Thursday, July 17, 2014

Things They Never Tell You

One of my pet peeves is when a published article in a respectable newspaper or magazine says absolutely nothing I already didn't know. I feel ripped-off, and that's without imagining what the author got paid. There is one such article in today's Wall Street Journal which purports to instruct on how to be a proper houseguest. First of all, that's not really rocket science, and secondly, the author, a direct descendant of deceased etiquette maven Emily Post, should have come up with something better. After all, it's in her blood.

Instead she's got the basics covered, like don't bring someone else along without alerting your host before your arrival (duh), don't leave a mess all over the place (double duh), and try to be helpful at meal times. Don't bring a pet. Offer a gift like a bottle of wine. Send a thank you note later. Who doesn't know this stuff?

Here's what should really be on that list:
1. For singles, don't expect the visit to plug the gaping hole in your life, which is likely why you're visiting in the first place.
2. Male guests should aim for the toilet when peeing, and always flush afterwards. (Also applies to permanent residents.)
3. If you are staying longer than overnight, take a shower or bath sometime, please.
4. Do not leave wet towels on the bed.
5. Never poop in the sink, or actually anywhere but the toilet. This is key.
6. If you smoke, quit it before you arrive.
7. Heroin users and other addicts should not leave dirty syringes in the bathroom wastebasket.
8. Ask before making calls on the house phone to foreign countries.
9. Don't give the host's dog chocolate.

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