School is back in session, at least for many, but for others the summer vacation lives on. Before you take that last trip or start arranging your fall season getaways, brush up on my biggest Houseguest Don’ts.
1. Put the toilet seat down.
Do not leave the toilet seat up. Now, if we’re talking about my home specifically, there is a practical reason behind this, as well as hygienic. Above our toilet are several shelves, which contain a variety of items such as my hair dryer, first aid kit and other beauty products. I have dropped several items into the toilet because various people have left the toilet seat up . . . including The Beau.
Put the toilet seat down, for heaven’s sake!
Also, as the woman of the house, it’s disrespectful when bachelor guests [of The Beau] leave the toilet seat up. Show your hostess some courtesy by putting down the seat.
2. Do not eat before the hostess.
This is one of my biggest pet-peeves. Never begin eating before the hostess is seated and ready to eat. If you are at a restaurant, never begin eating until everyone has their food, even if someone stepped away for the restroom and the food arrived in that person’s absence.
It’s disrespectful and frankly, just bad manners. This is especially true when you are the guest in someone’s home. The exception is if the host has told you to go ahead–for instance, if he or she is waiting for dressing for their salad, or for the food to arrive and yours is getting cold.
3. Do not complain about the accommodations.
Believe it or not, people have complained–more so before The Beau and I were married and I was less invested in ensuring our guests (i.e. his guests) had a perfect stay. Nevertheless, this bothers me, because a houseguest shouldn’t complain when the alternative is a hotel room. Be grateful. If anything, call your friend or mother later to complain, but be courteous to your host.
4. Be upfront about dietary restrictions.
People are often scared when I come to visit because, as you’ve seen from my recipes, I generally follow a raw and gluten-free diet. However, when staying with friends and family I am honestly quite comfortable with just three items–coffee, cream for my coffee, and bananas.
Almost everything I eat is organic, especially since I am still nursing, but I do not expect my host or hostess to stock their home with organic-only items. It’s expensive and a bit of a hassle. Furthermore, I am gluten-intolerant, but if you’re gluten-free you know it’s actually quite easy to avoid gluten. To those who eat wheat, a gluten-free houseguest may seem scary, but it’s much simpler than it seems.
Back to my point. Be upfront about dietary restrictions. I know I do not always go into the full extent of what I will or will not eat, because honestly, as a guest in someone’s home I will eat just about anything–except non-organic berries or wheat.
But, I have had guests tell me they do not eat a particular food group. No problem. I love cooking and planning menus. However, come to find out I served an entree that contained additional items the guest would not eat. I don’t mind a long list of restrictions, but being upfront prevents me from serving an entree that a guest still will not consume.
5. Be a neat and tidy guest.
This is actually a flexible rule. If you are the guest I do believe it is your right to make yourself at home. If you do not want to make your bed, don’t make your bed. However, there is one exception that requires guests to be neat and tidy–entertaining. On several occasions while visiting my in-laws, The Beau’s parents have hosted dinner gatherings or parties with friends and family. I always make our bed regardless, but I always make sure I have left our guest room in a presentable manner for these gatherings. If your host is hosting a party, then by default you become part of the “hosting party,” and as such your room should be tended to accordingly.