Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Housewife's Rules for Being a Good Houseguest

Make them happy to see you arrive...
Last week I was relaxing and renewing my spirit in The Food Maven's Haven. I needed it and am better for it. I returned home to a family that was grateful to see me, a clean house, and a husband who couldn't wait to take me to dinner and tell me how much he missed me. (I have got to get away more often.) While I WAS away however I was busy trying to be  a good guest in someone else's home. The next time you get invited to stay with someone there are some rules you need to adhere to. First let's cover the basics of decent behavior:

  • Bring a gift (I took The Food Maven my home-made body cream and home grown Italian seasoning).
  • Keep all of your things in whatever space, no matter how big or small, you have been allotted for your stay. 
  • Whatever you use you should replace, in my case it was a bottle of Jack Daniels.
  • Be flexible. When in Rome...Eat what they eat, drink what they drink, adjust your schedule to theirs.
  • Bring something to do on your own so your gracious host can get a few minutes of privacy to do things they need. No one wants to entertain you constantly. 
  • Help out! Get yourself in the kitchen and help with the dishes. 
  • Leave everything the way you found it, or better. I like to clean my guest room if there is one for the next person. It is one less thing for your host to do. 
  • Bring everything you think you will need unless you've been otherwise informed. 
  • Hand written thank-you-notes are in order within a week of your return home. 
Now those are a good start and can be found in one form or another in any etiquette book, but I have a few things to add:
  • Come prepared to be entertaining and interesting. If your hosts are the serious type brush up on your current events. If their favorite topic is celebrity gossip then scan the latest magazines to catch up on recent celebrity marriages and divorces. Small children? WHY are you staying there? 
  • Do not show up with a list of things you have to eat, drink, or DO while you are there. 
  • Have a favorite drink recipe to share. It doesn't have to be alcohol; you can whip up your best hot cocoa or chai to impress everyone. It allows you to pitch in without destroying the kitchen and taking up room in the fridge with the ingredients for an entire meal.
  • You are not at home. No one wants to see you floss your teeth or clip you toenails in the living room. (If you think no one would do that, you are wrong.)
  • Be flexible (again, I know). If you are set in your ways and demanding then STAY HOME.
  • Be nice to pets. If the dog doesn't like you, you will not be invited back. 
Follow these rules and not only will you be invited back but they'll actually look forward to your return. They may even cry at the airport instead of doing a happy dance. 
...and sad to see you go.


  1. madame housewife,
    you were the PERFECT houseguest. i loved your homemade chai-turmeric cold remedy... and am sleek and smooth after using my homemade cream.
    the laughter was indeed the best medicine. i have the aching sides to prove it.
    you are welcome to come rejuvenate or recharge anytime!