We had several houseguests staying with us in recent weeks, which inspired me to start a thread on a web forum and get other people's input into what makes a good houseguest and what makes the worst ever houseguest. Based on those responses, I put together the following list of houseguest rules:
How to not be such a shitty houseguest
Rule 1: Don't be f***ing disgusting
You'd think this would be an easy one for people, but you'd be so, so wrong. Apparently, being disgusting in someone else's house is a friggin' epidemic out there.
There are so many ways that you can be disgusting.
-- You can leave behind a smear of shit in the toilet bowl, so that I have to clean up feces that came out of your body.
-- You can leave little bits of toothpaste and hair in the sink, so that I have to clean up something that has been in your mouth or used to be attached to your body.
-- You can lay the bath towel you used to dry out your asscrack anywhere other than the assigned towel rack or the laundry hamper, so it can leach out butt-juice onto whatever you've decided it's cool for it to touch.
-- You can leave your dirty dishes sitting all over my house for me to wash and put away for you.
-- You can leave the toilet seat up with your pee sitting in there unflushed. Saving the environment one stinky piss at a time!
None of these things are acceptable. In fact, just imagining someone doing them in my house makes me so angry I want to install huge padlocks on my doors so that nobody may enter ever again.
And yet people do this shit all the time.
Just so we're clear: you are human (I assume), and therefore, you are gross. Everything you do is gross. Especially everything you do in the bathroom. So if you have to do your gross bathroom stuff in my house, at least clean up after your goddamned self because I am not a janitor and I'm not going to be happy wiping your f***ing ear hairs up off my bathroom counter. Also, check under the toilet seat and make sure you didn't leave any long pubes behind because honestly just typing the word "pubes" makes me want to throw up.
I guess mostly because you came off the genitals of someone I don't know that well.
Rule 2: Help provide food for everyone
Are you a good cook? Are you able to locate things in someone else's kitchen without asking them 5,000 questions? Can you get to the grocery store without your host's help? Then it sounds like you're a great candidate for cooking a meal for everyone!
I love it when this lady comes to visit!
Are you not a good cook, have no grocery store access, or need a lot of fancy kitchen implements that many people don't own? Are you afraid to look for things and would rather ask your host individually for every single item you'll need? Well then it sounds like you're a shitty candidate for cooking a meal for everyone, and you should buy takeout for your hosts instead!
"Artificial vanilla extract? Is this a f***ing joke?"
-- a guy who is never getting invited back
I honestly don't know which is worse: someone who just sits around your house eating everything under the sun while contributing nothing (even washing the dishes) for days on end, or someone who insists on "helping" by being underfoot and asking fifty million questions about where the ______ is kept, and do you have any _______? It will take me so f***ing long to teach you where everything in my kitchen is (since you insist on asking rather than looking for it), I'd be better off just cooking it myself.
I don't keep a collection of butt plugs and a decapitated human head in my kitchen cabinets (anymore). It's okay to open them and look for things you need. If you don't feel comfortable doing that, well ... I think everyone likes pizza.
This guy can come over whenever he wants, too.
Rule 3: Make yourself at home -- don't make me actively "host" you for the entirety of your visit
If you're hungry, get a snack. If you're thirsty, get a drink. If you think disappearing to the kitchen and returning with snacks will come off as rude (which it might, depending on your host), then announce "hey, I'm a little hungry, so I'm going to grab a snack. Anyone else want something?" This is much nicer for a host to deal with than "excuse me, miss, hate to disturb you, but I am a little bit hungry and am wondering if you might be willing to prepare me something to eat?"
You are an adult. I don't need to cut your cheese up for you.
And let's also take a second to circle back to "don't be disgusting": if I look over and see you double-dipping your chewed celery ends in my tub of hummus, I'm taking $5 out of your wallet because now I have to throw that tub of hummus away. You pig.
You needed to leave three days ago.
Rule 4: Don't take "making yourself at home" too far
Look, it's great that you feel so comfortable in my house. I'm glad that we have that kind of close relationship.
Unless you made me with your body, then no matter how comfortable you are, I don't want to see you walking around in your boxers with breath like a thousand dead dragons and crusty green boogers in your eyes. You may feel "at home", but you are NOT at home. You are at someone else's home.
So you can put on some pants, run a comb through your hair, and splash some water on your face before you join me on the couch for coffee. If your balls find their way out through the flap on the front of your boxers, how are we going to be social together ever again?
Other examples of taking "making myself at home" too far:
-- Using someone's things without permission for extended periods of time.
-- Walking around someone's house with your shoes on, even though they don't wear shoes in the house. Bonus points for putting your feet up on an ottoman or coffee table with your shoes on.
-- Leaving dishes and trash lying around because that's how you do things at your place.
If you live in a pile of trash ripping farts through your tighty whiteys at home, I salute you. If you try to import this behavior to my house, I will beat you to death with a croquet mallet.
Rule 5: Don't inconvenience me with your nonsense
You know, your nonsense. Whatever nonsense that may be. "I need to make a special trip to Costco to buy a battery!" "My flight leaves at 6AM so we're gonna wanna leave for the airport by 4!" "Oops, I didn't bring any shoes with me! Is there a shoe store nearby? I need custom orthotics for them. It will take a few hours, so you might want to leave work early." "Did I mention I'm gluten free now? So everything you cook needs to accommodate that." "I brought my German Shepherd puppy!"
Stay the f*** at home, dude. For real.
Past issues of Charm School: What not to say to a pregnant lady; Weddings; How to guest-proof your home; Should I give this person advice?; Attending a funeral