House guests, party guests,
Thanks for the opportunity to share this outrageous story.
Shortly after my wife and I wed we visited her sister and
family in another state. While talking with my new brother in law he warned me
to beware of my wife's other sister, Anna. She hates all of her sisters'
husbands. I thought this to be odd since I had met Anna several times and always
got along well with her. Besides, Anna lived in Asia while we were in the USA.
How much trouble could she be? I should have heeded his advice.
One day a letter arrived announcing that Anna had obtained a
long sought after tourist visa and was coming to visit for two weeks. That two
weeks lasted for six horrible months.
I work nights while my wife worked days. During the day time I
figured it must be terribly boring for Anna to sit around waiting all day for
her sister to come home so I took Anna out to lunch and/or engaged in idle
chit-chat with her. Invariably, the following day my wife would storm into the
room demanding, "What the hell did you say to Anna yesterday?" I'm at
a total loss as to what I had done wrong. Anna, it seems, would repeat back
everything I had said but would make changes and put a negative spin on it. I
always ended up looking like a fool, an ogre, or worse. Before the first week
was out I seldom spoke to her any more.
By the end of week two Anna had made friends with some of our
friends. She manipulated one of them into hiring her to do clerical work at the
local hospital. Bear in mind, Anna was in the US on a tourist visa and is not
legally entitled to take work. When I asked how she could work without a social
security number she revealed that she had lied at the Social Security
Administration. The fell for it and issued her a SSN. I should have dropped a
dime on her right then but she is the wife's sister. I held my tongue.
Naturally, the task of bringing her to and from work fell to me.
Anna was in the midst of marital difficulties. Her husband,
who worked full time in Saudi Arabia, had taken up with another woman there. As
an aside I must say the lad was very brave, though stupid, to do such a thing in
Saudi but I, by now, understood very well how he could have done it! Since Anna
was rid of him, and also to exact her revenge, she took to giving out her phone
number to men she would meet at bus stops. Her phone number?! That was my
number! We had guys calling here at all hours. Further, she made frequent calls
to 900 number dating services, at great cost. Eventually, they two of them
patched up and are back together. What an unlucky guy.
Calls to 900 numbers were not the worst of it. Anna would call
Asia daily to check on her businesses. These calls were always during peak hours
and lasted 2+ hours. When I blew my stack over an $800.00+ phone bill Anna
retorted that it would be cheaper if I changed my phone service. See? It was MY
fault that her calls were so expensive! Fortunately, my wife stood by me on this
Anna complained about anything and everything...non-stop.
We had been married over 11 years at this time. Anna had never
gotten over the way my wife and I had met. You see, my wife and I met through an
agency which matched Asian women with Western men. She was, for want of a better
term, a Mail Order Bride. Anna would go into frequent tirades on this topic.
When I asked her if she didn't realize that she was, in effect, saying that her
sister was too stupid to make up her own mind regarding how she wanted to live
her life Anna went ballistic. Never mind that Anna had, by now, been living in
our home and observing our day to day interaction for six months, she boldly
stated, "All of the men who do this are murderers and rapists. Everybody
So I am a murderer and a rapist! That was it. Let the chips
fall where they may. I told my wife, "If Anna is still here when I get home
from work tomorrow morning I'm going to keep on driving. You got that?"
Evidently, blood is not always thicker than water. Anna was gone.
Years later Anna's daughter married a very nice fellow. No
freaking surprises here, Anna hates him too. Poor guy
My in laws were visiting us for a week. My husband and I and
our children decided to make one of our two bathrooms "off limits" for
showering to everyone but my MIL and FIL, so they would have exclusive use of it
for bathing. We continued to use it for quick bathroom visits, hand-washing,
hair-combing, etc. For their convenience, I asked them to please put used towels
down the laundry chute, as well as any of their clothing they would like me to
launder. About three days into their visit I gathered a load of towels to wash
and realized that my MIL and FIL hadn't put their used towels down the chute, so
I went into the bathroom to gather the used towels. But every towel was still in
the linen cabinet, just where I had put them a week ago. I had heard them taking
showers at least once every day, so I tried to tactfully ask where their used
towels were, so I could wash them. "Oh, we've just been drying off with the
hand towel and then hanging it back up again!" they replied, while looking
at me as though using a clean towel were the strangest custom they'd ever heard
of. The thought of them drying off with the hand towel and then hanging it back
up for several days in a row (and my children then using that towel for their
own hands after using the bathroom) just about made me sick to my stomach.
This is only a minor etiquette violation, but I was absolutely
horrified as my friends and family are generally well-mannered, thoughtful,
polite people and I am just not used to gross rudeness.
I am a graduate student, and our research lab was having a
grand opening party to celebrate our founding (we were a brand new lab). Our
department gave us some money to buy cheese, veggies, fruit, chips, soda, beer -
usual party fare - and the party was going great. We'd invited a large number of
people in the university, as well as asking people to bring friends who might be
interested in our research topic, so when about 80 people showed up we were
The party was being held in our lab itself, which was two
rooms: one room had a DJ (really a friend of ours who is a professional musician
and volunteered his time for the party) and the other room, in which my desk and
work materials are located, was set up as party central with food, drink, games,
seating, etc. Things were going great until about halfway through the party,
when I came back into my office from the DJ room to discover one of the guests
ROOTING THROUGH MY DESK DRAWERS. After commenting rudely on a number of my
smaller personal items, including insulting the lovely tea my boyfriend had
bought me to drink while working, she pulled out the bag of candy I keep in the
back of my desk drawer for low-blood-sugar emergencies and began snacking on
I could not believe how rude this was! It's not as though we
hadn't provided ample food and drink, and the desk drawers were firmly closed (I
had packed away all my personal items in the desk drawers and rearranged the
room so that we'd avoid precisely this problem!). It seemed clear that this girl
had no idea that the desk was mine, since she continued happily invading my
personal workspace and eating my food as I watched. I was too horrified (and
polite!) to say anything, but I did politely suggest that she might like to try
some of the delicious food we had provided for her at our department's expense!
Eventually she moved on to the snack table and I watched my desk like a hawk for
the rest of the night!
The worst part is, no one at the party had any idea who this
girl was. We're still trying to figure out who invited her so we can warn them
about her etiquette-challenged behavior!
The last 2 years, I've organized small, manageable
birthday parties for my eldest daughter. Each time, I have invited a
limited number of children, as I can't afford too many, and knowing my luck, if
I over-invited to accommodate no-shows, they'd all come! So the year
before last, I allow my daughter 4 of her kinder friends for a party at a fast
food restaurant. One little girl doesn't show - after her mother had said
she would - we ended up including the younger cousin of one of the other guests,
as I had to pay for it anyway. Was a little put out - but I figured, we
didn't know them very well at the time, Kinder had only been in session for a
Roll on to the next year - first year of school. This
time, I allow my daughter 5 of her friends to come to our house for a pizza, ice
cream and video pajama party. There are a few changes in the guest list,
but this one little girl who didn't turn up the year before was invited
again. I made sure the day before, to speak to her mother and
confirm she was definitely coming - yes, she was. Great. The
party starts - once again, this little girl is not there. I think maybe
they have lost the invite, and don't know the new address (we had moved), but
upon speaking to one of the other mothers, I discover this was NOT the case, as
this mother had called her for our address that morning! I see her
at school the next week, and politely tell her my daughter missed her daughter
at the birthday party, and how it's a real shame when we don't have all the
guests as it makes the party rather small. Her response? "Oh,
we don't hold that much stock in birthday parties that aren't for family, we
just usually keep it to their cousins (they have a large extended family), we
decided to go to *local tourist attraction* instead". I explain
through gritted teeth that my daughter doesn't HAVE any cousins, and her brother
and sister are only babies, and this is why I DO think inviting other children
is important. Make mental note to make sure little girl is not
invited if my daughter has another party.
Hi, I love your website and have a story for you about a rude
guest who was also an in-law. My ex-husband "J" had a twin brother
"B" who had been globetrotting for the last number of years. He
came to town and started staying with us on the weekends when he was not
working. My ex and his brother were very close and when B
started coming over, I thought that this would be a good opportunity to get to
know him a bit better. My first impression of B was not positive one and
it was when we had visited him and his girlfriend in Quebec. We were
going out to eat a lot and since B was on welfare and his girlfriend was a
student, I suggested to J that we buy food and bring it over so that it wouldn't
affect their budget too much. We bought pate, crackers, fondue,
vegetables and fruit as well as two live lobsters. When we brought the
food over, B's girlfriend said we didn't get enough other foods that went well
with lobster and she had to go to the store for mussels and something
else. When dinner was finally cooked, I was handed half a lobster on
a plate and waited for everyone else to be served. They insisted I eat my
lobster first so I contemplated which part I would eat first. B told me I
didn't know how to eat lobster and when I said I did, he took the plate from me
and with bare hands broke it up and handed it back to me with a command, EAT IT.
Not to cause a scene, I gently pushed the plate back to him and said to him,
This is yours. Later, J told me that I was very rude not to eat the
handled lobster although I disagree to this day. Just for spite, I think
that is why they only thanked J for dinner and HIS thoughtful idea.
Anyway, we had prepared a lovely guest room for B
and when he first arrived, we showed it to him. He dropped his bag on the
bed and that was the extent of the spare bedroom's use. B took up
residence in the living room, using the computer all day and when he wanted to
go to sleep, just lay on the couch with the TV on all night. B stated
that he could not fall asleep unless he had a TV going. I am a light
sleeper and the TV kept me up all night. B also had quite a bit of
company being in from Asia and a lot of people stopped by to see him. The
house was like Grand Central Station with J and B offering these guests food and
drink as well as cigarettes (besides helping themselves constantly). J
informed me that I must provide these items at my own expense and my wifely duty
is to clean up after these guests who did not remove shoes at the door, threw
garbage around, left half empty Coke cans everywhere (they would set it
down somewhere and then got a new can), or replace anything they consumed.
We then found a small TV and placed it in the spare bedroom so that B could
sleep there the next weekend. He never turned that TV on, but continued to
sleep on the couch and the living room TV was on 24 hours a day every weekend.
I started to get annoyed as I watched B take cigarettes and Coke from my
kitchen and asked him if he would replace these items as they are not free.
He assured me that he would. I am still waiting!
One Sunday morning, I woke up and went to the only bathroom in
the house to almost step into B's pants thrown in the doorway of the bathroom
absolutely full of feces! I moved the offending clothing to another part
of the bathroom and for modesty's sake, covered it up, so there would be no embarrassment
on his part if anyone else (guests) had to use the bathroom in the
meantime. I got myself dressed and went downstairs only to find B asleep
on the couch wearing nothing but a robe all splayed out showing everything.
I instructed J, my husband to cover him up as people were arriving later
and this was not appropriate for anyone to see. J did not see
anything wrong with this behavior but, covered him up anyway. My
husband did not mention the "accident" until later after I had
put gloves on and was checking the pockets of the pants wearing a look of
disgust on my face. J while walking by, informed me that B had
had diarrhea last night. Wow! Is that what that is?!!!!!
I also had to clean the bathmat which was full as well as the tub and
toilet with the telltale stains. I washed the pants and when I took them
out of the washing machine, I had missed B's wallet located in the back
pocket (which I was loathe to touch even with gloves on). I threw the
pants into the dryer and took the sodden wallet to B who became very upset that
I had washed his cards and ID and proceeded to call me a number of names and
asking me how stupid I could be to miss such a big item as his wallet. I
was so angry that I could not speak! I avoided both of them for most
of the day and waited patiently until it was time for B to leave.
Other company had arrived by this time and he entertained them
wearing the robe which he had thankfully tied up. He started telling J to
loan him a pair of pants to get back home in. J told him to wear his own,
knowing that they had been washed. B started telling J that he
could not wear them and another guest present at the time asked what had
happened. B told him with absolutely no embarrassment whatsoever that he
had shat himself. After B had left, J stood by his brother and
told me that I should keep quiet about this incident and to continue letting B
stay on weekends, whatever happens. This resulted in an argument which I
could not win and was one of the many reasons of the beginning of the end of my
Hi, First off, I find your site very interesting and rather
entertaining. I have a story about a few guests we have had in our house, though
they may not be as horrific as some other stories are. My father had
been recruiting a man to work in his lab. Of course, the man needed to find a
house to live in. So he and his wife temporarily moved into our house until they
found what they wanted. Now, my room was the biggest room, so they automatically
got it. Which meant that I had to share a room with my moody brother. His room
was about half the size of mine, so I had absolutely no privacy. In addition, I
was still in school, so I had to spend extra time at night to get my clothing
for the next day. But this couple had a baby, so I had to go even earlier so as
not to wake up the baby. The icing on the cake was the behavior of
the wife. The husband was off with my father, doing the type of things that
newly recruited people do. But the wife was very introverted. She wouldn't talk
to anyone, and was very sullen. My mother is rather talkative with other people,
so she would try to initiate conversations, but nothing would come out of this
woman's mouth. So my family not only had to endure two extra people in our
house, but they didn't interact with us, so it was extremely awkward.
Another recruitment for my father had also stayed with us before, but he had a
2-year old, so this kid would run around and be generally noisy. And my mother
had to chauffeur them around to find a house as well. In addition, recently they
moved back to Scotland, so our work was for nothing!!!!!!!!!!!!
First things first, a little background, I am a seventeen
year old girl who does extremely well in school and doesn't have time during
high school to work because of my study/extracurricular habits. During the
summer between my 11th and 12th grade years I got a job at a local theme park
just for the experience. I had also just recently moved to a new house. During
this summer, my old neighbors, who I am very close with and have been
babysitting for them for going on six years now, decided that they were
going to add a second story on to their house. They have a twelve year old
daughter who used to frequent my old house often when we lived next to
them. During their construction they had asked if their daughter, Erin,
could stay at my house for a few nights while they were tearing off their roof.
I said that it would be okay if I didn't have to work and that I would call them
with my schedule.
After a few weeks of working NON-STOP until 11 PM every night,
I had 4 days off work. I called the parents and they shipped their daughter over
to me for what was supposed to be one night. My boyfriend came over that night
and we all went to a park to walk my dog. After I had spent MY hard earned
money on a drink for Erin, she proceeded to SPIT it on my boyfriend. (Just
to mention, Erin is almost 13 yrs old! She's not a baby) She offered no apology.
Luckily my BF is cool and calm, so he didn't get upset at all. Finally we took
my BF home and returned to my house. She said she wanted to go online. By this
time it was almost midnight. I said she could go on for 45 mins then she
had to go to bed. I was dead tired because I worked earlier that day. I feel
asleep 15 mins after that. I woke up at 4 AM and she was still online! I
told her to shut the computer off and go to sleep. She did.
Then the next day her Mom asked me if Erin could stay for 3
more nights. I said that was fine because I love her mother and know how
stressful it is for her to have Erin running through a construction zone. I
told Erin she needed to get in to the shower and put fresh clothes on. She was
starting to stink. She refused, so I just ignored the fact. Then later on she
begged me to take her to a movie that she's already seen THREE times in
theaters. I finally give in. I have to shell out 15 bucks for us to see this
stupid movie. Then we get home and she goes online and doesn't go to sleep until
4 AM again.
The next two days she showered once, but put on the same dirty
clothes. She brought at least 4 clean outfits with her. By this time she
made my room a mess, and it was starting o smell. The last night she was at my
house I said we could go rent a movie. She picked out one movie that was
completely unappealing to me, so I suggested that we try to find something that
we both might like. She sulked around for 45 MINUTES in the movie shop telling
me that I was cheap because I would only pay to rent one movie. She had 10
bucks with her she could pay for her own movie, but she didn't want to. We
finally, after an hour, picked out a movie. The next day she went to open a new
box of cereal that had her favorite actor on it. She tried to eat the
WHOLE box before I took her home at noon so she could keep the box, that, yes, I
paid for. I told her that that was rude and that she was not to eat the whole
box of cereal, because that's what I eat every morning before work. I finally
got this brat child home, and I never plan on inviting her to stay at my house
This story happened to my group of friends a few months ago.
Two of our friends had their birthday on this particular month, so we decided to
treat them to a fancy Italian restaurant. We made our reservations, sent out the
emails and we all decided to foot the bill for our own meal and pay tips, tax
and the meals of the birthday guys. So every one is on time except for
"Roy". Everyone keeps wondering where Roy is. We had our cocktails and
appetizers and ordered our meals. After one hour and a half later Roy shows up.
He orders a house salad with shrimp, a soup and a some pasta. We continue to
have a delightful evening. That is until the bill arrived. I took the bill and
divided what we decided to pay in equal parts. And I then added the numbers for
each person. Roy had two cocktails , added shrimp to his salad (which included a
fresh made dressing that was extra, and the shrimp was also extra), his soup and
pasta added up to a 47 dll. bill (the equal deal part included), so as I am
collecting the dough, Roy hands out a ten dollar bill with a smile, and says
nothing else. Then I just utter, I am missing 37 dollars. Yet Roy acts as if he
hadn't heard a thing. Many of the other guys had to foot the bill for what was
left and we both had to pretend nothing happened with our guests of honor. Guess
if we have invited him again.
Many years ago, when my husband was still in high school, my
BIL (Jack) lived in a large city several states away. MIL and DH decide to
take a trip to see Jack over the summer, which of course entails numerous phone
calls and arrangements to be made with Jack, Jack's roommates, and Jack's
employer in order to ensure that MIL would get the most out of the trip.
One problem: MIL decides to show up at Jack's house early! That's
right- she shows up, out of the blue, on Jack's doorstep days before
she is supposed to arrive. Jack and his roommates are quite flustered,
since they didn't have the house clean, and they were all due at work within the
hour. Jack brings in his mother's things, (while my DH is about to die of embarrassment-
he thought they were coming at the pre-arranged time), explains that he has to
go to work, and leaves. MIL sits there for a few minutes, then tells my
DH, "He didn't even offer me a Coke," gets her things, and leaves. Yes,
she made DH get the bags and drove off, never to return. Jack
was left with a week of non-paid vacation he had taken for his mother, but she
was so offended at his lack of hospitality that she decided to go to a local
resort town and have a different vacation entirely. This happened years
ago, but I hear the story from her at every family gathering, always culminating
with, "Can you believe he wouldn't even offer me a Coke?"
I have been friends with Sara since college. Over the years we
have both married, bought houses, etc. Sara and Jim (her husband) live in
City B three hours away from us; therefore, visits usually last a weekend, and
we alternate visits from City A (our home) to City B with each couple having
equal turns to be the host. Background: I am a notorious neat freak. We
have a room in our home that is used for guests only, and while there might be a
little clutter in the living room, I make sure that the bathroom, guest room,
kitchen, and dining areas are spotless. I always leave guest towels out,
and the guest bed always has clean sheets. On with my story…
After nearly 2 years of this handy and enjoyable visiting
arrangement, we got a dog. Dog is well-behaved, and we have a strict set
of guidelines for Dog at our home (not allowed on furniture, no table scraps, no
jumping on people). No matter where he is, Dog follows these rules. Sara
and Jim, both dog-lovers, visited us for a weekend. They absolutely adored
Dog and had a great time with him. It didn’t surprise us that they got
their own dog, Puppy, just weeks later. Things were fine, until it was our
turn to visit them in City B. Up until this visit, we had always stayed in
their guest room and they had been decent hosts. Do you see where this is
The dogs got along just fine. However, Puppy is very
pampered. So pampered, in fact, that he now got the guest room. Sara and
Jim had given Puppy the guest room and queen-size bed, and asked us to sleep on
a single bed in a finished room in the basement. We chalked this up to
Sara and Jim being overly worried first-time puppy parents (Puppy was allowed to
wander between the guest room and master bedroom at night, and would often end
up sleeping in bed with Sara and Jim anyways).
However, this continued for several months and Puppy became
rather large (much bigger than Dog). At our house, Sara and Jim had a lovely
guest room with clean sheets and towels. At their house, DH and I were relegated
to the single bed in the basement. As if that wasn’t bad enough, the
quality of Sara and Jim’s hosting got worse. The final time we stayed in
the basement, we had to sleep on dirty sheets that slid down halfway through the
night, so we were sleeping on bare mattress. In addition, the weather had turned
cold and the basement was freezing. Sara and Jim had not given us extra
blankets, any towels, and had neglected to clean the bathroom (full garbage can,
short & curlies everywhere, etc.). Puppy still had the nice guest
DH and I wondered if this was Sara and Jim’s way of saying
they wanted to end the friendship. No, that wasn’t it, as Sara and Jim always
invited us there (we would never invite ourselves) saying they loved our company
and Puppy liked playing with Dog. Perhaps Sara and Jim didn’t like our hosting
capabilities and they were having sweet revenge? No, I am known in our circle of
friends as THE hostess, and I go out of my way to make guests (overnight,
dinner, whatever) feel extremely welcome. Could we be bad guests?
This final possibility was examined at length. DH and I discussed it, and
decided that we were not bad guests since we always cleaned up after ourselves
and Dog, and never overstayed our welcome. Other friends reassured us that
we were not bad guests.
After the last basement stay, I was very upset and DH was
livid. Over the phone, I politely mentioned our discomfort to Sara. I
nicely explained that DH and I were simply too big to fit into a twin-size bed,
and that we were very cold last time. Sara was apologetic, and insisted
that they wanted to remain friends and it wouldn’t happen again. I
mentioned that DH and I could easily stay in a hotel in City B; Sara refused
this offer, saying that she and Jim enjoyed having us at their home and visits
wouldn’t be the same if we were at a hotel. At our last visit, we were
allowed to stay in the guest room, where it was warm and comfortable.
Puppy’s pampering has come back to bite Sara and Jim in the
butt, however. Having a 15lb. puppy sleep in your bed is adorable. When Puppy
grew to 80+ pounds, it wasn’t so comfortable. Sara admitted that she often
sleeps in the guest room during the week, since Puppy has taken her side of the
king-size bed she shared with Jim. Since Puppy is accustomed to sleeping
in the people bed, it is very difficult to kick him out at 2am, and Sara finds
it easier to just surrender and stumble half-asleep to the guest room.
We remain friends with Sara and Jim…I can’t wait to see
what happens at the next visit!
A few months after my husband and I bought our first house we
decided to throw a big party for all our friends to celebrate. My
brother-in-law invited a few of his friends, which we didn’t mind, since we
know and liked them.
One of brother in laws friends showed up with her 5 month old
puppy. Being the owners of 3 dogs (and not small ones) this made for a lot
of dogs in our house! While unexpected the dogs did have fun playing
By 1 a.m. I was exhausted and decided to go to bed. We
have a dry bar in the basement and there is no smoking on the first floor of our
ranch house, so the few people left were in the basement. I left my
husband with the remaining guests. I got to our bedroom to find not only a
small pile of coats (which I planned to move to the couch) but 2 people sleeping
in MY bed under a pile of coats and under the covers. I went back down to
get my husband to try to rouse the couple.
After about 30 minutes of trying desperately tying to get the
couple out of our bed (they were very drunk) the boyfriend (who we had never
met) proceeded to vomit all over the bed! At this time the rest of our
guests joined in our effort to get them out of the room. We managed to get
them onto an air mattress in the living room floor only to find out that their
puppy, which had been locked in the room with them, had peed all over our rug.
So I ended up washing the sheets and mattress pad, making the bed and mopping up
dog pee at 2 in the morning when all I wanted was some sleep.
Now I have no problem with people staying over when they have
had too much to drink. At the time we had 2 futons, 3 couches and an air
mattress. They could have slept on any one of them. But they climbed
into our bed without even asking. The next morning they got up and left
without so much as an apology. We have since told my brother-in-law that
his friends are no longer invited to our home.
A few years ago my husband, my cousin (visiting from out of
state) and I offered to help “X”, one of my husband childhood friends, move
from Detroit to Chicago. X arranged for a rental truck and tow dolly for
his car and we were going to use my station wagon to move his clothes and
When we arrived Saturday morning at least half of X’s
belongings were not packed, let alone in the truck. My cousin and I ended
up packing his belongings so we could get on the road faster. After a few
hours of loading his stuff in the truck and into our car we hit the road.
As luck would have it, as we arrived in Chicago our car died, barely making it
to his front door. We also pulled into town to discover that he had chosen
Puerto Rican Independence Day as moving day and he was moving into a Puerto
Rican part of Chicago. This made travel very difficult as there was a
large parade through town and many streets were blocked off. It took the
tow truck over 3 hours to get to us, which gave us enough time to move all his
belongings up 3 flights of stairs to his new apartment in 80+ degree heat. Not
to mention he had forgotten to get the keys from the landlord, so one of us
ladies had to break into the apartment from the balcony window.
We were lucky enough to find a repair shop open on Saturday.
What was unlucky on our part was the part needed to repair the car wouldn’t be
available from the dealership until Tuesday, at the earliest. We were
unable to call anyone at the new apartment to come pick us up, because the phone
hadn’t been hooked up yet. After hours we were able to get a hold of
friends that also came along to help who graciously came to pick us up.
So, after moving X’s belongings for hours and hours of waiting at the repair
shop we arrived back at the apartment to find that there was no hot water to get
cleaned up. He had forgotten to have the gas turned on.
The next day my husband had to go home with another couple so
he could go to work on Monday (and not lose his job). My cousin and I
decided to make the best of our time in Chicago, a city neither of us had been
to. X let us stay on his couch during the time our car was being repaired.
We did have a wonderful time seeing the sights and were able to get the car back
on Tuesday afternoon.
But during the entire time we stayed X never once offered to
take us out to dinner as a thank you for all our help, he didn’t even buy
pizza on moving day or offer to pay for some of our gas during the move.
The one night we went out to dinner he insisted we split the tab. He
didn’t even buy us a single thank you drink. And the entire time we were
there we were forced to take cold showers, because he could never remember to
get the gas turned on. I know we probably should have gone to a hotel, but
we were both poor college students at the time. We had enough money for
gas there and back and meals. My parents were loaning me money to fix the
My husband took over the lease on X’s old apartment and was
paying him back his security deposit in payments (money was tight). X
called him nearly every day about the money until his security deposit was paid
back. Since that security deposit was paid back nearly 5 years ago my
husband has not heard from X a single time. I am not to upset about that
The food arrived at the table and my father in law was already
circling the table with his eyes, studying everyone's plates to see what he
might be able to scam for himself. This was after he polished off both entire
appetizers plus the decorative lettuces and mystery greens they were arranged
I had just finished my salad and was starting on my fish when
I could feel him staring at me from across the table. He asked me if I planned
to eat it all. As if it were some enormous meal that I'd look like a complete
hog if I actually ate every bite. Jokingly I replied that I would try, and the
rest of the family laughed and joked about his premature (or immature) left-over
claim staking. This man has the most annoying, greedy food obsession I've ever
known in anyone. I may as well ask him if there's anything he'd like off my
plate before I might be allowed to dig into it!
Jeanne, the more I read the stories on your site, I find more
things to write you about! This one is a lot tamer than many of the horror
stories on your site, but I felt it one worth sharing.
I have a cousin I'll call Freddie the Freeloader (with
apologies to Red Skelton and the character he created). Freddie is
the son of one of my uncles on my mother's side. We are about the same
age, but our relationship was never a good one. I have always considered
him an oafish, selfish individual who was abusive towards me, even after he grew
out of behaving the way "boys" are alleged to act.
His father, I am amazed to say has tolerated Freddie's sleazy
ways: Freddie for a long time lived off his father, even though he had
held various jobs in his years after college, and apparently even stole from
Freddie also hasn't done too well in relations with the
opposite sex: his wife is a mail-order bride from Southeast Asia. My
uncle told me she was an extremely nice woman (much younger than Freddie) when
he met her for the first time, has a job of her own and tolerated what he
considered Freddie's dismissive and sometimes mean treatment of her.
Well, I haven't seen Freddie in nearly a quarter century, but
I recently got a message on my answering machine from him. Freddie says he
and the Mrs. are traveling to my city to be at a friend's wedding and could they
stay there? He then called every day for three days, until he finally gave
I had been warned that Freddie would do this; he had
asked his dad for my phone number, and apparently said he knew I was
living in that particular area and would just stay there because he and the Mrs.
didn't want to spend the money on a hotel.
Now at this point in Freddie's life he has a job that makes
nearly three times what I do--that, on top of his wife's income, they make six
figures easily! And if he looked at hotels.com or some other website, he
would have found that there are nearly a dozen reasonably priced hotel chains in
my city--in fact, within spitting distance of my house!
Considering I live in a tiny home with room enough for me and
my pets, and that there is no guest room of any kind, I would have said there
was just no place for him to stay--that would not have stopped him, as I know
what Freddie is like.
I told my mother to pass along to my uncle (whom I adore and
admire greatly) that he and the wife should get their own place when they come
out, and that I didn't take too kindly at the notion that I would just open the
doors to them, after not hearing from him in any way for 25 years, and that his
treatment of me, while forgiven is not forgotten.
This story is about the invitation we received by a couple we
know for a barbeque. First off, the invitation. The usual: the
date, place, time, etc. and then goes on to say "Please R.S.V.P. for
seafood, $5.00 per person."
While I can understand R.S.V.P.'ing for seafood, as seafood
can be quite expensive, I cannot understand why they chose to charge all their
guests for it. (There were hamburgers, hot-dogs, and chicken there as well
- so it's not like it was just the seafood). My thoughts are: If you
can't afford to have seafood at your party - then don't have seafood at
your party! Don't get me wrong, $5.00 isn't an expensive amount, but it
was so….. tacky.
My other gripe about the party: This couple invited more
people than they could comfortably handle. And while I think it's a
nice gesture to ask the host if they need any help with anything, I don't think
the hosts should work you like a slave, as they did one particular person (my
DH), who was just there to enjoy himself like everyone else. Oh, and DH
and I had to go out and pick up said seafood. Apparently the hosts didn't
factor this in - that the seafood actually had to be picked up.
Again, if you have to work your guests like slaves at *your*
party, then your party is too big.
I was so annoyed. So ultimately, I: 1) paid for my
seafood, which I will never do again, unless I'm in a restaurant; 2) never
really spent time with my husband, as he was their slave boy; and 3) will feign
a migraine next time there is a party.
Why did we put up with all this you ask? It was the
I've got a pretty good "rude guests" story for you.
It happened five years ago, but it's still kind of upsetting for me.
My eighteenth birthday occurred shortly after my high school
graduation, so my mother decided to have one party for both. I went to a
boarding school (although I didn't board), so most of my friends lived very far
away. There were nine of them living in my area, though, so I decided to invite
them as well as a few family members. We were going to have a barbecue, have
cake, and go swimming. I hadn't had a real birthday party in years, so I was
excited. I bought cute invitations and sent them to the nine friends I thought
would be able to make it, and then waited for the RSVPs.
I waited a very long time.
Eventually, I ended up calling each one of my friends a couple
of days before the party. All but one told me they couldn't come and they all
used nearly the same excuse, but most of them said, "Oh, I have a gift for
you! We'll have to get together later and I'll give it to you." Needless to
say, that never happened. The only girl who was able to make it could only stay
half an hour, as she was leaving for a trip that day--of course I wasn't upset
about that, but it would have been nice if she had responded to my invitation!
My mother ended up inviting a few of her friends who had kids
my age to fill out the guest list. And my friend brought her mother and little
brother (who was very cool), and the two of them stayed. So it was still a fun
party...but I was sad and embarrassed that my friends apparently had so little
regard for me that not only did they not want to come to my party, but they
wouldn't even call me themselves to tell me that! I've lost touch with all of
them over the past few years and have very little desire to make contact
again--understandably, I'm sure.
This is a variation of the "dinner/party organizer
springs the bill on the participants at the function" category. It happened
about 5 or 6 years ago while I was in college.
I was dating "Jim" at the time, and we had a mutual
friend "George." We all attended the same large college to some extent
or another. I didn't know George that well but he seemed like a pretty nice, fun
guy the few times I was in a social setting with him.
Eventually, George graduates, or at least moves back to his
hometown, a city which is about a 4 to 5 hour drive from where Jim and I live.
Apparently he had a business, or got in on a business, and it was successful
enough that year for him to buy a nice house and want to throw a party to
celebrate. Jim and I and a bunch of George's other friends, a good number of
which also live in our area, received an email invitation for a weekend party.
Friday evening would be a Luau-themed party at George's new place, and Saturday
everyone would go to "Steve and Joeys," an entertainment complex which
to me is basically an arcade marketed towards adults. Nowhere in this invitation
did it say anything about an expected "donation for expenses" (oh, you
can see where this is going), just the usual "bring your favorite drink
ingredients if you desire," and a general promise to "take care
of" his out-of-town friends who could not afford a hotel for Friday night.
Boyfriend Jim is interested in going, and he convinces me to
go with him. I didn't have anything planned for that weekend, no impending
exams, and I was feeling up for a road trip, even though I'm really not crazy
about spending more than an hour or two in a car. I was worried about money
since finances were tight, me being a poor starving student, but Jim said he'd
take care of everything. I was never comfortable with taking handouts, even from
boyfriends, but I thought it would be a fun weekend so I looked forward to it.
The drive up was uneventful, but it took a bit longer than
expected, and by the time we got there it was around 10 or 11 p.m. The
invitation had said the party would go till the wee hours, but it was nearly
dead. There were about 5 people milling about, only one of which I knew. I was
hungry since we skipped dinner (the invitation said there would be plenty of
food), but there were about three small slivers of BBQ chicken which had been
sitting at room temperature all evening and nothing but crumbs left of the chips
and other party treats. I had a bit of chicken and one adult beverage (most of
the drink ingredients were also used up), socialized as much as I could, and
made the best of the situation. After a while, we ask our gracious host George
where we should crash for the evening, assuming he would just give us a spot on
a carpeted floor to lay our sleeping bags, or if we were lucky a guest room
would be available. Turns out he had an arrangement for us to stay with some
friends of his a few blocks away. I thought it was kinda weird but at least we
got a bed. His friends turned out to be super nice, and they had plenty of room
for guests, but I felt like I was imposing, since I had never met these people
before and they also had an infant to take care of. My boyfriend knew I was
hungry because my stomach was growling loud enough to hear across a quiet room,
but I offered to go without since it was so late, and since I didn't want to
obligate him to pay for my meal, even though he had a high-paying job at the
time. I later broke up with him for being unsympathetic to the point of social
(and relationship, of course) dysfunction and a cheapskate to the point of
scamming a friend or two (not me, fortunately) out of money he owed, despite
having more than enough money to cover things. He has since matured and now he
his happily married and treats his wife like gold, which I am happy about. Oh,
the flawed characters I've dated.
Saturday morning was nice. We spent time just talking and
lounging around with our hosts, who even offered us some snacks so we had
something to eat, since Jim was used to not eating regularly and didn't think to
go out for breakfast. (I brought the subject up, but didn't want to push it
since again, I didn't want to obligate him to pay for me.) We proceeded to the
adult entertainment establishment, and I had significantly more fun than I had
at the previous night's party, since more people were there that I knew, and I
had more of a chance to meet the people I didn't know. It was boring after a
while since everything in the place required money and I was bent on saving the
$10-plus-change I had on me in case of emergency (it also had to last me another
week until my next meager paycheck), and I also didn't want to beg for money
from my boyfriend or anyone else. At least he was having fun, as I didn't
begrudge him spending his money left and right. I noticed that everyone else in
the group was significantly more well-off than I was, but I didn't let it get to
me that much since they were older and more established for the most part.
Lunchtime finally came around, and Jim reassured me that he
would take care of my meal, and I offered to pay the tip if one was expected. No
problems there. After everyone was done eating and engaging in leisurely
conversation, George politely calls everyone to attention...and proceeds to
explain that since the party cost him a significant amount of money (certainly
not in food and drink supplies), it would be nice if everyone could give him a
"donation" of $10 or so per person. !!! Now, I would have been
completely ok with this if he had specified it in the original invitation
instead of springing this on everyone as a surprise after a relatively fun
weekend, and after a number of guests had traveled a good ways to be there. It
was apparent that everyone else was caught off-guard by this request. For some
reason, I felt obligated to pay, but the $10 I had would not cover this request
as well as the tip and the rest of my week, so Jim offered to take care of my
"share," even though I expressed my opinion to him that perhaps
neither of us should honor George's cash-grab. If his business was doing so
well, shouldn't he have had enough money to finance his modest get-together? It
also got to me that I wasn't sure whether his friends had been compensated with
so much as a thank-you from George for putting up a couple of strangers for the
night (although I had thanked them profusely in person).
Afterwards, I discussed it with Jim, who didn't seem to think
George's request was odd at all. Not wanting to make a big stink about it
because of their friendship, I decided to let it rest, although I have not since
had any contact with George. I wish I still had George's email so I could send
him a link to a similar story at etiquettehell.com, or perhaps a Dear Abby
column wherein she admonishes such behavior. Perhaps it was wrong of me to
accept the invitation, thus burdening others with my poorness despite the gentlemen's'
promises to "take care of" me, but the cash-grab ruined what could
have been a memory of a fun weekend celebrating the success of a friend.
I had a guest from hell stay with me one summer.
"C." was a friend from grad school whom I hung out with fairly
regularly. He was a bit of a control freak, but as long as you were willing to
deal with that, he could be fun. For example, he would call and ask if you
wanted to go to X movie and Y Italian restaurant. If you wanted to do that, you
could go and have a great time together. However, you could NOT suggest a
different movie or a Chinese restaurant or even a DIFFERENT Italian restaurant,
or he would totally freak out and try to bully you back toward his original
plan. So, I learned to either go along with what he wanted if that sounded like
fun, or just didn't go at all if I was in the mood for something even slightly
After graduation, C. called to say he was visiting various
people over Memorial Day Weekend, and asked if he could stay with me for a
couple of days. I told him that was fine. I asked him what he wanted to do when
he was in town, and he said his only request was to go to Wrigley Field and see
a Cubs game. So I went out and bought the tickets (at inflated scalper prices,
since the game had long since sold out.) Then, a week before he was scheduled to
show up, he called from his girlfriend's house to tell me that, to save money on
tickets, he had bought them to arrive on the Thursday morning before the
weekend, and to leave on the Tuesday evening after - effectively turning his
2-day visit into a 5-day visit. I warned him that I didn't have any extra
vacation time at work, so that he would be alone on the non-holiday days, but
that I would help him plan things to do while I was at work. He accepted this
cheerfully. I planned all sorts of activities for him when we both had time off
- baseball games, a BBQ party with a large group of friends, sightseeing, movies
- all of which he enthusiastically approved over the phone. I had neglected to
consider, however, what hosting a control freak taken out of his comfort zone
and out of control over all events might be.
On Thursday morning, C. showed up at my office directly from
the airport. I sent him out with maps to museums, stores, parks, and other
points of interest, and asked him to let me know if he wanted to meet for lunch.
He returned in 45 minutes to sit in my office ALL DAY, because he was bored. He
whined to me constantly, even while I was on the phone with clients, about the
fact that I was neglecting him. As you may have inferred from earlier comments,
I lived in Chicago at the time. It's not like there wasn't anything to do or
see. And I had specifically warned him that I wasn't going to be able to accommodate
his new schedule.
Things rapidly went from bad to worse. At the baseball game,
C. never offered to pay for the expensive baseball tickets I had bought for him.
I had planned on giving them to him as my gift, but I thought he would at least
offer to pay for them. Instead, C. TOLD me to buy him some expensive souvenirs
from the park. When I refused, he pouted and said I wasn't a good host. Pardon
me, but I think there is a difference between a host who has specifically asked
her guest to come visit and participate in particular activities, and a host who
has been begged to put someone up for free for a weekend. A host of the latter
sort is certainly in no way bound to fulfill a guest's every whim, when they are
already doing the guest a favor.
For the rest of the weekend, C. whined constantly about rest
of the activities I had planned. Each day, I would offer several options, he
would refuse to choose, and when I picked one, he would decide halfway through
it that he would have preferred one of the other options. And then whine about
that. I asked him why he had told me on the phone that he was looking forward to
these activities, only to turn up his nose at them now that he was here. He told
me that he was only pretending to be enthusiastic on the phone to make his
girlfriend jealous about how much fun he was going to have without her. He spent
one beautiful day glued to my couch watching a marathon of the show
"Homicide" - and then bitched at me because the channel with
"Homicide" shared a space with another cable channel on my cable
system, and it switched over at 5:00 and deprived him of ANOTHER 12 hours of
"Homicide." I was seriously considering Homicide myself by that point.
He pouted because, after going to THREE video stores, the
movie he wanted to watch was not available and he had to watch a secondary
choice. He insisted that I walk with him a mile and a half to the nearest
McDonalds (I had no car) because he wanted a hamburger RIGHT THAT MINUTE,
despite the fact that we were going to a BBQ (with hamburgers) in an hour and I
had offered him any number of snacks that were on hand in my apartment to tide
him over. And then, when we got to the BBQ, he said he wasn't hungry and accused
me of not telling him we were going to have hamburgers there. You know, except
for the 12 TIMES I had told him that when he was insisting on going to McD's.
C. was from New York, and said CONSTANTLY that nothing in
Chicago could EVER be as good as its equivalent in New York. He was bored. He
was too hot. He insisted on sleeping in the nude in the middle of my living
room. He insulted my boyfriend continuously, for no reason, to his face. He was
condescending to my sister (who was my roommate at the time). He had a loud,
hour-long fight with his girlfriend, long-distance on my phone, at 1AM, the
night before I had to go back to work (and never offered to pay for it, of
course). He asked when I would be coming out to visit him...HA!
Page Last Updated May 15, 2007