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be our guest how to be everyone's favorite houseguest | 1 2 3 4

The problem with etiquette these days is that only some people know how the game works. It’s like that annoying card game, Mao, in which you’re never told the rules, but must instead deduce them as the game goes along. Being a guest in someone’s home is a little like being the new player in a round of Mao: your host has undoubtedly already formulated a long list of House Guest Rules, none of which s/he is going to be so kind as to divulge outright. Violate one of these mystery rules, and you’ll probably never even realize it. Break too many and suddenly, from seemingly out of nowhere, you’ll find your formerly happy, smiling host muttering snippy remarks through gritted teeth. Of course, in the name of politeness, you will never be told exactly what you’ve actually done wrong.

Since few of us ever intend to be bad guests, knowledge is the one sure cure. Before you pack up your little black rolly suitcase and head off for a weekend visit with friends, make sure you arrive armed with the basic rules on how to be the perfect houseguest.

The fundamental laws …
1. Stick by the three day rule.
Unless you’re a blood relative, three days is really the ideal amount of time to grace/inflict your presence upon a host. Any shorter and you’ve barely had time to catch up; any longer and your host begins to notice your many irritating quirks (you clear your throat too loudly in the shower, you sing off-key while you do the dishes, you guffaw out loud when you read). No matter how adamantly you insist that your friend should just carry on with his/her regular activities, that you don’t want or require constant attention – and yes, you should insist away, as your friend is not there to babysit you – I guarantee that your protests will be ignored. And while taking a break from real life can be quite fun at first, it’s likely that s/he’ll grow tired of it faster than you will. Say your goodbyes while your host is still thrilled to see you – it’s the best way to ensure that you’ll be welcome next time you’re in town.

wander over this way please 


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