Etiquette Hell

Hostesses With The Mostest => Entertaining and Hospitality => Topic started by: snappylt on August 23, 2012, 07:41:04 PM

Title: "If Summer Goes, Why Won’t the Guests?" (NYTimes article about bad guests)
Post by: snappylt on August 23, 2012, 07:41:04 PM
Has anyone else read the New York Times article "If Summer Goes, Why Won’t the Guests?" at http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/23/garden/if-summer-goes-why-wont-the-guests.html?_r=1&pagewanted=all (http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/23/garden/if-summer-goes-why-wont-the-guests.html?_r=1&pagewanted=all) ? There are some interesting tales of guests behaving badly.

My favorite is the young guest who helped herself to $100 from the hostess's purse without asking.  I think I might well call the police if someone took money from my wallet.
Title: Re: "If Summer Goes, Why Won’t the Guests?" (NYTimes article about bad guests)
Post by: missmolly on August 23, 2012, 09:48:58 PM
Wow, I've read some hideous guest stories before, but that $100 thief took the cake! Not to mention wearing the hostess' clothing without permission & complaining that it didn't fit!
Title: Re: "If Summer Goes, Why Won’t the Guests?" (NYTimes article about bad guests)
Post by: Venus193 on August 23, 2012, 09:49:09 PM
That is reprehensible.  This article is enough to turn anyone off the idea house guests.
Title: Re: "If Summer Goes, Why Won’t the Guests?" (NYTimes article about bad guests)
Post by: C0mputerGeek on August 24, 2012, 01:35:26 AM
While I love the thought of having a bed and outdoor shower for guests, in theory, I don't think I'd be comfortable having my guests sleep outside.
Title: Re: "If Summer Goes, Why Won’t the Guests?" (NYTimes article about bad guests)
Post by: QueenofAllThings on August 24, 2012, 06:04:38 AM
Several things about that article:
a) the first story, about wearing hostess's clothing, 'borrowing' $100 from her wallet, and leaving car there for a summer, struck me as unbelievable - who would put up with that?!?
b) I like the outdoor bed idea too, but I think it's bizarre that a host expects people to sleep there. If you're that uncomfortable with people being in your house, don't invite them to stay.

Fun reading!
Title: Re: "If Summer Goes, Why Won’t the Guests?" (NYTimes article about bad guests)
Post by: Wittyone on August 24, 2012, 09:00:12 AM
The thing I'm wondering about, regarding the outdoor bed, is whether the guests know that is the arrangement before they accept the invitation.  I got the feeling they didn't, in which case those hosts are horribly rude. 
Title: Re: "If Summer Goes, Why Won’t the Guests?" (NYTimes article about bad guests)
Post by: Piratelvr1121 on August 24, 2012, 09:13:16 AM
The story about the guest of the history teacher rang familiar.  An now ex-friend of ours is like the guest in that story.  He'd get on a topic, one he knows would be a hot button with the other people, and then he continues to get more and more irate.  It was always worse if he was drinking and his blood sugar was high.

That, among several other reasons is why he's now and ex friend and we are heartily supporting his STBXwife.
Title: Re: "If Summer Goes, Why Won’t the Guests?" (NYTimes article about bad guests)
Post by: Thipu1 on August 24, 2012, 09:29:16 AM
Fascinating article, Snappylt.  Thanks.

Back in the days of the old Soviet Union, curators would often put up colleagues from Eastern Europe who were attending conferences.  They did this because the visiting scholars literally didn't have enough money for a hotel or restaurant meals.  There are some wonderful stories.

Trying to be good hosts, a couple asked their guest his dietary preferences.  His answer was , 'MEAT'. And, yes.  That's all he would eat while he stayed with them. 

Another time, they had a foreign guest who expressed a preference for Italian food.  The hostess was an excellent cook who had learned delicious recipes from her Italian MIL.   When served a lasagna that would melt the heart, he asked for catsup. 

In particular, house guests from The USSR were prone to wandering off and getting lost.  This was unnerving because many of them didn't have the greatest command of English and Brooklyn can be confusing to people who have lived there for years.  'Get the car.  Tanya's gone again' was often heard around dinner time'. 

Another tale is told by a couple who had the use of a family house in Maine for the month of August.  They invited a series of friends to visit and, while the guests were quite nice, they all expected to dine on lobster and blueberry pie...every night.  By the end of the month, this couple could not look a lobster or a blueberry in the face for almost a year.   

Title: Re: "If Summer Goes, Why Won’t the Guests?" (NYTimes article about bad guests)
Post by: NyaChan on August 24, 2012, 10:37:34 AM
The thing I'm wondering about, regarding the outdoor bed, is whether the guests know that is the arrangement before they accept the invitation.  I got the feeling they didn't, in which case those hosts are horribly rude.

POD!  I actually didn't blame the boyfriend for being upset about finding out that he was sleeping outside if I had no prior warning.  I would not be willing to do that myself in the summer if I had not been prepared for it. 
Title: Re: "If Summer Goes, Why Won’t the Guests?" (NYTimes article about bad guests)
Post by: BarensMom on August 24, 2012, 11:05:40 AM
The thing I'm wondering about, regarding the outdoor bed, is whether the guests know that is the arrangement before they accept the invitation.  I got the feeling they didn't, in which case those hosts are horribly rude.

POD!  I actually didn't blame the boyfriend for being upset about finding out that he was sleeping outside if I had no prior warning.  I would not be willing to do that myself in the summer if I had not been prepared for it.

He had every right to be upset, but not have a meltdown over it.

Years ago, a group of us went up to my then BF's "cabin" in Mendocino County.  It turned out to be a group of cabins and guess who had to sleep in the "summer" cabin with screens for windows, in February?  I was never so cold in all my life.  I broke up with the guy after that weekend.
Title: Re: "If Summer Goes, Why Won’t the Guests?" (NYTimes article about bad guests)
Post by: siamesecat2965 on August 24, 2012, 11:12:44 AM
The thing I'm wondering about, regarding the outdoor bed, is whether the guests know that is the arrangement before they accept the invitation.  I got the feeling they didn't, in which case those hosts are horribly rude.

POD!  I actually didn't blame the boyfriend for being upset about finding out that he was sleeping outside if I had no prior warning.  I would not be willing to do that myself in the summer if I had not been prepared for it.

I agree!  I think its very rude to spring it on your guests like that last minute.  I'm having guests over my birthday, two of my cousins.  I also live in a 1BR.  My one cousin has come before, and she knows my setup.  Couch or blow up mattress.  when I invited my other cousin (her SIL, who I adore) I told her, hey, I have a 1BR, so you two can fight over the couch and blow up! Not really, but she was fine with it.  And since it's gir's weekend, we will have fun.
Title: Re: "If Summer Goes, Why Won’t the Guests?" (NYTimes article about bad guests)
Post by: LeveeWoman on August 24, 2012, 11:28:32 AM
Several things about that article:
a) the first story, about wearing hostess's clothing, 'borrowing' $100 from her wallet, and leaving car there for a summer, struck me as unbelievable - who would put up with that?!?
b) I like the outdoor bed idea too, but I think it's bizarre that a host expects people to sleep there. If you're that uncomfortable with people being in your house, don't invite them to stay.

Fun reading!

Someone with a spine the strength of over-cooked spaghettini.
Title: Re: "If Summer Goes, Why Won’t the Guests?" (NYTimes article about bad guests)
Post by: QueenfaninCA on August 24, 2012, 12:32:39 PM
Several things about that article:
a) the first story, about wearing hostess's clothing, 'borrowing' $100 from her wallet, and leaving car there for a summer, struck me as unbelievable - who would put up with that?!?
b) I like the outdoor bed idea too, but I think it's bizarre that a host expects people to sleep there. If you're that uncomfortable with people being in your house, don't invite them to stay.

Fun reading!

Someone with a spine the strength of over-cooked spaghettini.

POD. The moment she would not take of my clothes I would make it absolutely clear she better needs to get of the clothes and the house ASAP.
Title: Re: "If Summer Goes, Why Won’t the Guests?" (NYTimes article about bad guests)
Post by: WillyNilly on August 24, 2012, 01:39:12 PM
Yeah the bed in the woods thing is pretty uncool considering that deer tick/Lyme disease country.  A person out during the day can take steps to be careful abut ticks and can remove them promptly, but sleeping outside is a whole different story!  Lyme disease can render a person totally disabled and can cost thousands to treat!
Title: Re: "If Summer Goes, Why Won’t the Guests?" (NYTimes article about bad guests)
Post by: Piratelvr1121 on August 24, 2012, 01:55:03 PM
Several things about that article:
a) the first story, about wearing hostess's clothing, 'borrowing' $100 from her wallet, and leaving car there for a summer, struck me as unbelievable - who would put up with that?!?
b) I like the outdoor bed idea too, but I think it's bizarre that a host expects people to sleep there. If you're that uncomfortable with people being in your house, don't invite them to stay.

Fun reading!

Someone with a spine the strength of over-cooked spaghettini.

Upon reading that I kept imagining that if it were a story on the main site, they'd be told to strengthen their spine and learn to speak up.
Title: Re: "If Summer Goes, Why Won’t the Guests?" (NYTimes article about bad guests)
Post by: cicero on August 26, 2012, 05:31:13 AM
wow.

I think that if you are able to give your potential guests a list of do's and don'ts, like one of the people in the article does, then you will be ok. that, and of course, having the spine to kick someone out the first time they do something inappropriate.
Title: Re: "If Summer Goes, Why Won’t the Guests?" (NYTimes article about bad guests)
Post by: NotTheNarcissist on August 27, 2012, 09:36:42 PM
I thought a list of what to bring was a little over the top but since we live in the sticks I think I understand where the hostess was coming from.

I thought having guests sleep outside was hilarious but I don't have the guts to do that.

I commiserate with all the hosts stories because of the 1 guest who stays with us on occasion who takes over like it's her own home.

I'm pretty much down to just the kids & grand kids staying overnight now. We all get along fine & respect each other.

One thing about having so much company: I am the perfect guest if I do spend the night in someone's home.
Title: Re: "If Summer Goes, Why Won’t the Guests?" (NYTimes article about bad guests)
Post by: Jones on August 28, 2012, 11:19:41 AM
Apparently Mrs. Schwab doesn't like confrontation.

No, really? Someone extends their stay, wears your clothes, complains about your lifestyle and home, parks their car (for free) on your property, steals your money...and you have to scramble for a reason not to give them your house key, too?

"Doesn't like confrontation" is an understatement.
Title: Re: "If Summer Goes, Why Won’t the Guests?" (NYTimes article about bad guests)
Post by: Wittyone on August 28, 2012, 12:03:40 PM
There comes a point when I lose all sympathy for people like Mrs. Schwab and I feel the problem is of their own making.  So she doesn't like confrontation, does anybody?  Still sometimes a confrontation is necessary.  And it doesn't have to be a huge fight.  If it had been me, the second my "guest" walked out in my clothes I would have told her in calm direct terms to take my clothes off and put her own back on. 

She allowed herself to be walked all over.
Title: Re: "If Summer Goes, Why Won’t the Guests?" (NYTimes article about bad guests)
Post by: LazyDaisy on August 28, 2012, 12:13:53 PM
Pod Wittyone. I don't have much sympathy for the woman either, but I would have started even earlier -- a one night invitation means one night. A guest never tells me how long they will be staying in my home. I extend an invitation for a specific arrival date and length. After that, they get hotel recommendations.
Title: Re: "If Summer Goes, Why Won’t the Guests?" (NYTimes article about bad guests)
Post by: Deetee on August 28, 2012, 01:55:45 PM
I love the idea of the outdoor bed and would be so happy to be hosted there. I agree you should let people know beforehand as it might not be to everyone's taste, but I think it sounds lovely.
Title: Re: "If Summer Goes, Why Won’t the Guests?" (NYTimes article about bad guests)
Post by: weeblewobble on September 15, 2012, 05:02:47 AM
What made the Schwab story even more horrifying was that she wasn't even a friend of their's.  She was a friend of a friend.  Who does this to people they don't even know?
Title: Re: "If Summer Goes, Why Won’t the Guests?" (NYTimes article about bad guests)
Post by: blarg314 on September 15, 2012, 06:50:42 PM

I quite like camping, but I can definitely see how guests could get upset if they arrived and suddenly found out that they were sleeping outside.

I tend to have hay-fever, and depending on the time of year and area, might not be able to manage sleeping outside without drugging myself nearly comatose. Sleeping inside, with the ability to close the window, makes a huge difference during the dawn flower opening and spraying pollen everywhere period.
Title: Re: "If Summer Goes, Why Won’t the Guests?" (NYTimes article about bad guests)
Post by: sourwolf on September 15, 2012, 07:07:51 PM
I love the idea of the outdoor bed and would be so happy to be hosted there. I agree you should let people know beforehand as it might not be to everyone's taste, but I think it sounds lovely.

Me too - I can just imagine waking up as the sun rise curled up under a nice summer blanket.  Heaven!