trite, overworked joke. This sort of response is
almost invariably from men, as if I'd somehow insulted their manhood, or
intimated that they are anything less than 100% Red Blooded American Male
(which is bizarre, since quite a number of them are homosexual, and almost
none of them are in any way homophobic -- the groups I'm involved with
being very GLBT-friendly for the most part).
I generally tend to avoid mentioning that I'm physically
unable to eat meat since the result is either a "Sucks to be
you" dismissive response from the same men; or, and this one seem to
be predominantly women, I get treated almost as if I'd just announced that
I had incurable cancer. I'm still unable to understand that latter
response. I do have a small amount of understanding for the former, since
these are people who have had to put up with attacks from the evangelical
Vegans/vegetarians for their "cruelty" in eating animals (there
are plenty of those in the community as well).
This second story is the real twister. The local Goth
community has a number of regular events; including thrift-store shopping
expeditions. On one such event; the organizer (who generally plans the
itinerary beforehand, since trying to get a group of Goths to agree on
anything is like herding cats) decided that lunch would be at a local
trendy '50s-themed burger joint. Since there were several vegetarians in
the group besides myself (including one other who had allergy issues worse
than mine), the organizer was asked if the restaurant had any vegetarian
options. Her response? "Well, I think they have salads or
something". Well, the salads consisted of the token few shreds of
iceberg lettuce, cabbage, and carrot; and there was no "or
something". Even the fries were cooked in animal fat (which I could
tolerate, though the taste bothers me, but others couldn't). Subsequent
trips have opted for the burrito joint a few blocks away, which has a lot
of good vegetarian options.
Needless to say, some of us went hungry for a while. And
it's not like this person hadn't known of the vegetarian issues, since
she'd know most of us for at least three or four years, some longer. When
informed of the problem, her response was "Oh, well, that's too
bad". This would be bad enough on it's own; but the organizer is also
the self-styled "Gothic Miss Manners", and writes a well-known
etiquette advice column for a large, internationally-read Goth-community
website under that moniker. Of course, this is also someone who blew off
her responsibilities as a convention organizer in order to go thrift-store
shopping (after telling everyone else involved that she had a dentist's
appointment). There are times that she could really use a few lessons in
I've always enjoyed entertaining colleagues, along with
friends, when I have parties, but sometimes I question my wisdom. In a
large office, you obviously can't invite everyone. But my invitees are
sometimes prone to inquire loudly of their non-invited work chums "So
are you coming to the party?" A few have even gone so far as to
extend invitations to these non-invitees.
But what peaks me more is the disregard for RSVPs,
either no-shows or surprise appearances. We can only hope they balance
out. I say "The favor of a reply is requested" but they still
don't get it. Most egregious case: I gave an invitation to a colleague
from whom I got no response. I was a little more than mildly surprised to
see him barreling up the walk with his wife AND baby in tow at party time.
Okay, fine. They enjoyed themselves and partook of my fabulous gourmet
cooking, staying several hours, happily socializing in my home.
But then, the capper! His behavior the next day at the
office was utterly astonishing. We met at a corner corridor but he did not
so much as make eye contact with me! not a word or a glance! His and his
family's generous and accommodating hostess from only the day before. I
was truly staggered by the lad's boorishness.
First I must say I adore your site and spend too many
hours on it laughing hysterically at all the low class and uncouth
behavior people write in on. I just had to send in my story about a
horrible house guest my husband and I had again and again.
A few years ago, after leaving a horrible marriage and
getting divorced, I met through a mutual friend I will call D the man I
ended up marrying. I worked two jobs to support myself, one of which
was in a department store. There, I fell in love with a beautiful
dinnerware set. It was somewhat expensive, but I felt after the
horrible marriage I had been through, there was absolutely nothing wrong
with treating myself to something nice, just for me. It took me 2
1/2 years to complete the entire set, and I think its the best purchase I
have ever made in my life. The dishes are important to this
Back when my husband and I were just dating, and
living in our own apartments, his best friend from high school, D would
come over on Friday nights, and as they had been doing in high school,
generally spend the night. I like D well enough, and I feel
that couples do need to have occasional personal time by themselves.
Since my then boyfriend spent Friday nights with his friend, we decided
that Saturday afternoons and evenings would be our time alone together.
Since I worked two full time jobs, and I had managed to work both
schedules to have Sundays off, we would also spend Sunday together as
well, since we did not get to see too much of each other during the
Pretty soon, my then boyfriend and I decided that we
wanted to get a bit more serious. I began staying at his apartment
over the entire weekend. On Friday nights, his friend would show up
around 11 pm, if not later, as he had been doing for the past few years.
I'd let the guys do their thing while I generally read quietly in the
bedroom, trying to unwind from a tough week at work (Imagine working 16
hour days all week!). I never intruded on the "guy time"
and several times I would ask my boyfriend if it was okay I was there.
He constantly said yes, he wanted me there, and was enjoying being able to
spend whole weekends together. D became quite jealous and started
making really rude, immature comments to me, which I generally ignored. My
then boyfriend and I decided to move in together. That's when the
One Saturday, I went over to my apartment to pick up
some odds and ends, and while I was gone, D interrogated my then
boyfriend, wanting to know why I had to move in, why I had to live there.
My boyfriend tried to calmly explain to D that we were in love, we planned
on getting engaged with in the next year, and that we wanted to live
together. (Nevermind we were both looking forward to cutting our
bills in half and me being able to cut down to just one job.) It
went on and on until my boyfriend finally told D to stop it, and that he
was going to marry me one day, and that's all there was to it. I guess D
figured if he annoyed me enough, I'd move out.
Every weekend after I moved in turned into his
nitpicking and gross behavior. When he would wake up on Saturday
afternoon, he would spend an hour in the bathroom, using the toilet.
Then, another hour in the shower. Since we were responsible for
paying our own water bill, this got to be a problem as it started to add
up. Add in the fact that D would drink a great deal on Friday night,
and would have alcohol sweats in his sleep--on our couch. After a
month of this, the couch began to take on a very identifiable scent.
After moving in, I found out D had a nasty habit of
drinking too much, and quite often, couldn't make it to the bathroom to
vomit in the toilet in time. Or when he would use the bathroom, his
aim wasn't that good. I was shocked the morning I woke up to find
urine all over the toilet seat and puddles of it on the floor. Remember
the plates I started this story with? One Saturday morning, I woke
up to find the oaf passed out on the couch. That's not what shocked
me. On the floor, of all places, was one of my plates, crusted with
food. I was surprised that the big jerk didn't get up in the middle
of the night and step on it. He also would use my shampoo and
conditioner, as well as my body wash in our shower. Why on earth he
felt like smelling like lilacs is beyond me. And not just use those
items, over use them. Generally, a bottle of shampoo lasts me close
to 3 weeks. But after he started using mine, I guess to make me
angry, I was having to purchase shampoo almost every week. He constantly
ate our food, drank our soda, and would drink my wine coolers. (I
don't mind sharing, but don't drink every one in the pack without leaving
one for me!)
Add to that the fact that he would take packs of cigarettes
out of my carton, along with everything else he was doing, and I had
enough. I spoke to my then boyfriend, asking him to ask his friend to stop
being so disrespectful. I was tired of doing his dirty dishes, tired
of having to pay for water I didn't use, and tired of supplying his
shampoo, conditioner and body wash. He was more than happy to,
considering he understood my annoyance. D turned it into me trying
to control my boyfriend and what a bitch I was. After that, my then
boyfriend tried to winnow down his time with D. He was also getting
tired of the weekend guy time, and how more and more, D would over stay
his welcome each and every Saturday, more often than not ruining our plans
for the evening. He was tired of having "sleepovers" and
felt that they weren't appropriate for men in their mid 20's. He
explained all this to D, and told him he was more than welcome to come
over on Friday evenings, but no more spending the night. D tried to
get around this by getting himself drunk so my then boyfriend would not
make him leave.
After a month of this, after D got really intoxicated
and threatened me, my then boyfriend kicked him out, telling him he was
more than welcome to sleep in his car and not to come back until he could
apologize to me. We eventually fell out of touch with D,
thankfully, but often, I'd hear him ranting and raving about how I had
ruined his friendship with my then boyfriend. Needless to say, when
we got engaged, D did not congratulate us. We're now happily
married, expecting our first child, and about to buy our first house.
From what we hear, D still does not have a job, and is still living at his
A friend of mine was hosting her annual Scavenger Hunt
party. Because it took a lot of time setting it up and she needed to buy
certain items to host this party, she sent out invitations with requests
that each guest bring $8.00 to go towards the cost of her expenses. Also,
she mentioned in the invitation that the party would be BYOB. When I
RSVP'd that I would be there, I also asked if she would need any help
setting up beforehand, and I told her to let me know if she needed me to
bring anything. On the day of the party, she called me at 12:00 in the
afternoon (the party was to start at 3:00 that afternoon), and asked if I
could please bring some chips and dip, since I had offered to bring
something if she needed it. I said OK, and she then proceeded to inform me
that she was having approximately 60 people at her house for the party
that day, and I therefore would have to bring enough chips and dip to
accommodate that many people. I was pretty dumbfounded. What was I paying
the $8.00 for if I was to bring my own alcohol AND now supply chips and
dip for 60 people??
Two weeks later, I was having my annual Halloween party.
I realized about two hours before the guests were due to arrive that I had
not stocked up on enough ice, and since this friend lives only a few
blocks away and passes a few stores on her way to my house, AND because I
had just brought chips and dips to feed 60 people for her party at
basically the last minute, I thought that perhaps she wouldn't mind making
a quick stop on her way over and picking up a few bags of ice for me. As
soon as she answered her phone and realized that it was me, she
immediately said, "I hope you're not calling to ask me to bring
anything. I just got into my costume and I don't want to be seen in public
looking like this." It was Halloween, for crying out loud! People
would understand why she was dressed up! Some of my other friends have
experienced similar incidents with her, and have actually suggested on a
few occasions that when her next birthday rolls around, perhaps we should
buy her a book on social etiquette!
I was browsing the web for etiquette sites, and lo and
behold....you'll love this one, I hope. My fiancé'
'Allen' decided to invite his friends 'Wanda' and 'Nick' over for a
weekend. Wanda lives 5 hours away from Nick (college student at the local
university, like us), and Allen heard about Nick's car problems. We
have a guest room, so they were more than welcome, as long as they brought
some sheets, pillows, snacks, drinks, whatever was their fancy - we're not
rich, and washing another couple's 'sheets' is not our style. I hope you
agree, if you can see where I'm going with that one.
Friday, they arrive, all is good, and I cooked some food
in case we got hungry. Of course Wanda and Nick hadn't seen each
other in a while, so quite naturally, they wanted to (PC friendly) 'get it
on' Friday through Sunday. The weekend goes rather smoothly (playing
cards, movies, etc.), too smoothly for me - I'm a very analytical
Monday, I decided to clean my entire apartment; the
rooms needed vacuuming, so I did the bedrooms first. Everything was
fine, until I got to the guest room. Vacuuming under the bed, I hear
something clog the suction of the machine. Are you ready for this?
There is a used condom stuck in my vacuum, and its little 'friends' had
not vacated its premises. I'm a very clean person, and I refuse to
touch such, so I got gloves and had to pry it from the machine. As I
bent over to flip the vacuum, I find an entire box of condoms - used
condoms! In my mind's eye, I could visualize the finish, then the lack
of though to just throw the items under the bed. Can I tell you
I was as mad as a lush being told it's Sunday? I mentioned
this to Allen, and he went through the roof (not that I blame him).
We discussed it, and decided we would tell the couple, because it was
unsanitary, OUR PLACE, and their responsibility to check after themselves.
If I'm wrong, please someone, correct me!
Believe it or not, Wanda calls 2 weeks later, saying she
was visiting, and wanted to see us. We were absolutely thrilled....
They come over, and before we could be cordial about current events and
whatnot, Allen blurts out, 'We need to talk.' Everyone is silent, he says,
'We're all friends, correct?' Nods all around, I'm looking straight ahead.
'And we can talk about anything, just about, right?' Nods. 'You guys left
used condoms under the bed, and that is not very sanitary. No one likes to
see that kind of stuff.' Wanda looks at Nick, and the best thing she could
say was 'Awww, for real? I thought I checked.' That response was
enough for me AND Allen, I felt insulted, disgusted, and used. In my
opinion, that's etiquette at its least - if you're a guest at
someone's home, PAY ATTENTION TO DETAIL. I have no idea where you'll
put this one, but in a polite way, we told them where to put theirs.
Let me just start, as so many contributors have, by
saying how much I enjoy reading your site. I can't wait for more updates
as I've already been through all the existing stories.
So, here's my guest from hell story. My fiancée and I
met "Ted" through our mutual friend "Betty". Betty is
an absolutely charming woman that my fiancée and I have known since we
were teenagers. Her manners are absolutely unimpeachable so I'm sort of
surprised she hasn't gotten sick of Ted's antics.
Initially Ted seemed charming, if a bit overeager. We
went out with Ted and Becky on several occasions to clubs and bars. We're
not big drinkers or partiers, but it's something they enjoy and it's a
nice change for us. After hanging out a few times Ted began constantly
pestering us to hang out, I mean, all the time. Nearly every day I was
asked when we'd be hanging out next, and told how much he liked us. This
is a little bit pushy, but no real faux pas, and though it was a little
tiresome after a while I wasn't offended by it.
What offended me was when we did invite him to come over
and visit with us and our friend "Ann" another person who Ted is
just dying to spend time with. He arrived a little while after Ann did and
we spent some time chitchatting about various topics. After a while there
was an obvious lull in conversation, so I suggested we play a game. Ann,
my fiancée and I all enjoy playing various board and card games and so we
all liked the idea. Ted just shrugged vaguely and said okay. Concerned
that we wouldn't enjoy playing a game I asked him if he had any ideas, and
also suggested putting on a movie. He didn't seem particularly
forthcoming, so a game was selected (which he kind of vaguely nodded at)
and we started playing. After a few minutes Ted pulled out a comic book
and began reading it during the game, and we had to prod him when it was
his turn. This is a trivia game that is specifically designed to be
social, it's a party game, it's not as if we were all deeply concentrating
on a chess board. Even if he wasn't interested in the game he could have
participated in the chit chat but he preferred to just sit and read his
comic book, basically ignoring the rest of us.
After the game was finished I made another attempt to
draw him out, asking him if there's anything in particular he'd like to
do. Apparently he thought we should be partying, since he asked if we had
any alcohol to drink (other than wine we don't keep much alcohol in the
house). I said we didn't and he seemed disappointed. I should note that
when I invited him over it was specifically an invitation to hang out
together, not to party. I specifically mentioned playing games and
possibly watching a movie. After a little bit of forced chit chat my
friend Ann mercifully said she was pretty tired and asked Ted if he might
drop her off at home (she lives quite near us, but doesn't drive). He
agreed and they left and he apparently kept her trapped in the car for at
least 45 minutes talking about how much he wanted to spend more time with
Could have fooled me!
I've been politely dismissive when he's contacted me
about getting together again, and he seems to have gotten the hint since I
haven't heard from him in more than a month. Thank god.
Several years ago, my husband worked in a large
government office with a man who actually lived in DC, but came here for a
month or so several times a year to audit, etc. Since he was
away from his family for so long, we invited him to dinner or lunch
several times each time he was in town. He had originally
lived here, and still owned the family home, which was rented by a couple.
Their contract stated that he had rights to stay in the house during his
terms of work here in town, occupying a spare bedroom.
From what he said, they were nice people and they all got along well.
After about a year and a half of having dinner in our
home several times per visit, he invited us to come to his house for a
meal. His invitation included our college-age daughter, who was home
for several weeks during summer break. So we went to the house
and were greeted on the lawn by our friend and the renter, a loud hairy
man (I know because he was wearing a vest--no shirt, with enough dangling
gold bling to delight Mr. T). We stood on the lawn while he
showed off his Cadillac and his new watch the size of a teacup, and sought
to impress us with the fact that he had flung lots of money at the cable
people for the next Tyson fight.
We stood and stood, then the wife came outside, followed
by EIGHT children. She started putting hamburger patties on
the grill, probably twenty or so. I asked if I could help, so
she invited me in, handed me a knife and some tomatoes and onions, and I
did the slicing while she told me that all of the children were her
day-care group. Most of their moms were strippers, so the kids were
there evenings, slept for a while, and were picked up at any time from
midnight to 6 a.m.
My heart just wept for this woman, married to that loud,
obnoxious braggart who "owned" the daycare business. Her
life seemed to be caring for children till all hours, with her sleep
interrupted as they were picked up. The men stayed out on the
patio, as did our daughter, who was having a wonderful time with the
children. I went back out; she called the children in, then
much later one came back out and said, "She says you can come eat if
you want to." Uncomfortable is not the word for what we
all felt, being thrust into that situation with that poor, overworked
woman who was doing the best she could. I wanted so badly to
go home, but that would have been even worse, letting her see our
discomfort and pity.
So we went into the house, where all the places at the
tables were occupied by the children and the two men. The
woman took her plate to the stove, and my hubby, my daughter and I scooted
all the way back into the mudroom and found a place to set ours down.
First time we ever dined off a washing machine.
I don't know quite what to call this letter; it's not a
complaint about the unwilling hostess, nor even our own sometimes guest
who should never have put either her or us into that spot, nor even her
obnoxious husband. It was all what they call down south a
"goat-roping" but a very sad one. And I can't
put words to all the etiquette which was mistreated by all of us on
It was just so uncomfortable to be so grudgingly
entertained, yet so very heart-rending to think of that woman's life, day
after day, just working and tending and earning to buy that #$*&()*
his gold chains and pay-per-view.
And we never again invited the guy back to dinner.
But I wish I could have invited our hostess---she NEEDS to get out of the
My parents and another couple had just arrived at our
house to visit after they had completed a long motorcycle trip. The six of
us (myself and my husband, my parents, and this other couple) were
standing around talking and this woman just pulls out a pair of nail
clippers and starts clipping her fingernails while she's standing in the
middle of my living room! This was a full-on nail trim and the nails were
sprinkling the living room floor. No one else seemed to notice, or at
least they didn't say anything, but I had to make a conscious effort to
close my mouth. I thought it was a weird thing to do!
Some people think the world is
My DH and I are friends with 2 other couples comprised
of his 2 best friends from high school and their wives. Couple one, Ryan
and Cory are lovely people and we enjoy their company immensely. Couple
two, Dick and Jane are less lovely but as the boys have been friends for
over ten years, we have grown accustomed to their bad behavior.
Every year around Christmas, we have an annual get
together. In years past one couple hosts the event and the menu is a pot
luck. Generally the hosts serve the main dish and the rest of us bring a
side dish to complement the meal. Last year it was my turn to host. Before
an invitation had been sent, I get an email from Jane that basically tells
me she has spoken with Cory and that the party would be on such and such
date at such and such time. Additionally it tells me what I am to serve
and what she and Cory are bringing. A bit assuming and rude, but not one
to cause a rift in my husband's friendships, I agree.
Several days later I get an email from Cory regarding
the party. Her email is quite different and basically asks do I know what
day the party will be held on as she would like to save the date and do I
have suggestions on something for her to bring. I tell her that I thought
she had discussed this with Jane and outlined the email Jane had sent me.
Apparently, Jane had most certainly not spoken with Cory and this was all
news to her. Not long after this discovery a flurry of emails go around
from Jane mainly about the menu, the activities of the evening etc. A
t this point I have had enough and I send out the
invitations for the date and time Jane requested but announced that as I
was the host this year, I had decided to serve a complete meal and that
they should just plan on bringing themselves. This was met with protest by
Jane but she eventually agrees. I thought that would solve all the issues
and we would put the incident behind us. I was wrong. I had planned a very
nice dinner. I had appetizers prepared to nibble prior to dinner. I had
soft drinks and a good selection of wine and beer chilled. Dinner was to
be a 4 course meal and I had made a wonderful homemade cheesecake for
dessert. I was quite proud of the dinner and was very anxious to serve my
guests the fruits of my labor.
Ryan and Cory show up on time and we begin to munch on
the appetizers. An hour has passed and no sign of Dick and Jane. Dinner is
now ready and they are not there. An hour and a half later they show up.
Not sorry that they were late but bragging about how they had been helping
Dick's father buy a new car and the deal they had got him. Now Dick's
father does not speak English well, although certainly well enough that we
converse with him with no issues. He does not feel comfortable with legal
issues or speaking with doctors etc as he feels he will misunderstand
something important and frequently asks Dick to assist him with things of
this nature. I have little doubt that they were late because they were
helping him. I do however take issue that they didn't bother to call and
tell us they were running late. They knew what time dinner was to be
served and that they were holding us up. Also, if they had told Dick's
father they were to be at our house that evening I know he would never
have interfered with their plans. He is a dear and very well mannered
When I asked if they had been at the car dealers all day
(and trust me sometimes it can take that long) they informed me that the
had arrived at the car dealers 30 minutes before they were supposed to
arrive at my home!! How rude! So an hour and a half late and dinner is now
cold. As I am frantically trying to reheat dishes, I tell them to help
themselves to the snacks I had served. I have made bacon wrapped scallops,
brushetta and stuffed mushrooms. (All from scratch and they turned out
wonderfully.) Jane lets me know she does not eat tomatoes, fish or
mushrooms. She will just wait for dinner.
So after reheating dinner it is finally served. (2 hours
after it was scheduled.) I have made salad, fresh bread, creamed corn (I
hate creamed veggies but this particular recipe I got from a 5 star hotel
and it is to die for), fresh green beans with bacon, scalloped potatoes
and honey baked ham. I have slaved over this meal for 6 hours and made
everything from scratch. Jane announces she only eats veggies from a can,
does not like the salad dressing and hates scalloped potatoes. She eats
bread and ham for dinner. Additionally, she comments that she hates wine
but manages to sip from her glass. I offer her something else to drink as
I have plenty of other selections, but she declines and pouts her way
through dinner. Then when I serve dessert and coffee, announces she hates
cheesecake and didn't care for the coffee as it wasn't her special blend
of instant Folgers coffee. I ground the coffee beans fresh and had
purchased an expensive brand of coffee from a very popular chain. Shortly
after the gift giving they leave.
I was very hurt and offended by her behavior and the
fact that she didn't even try the dishes I had prepared. Even though the
other guests complimented my cooking, she said not a word. I have eaten at
her home many times and while Jane is not the greatest cook in the world,
I sample everything that she makes and compliment her cooking even if I
dislike it. I too may not be the greatest cook in the world but I put so
much time and effort into making a delicious meal for my guests that I was
very hurt that she had nothing nice to say. It is their turn to host the
get together this year and I cannot tell you how tempted I am to tell her
when to have it, what to cook and then show up 3 hours late with take out.
I assure you however, I was raised better than that and will be a gracious
We moved into our new house and our sister in law came over
and brought stuff for a fondue party. It was to be the first family meal
in our new home. We were all making the fondue in my new kitchen and
to my surprise, she asked everyone for payment for their share of the food
she brought over, including us!
My story stems from the year both my husband and I were
diagnosed with potentially debilitating medical problems. Since I had two
small children, and lived 2,500 miles from the nearest relative, I called
up my mother asking if my 19 year old sister could come stay with me in
our guest room for a couple months to help me, just until we could arrange
a more permanent solution. She told me basically no, that the 19 year old
was getting ready for her wedding (this was the first I had ever heard of
the upcoming event).
Shocked at the news, of course, I said please don't even
think about it again, and offered my congratulations. My mother, feeling
guilty I suppose, arranged for one of her acquaintances whom I barely
knew, to come stay with me without my knowledge. She just called me up and
said that "Trish" would be coming and that I needed
to be at the airport to pick her up at such and such a time. Both my
husband and I were both a bit perturbed by this, we are grown up after
all, but we arranged to have her brought to our home by taxi, a two
hour drive from the airport, of course paying for our guest, as we were
both scheduled to be at doctors appointments we could not change.
We soon found out that even though Trish had been clean
for many years, she had multiple mental problems stemming from past years
of substance abuse. She couldn't drive, and since we live in a
small town, we felt bad she was so cooped up, and ended up
taking her anywhere she wanted to go. (She became active in a singles
group, a local church and an AA chapter.) She tried really hard
to help clean and cook for me, enough said there, and I didn't trust
her to be alone with the kids because of her blackouts, panic attacks, and
depression. She really became even more of a burden than we
already had to bear. Just one instance for example.
My husband and I both had to leave town for 3 days
. We offered to take her with us, putting her up in her own hotel
room, but she declined, saying she would rather stay behind and
didn't like traveling in a car for long distances. O.K., we left her
two sets of extra keys and a garage door opener, and our phone #.
While we were gone, she befriended a neighborhood dog and offered to take
it for walks while the owners left town for the weekend. They
agreed, because they knew us. While she was walking it, she lost one set
of our keys, our garage door opener, and our neighbors garage door
opener. She scaled the neighbors fence, opened the gate and put the
dog in the back yard for the night. So far so good. We will
ignore the fact she forgot to give it food and water. Then she went to
another neighbor of ours, borrowed a crowbar and a screwdriver and
proceeded to destroy both the frame and the door to our outside garage
door. Then, because the laundry room door was also locked, she
took the tools to that one as well. It did over $1,200 worth of
damage. To top all this off, she had left the back door completely
unlocked the entire time we were gone.
We replaced our neighbors garage door opener as the keys
nor the openers were never found. We never even mentioned to her the cost
of the repairs or replacements. After about a month of this, we told her
we were fine and she could go home now. Thank you very much for your
help. She asked how much we were going to pay her for her services.
About three months later she called up and announced she would be coming
out again on such and such a date and to arrange her pick up from the
airport, but this time no taxis please. We told her, no thank you we
didn't need her help and we would be unable to pick her up from the
airport. Offended, she cancelled her trip. By the way, the 19 year old
never got married, she just had her boyfriend move into my mother's house.
I would not call my sister's children rug rats.
They are very sweet and funny, and, in general a pleasure to have around.
I should begin by saying I have no children, so I suppose to anyone who
does, I know nothing about raising children. Well, you are right, I
don't. I DO know, that if my sister continues on her current path,
her otherwise lovely children will turn into some of the dreary adults I
have read about in the "Guests from Hell" section. After
all, where do all these ill-mannered adults come from? I
am speaking in particular about meals.
Sometimes in idle phone conversation my sister tells me
over the phone (we live in separate states) about what each of her
children eats. They are ages 10, 9, and 6. Two of them are
vegetarians. While I don't like the idea of forcing anyone,
including children, to eat specific foods, would it be so terrible
make some minimal demand regarding what they eat? Why, you ask?
I invited them to stay at my place last summer on
their way to Cape Cod, as my home is at the half way point on their trip
and it's a way we can all visit, my mom (who is local to me) can see her grandchildren,
and they can rest during their trip. On the first part of their trip
my husband made steaks on the grill. We had baked potatoes,
salad and a vegetable. The middle child ate everything but the
steak. At the time, he was the only vegetarian. At least
he ate some of what was on the table. I might also mention that
when the children had had enough to eat, they left the table. The
oldest went off to read, while the two boys went berserk, running around
the table and the rest of the house. In general I don't even mind
the running around; but during dinner? My sister and her husband
were completely oblivious. One of them went outside and fell into
our pool ! It had not been opened in years; and he fell into a
hole in the very old tarp, into the filthy water; but, fortunately, got
Since this is not Guests from Hell, I won't elaborate on
how my sister complains that she can't or her husband can't sleep in a
particular bed. I had no idea I was running a hotel, where you can
lodge complaints if the amenities don't measure up. So they
went to the Cape. THEY were on their vacation. My husband and
I were not; we were still working all week. Then came the evening
for them to stay night on their way home. My husband I were
tired from working all day and decided to order pizzas instead of cooking.
When my sister called on her cell phone to tell us they'd be at our place
in about an hour, I asked what they wanted on their pizza.
"Well, I really don't want pizza", she told me. When I
told her pizza was it, she told me what toppings she wanted.
When her daughter wasn't happy with the pizza, she went to the
refrigerator to see what else there was. Then my sister joined her
in checking the inventory! When her son said at
breakfast the next morning, "Mommy I don't like onions in the home
fries", she sweetly told him to just eat around them.
Do you see my point here? When I read in Guests from Hell about
adults who won't eat what is graciously served to them, bringing their own
fast food and saying "Eeeew!" (God, I hate that!) at what has
been prepared, I begin to worry that my niece and nephews will become just
that. My mother, grandmother to these children,
witnessed all of these poor behaviors and was as stunned as I was. Why?
Because she raised us both with impeccable manners. Somewhere
my sister picked up some very unsavory ways.
Page Last Updated May 15, 2007