We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
We have plenty of spare room and love to have house guests. I have never had any complaints about them at all. Sure, you have to provide some entertainment and activity options, but that's just fun anyway. We have a list of seasonal options. My only house rule is No Noisy Sex and Don't Scare the Horses.
On the other hand, I hate being a house guest.Really hate it. It feels like prison to me. I tiptoe around early in the morning, afraid of making noise. I can't do my usual routine. I can't stumble around in my underwear. No alone time. I have to wait to be offered a cocktail. Where can I enjoy a cigar? I can't raid the fridge at midnight. Would they ever ask me back? "Make yourself at home." What? How?
If they have a guest house or guest cabin, great. Perfect for me no matter how primitive. Even an outhouse is fine. Many people do not have those.
Readers, offer me your advice to make being a house guest more comfortable. Or are you like me and prefer being a host to being a guest?
The eldest son left the Marines (10 years) brought the wife, granddaughter and pup up to our place. That was the end of March. The brother in law showed up two weeks after them. My father has been living here since mom passed, almost five years ago now. I don’t expect them leaving anytime soon. Thankfully, they all seem like nice, decent people. That helps.
Oddly, I'm writing this tonight at a 2nd cousin's guest house out in the Texas hill country. His wife did all of the above and provided a phenominal meal (kept hot after my delayed arrival from my 12 hour trip from NW Fl.--who knew the traffic would run 60-65 in an area with a 75 MPH speed limit.) Great, kind, generous people.
I agree - am happy to stay with immediate family and in fact prefer it for visits, and I am happy for parents/siblings to stay with me.
Otherwise as either a host or a houseguest, I can last about 24 hours before I start feeling exhausted from having to be 'on' all the time and on my most polite behavior. (I am an introvert, by the way.)
In terms of staying or hosting, hosting houseguests is more stressful for me, because I'm always thinking about them and aware of what they're doing and trying to make sure that they are having a nice time.
A lot depends on the attitude of the host. I love staying with people, but it's definitely a lot easier if they're easy going folks.
Visiting with most of my family I'm very comfortable, but one of my sisters has a stuffy husband who is very critical of everyone else's behavior, and they're more difficult to stay with.
I remember one night having to use the facilities, and thinking, "if I flush the toilet I'll be in trouble for waking them up at 2 am, and what if they can't get back to sleep? But if I don't flush the toilet (right across from their bedroom) I'll be the jerk who didn't flush the toilet". I knew whichever option I chose would be wrong. I decided it would be kinder not to wake them, and opted not to flush. I was reprimanded at breakfast.
My father has a hard time visiting his only brother, whose wife has strict rules against going into the kitchen when it's "closed". It's hard on my dad whose habit is to graze all day long on fruit and nuts. He has to pack a cooler and sneak out to his car to grab some food.
There is also a lovely story (probably apocryphal) about Marilyn Monroe having dinner with husband-to-be Arthur Miller's working-class parents in their humble New York flat. The loo was right next to the dining table, separated by only a thin wall through which everything could be heard. When Marilyn finally had to go, she first turned the taps on in the bathroom hard so they would muffle any sound she made. When it came time for Arthur and Marilyn to leave, Arthur took his mother aside and asked her what she thought of his bride-to-be. ''She's a lovely girl, Arthur,'' Mrs Miller said, ''but she pees like a horse.''
My folks once had a lakehouse with a guest bedroom that had its own bath--scrupulously clean and empty--and its own entrance. Those two things made it very, very comfortable. Beyond that, all I really need is clean sheets, some windows, and reasonable notice of what's planned for meals and when--should we plan on going out? Are we cooking at home, and are guests welcome/desired in the kitchen to help? Do people normally graze for breakfast here, or are we all waiting for a sit-down meal together?
My wife and I stay at motels when visiting. Set the thermostat to where we like it, not have to juggle bathroom schedules, being able to sit around in my shorts, she can watch whatever she likes on the TV, and so forth.
On the other hand, we're more than glad to have folks stay with us in our humble abode, even if it does mean giving up the hall bathroom and being vewwy vewwy quiet when I get up earlier than everyone else.