House Guest 101

Would you believe we never had houseguests during our stay in Cebu? Well, I had my family several occasions but I don't consider them guests as they are my family.

My reasons for not having house guests over:

1. The second room became our room-of-all trades - storage, nursery, walk-in closet.

2. I am not comfortable having house guests.

Yes, you read it, right, I am not comfortable with the thought of having other people in my home. I value my privacy way too much. This would also be the reason why we do not have a stay-in house help or yaya (nanny). I grew up in a house where we didn't have house guests, except for my father's sister who would sleep ocassionally when my sister's room was still vacant. When we would go on vacations my father always opted to stay in hotels than at a friend's house. And I took up that trait.

Moving here to Thailand has introduced me to this whole new world of hosting house guests. It is inevitable that we will have to host visitors. I cannot limit our visitors to those people I like, right?

I was stressed to the highest level about this house guest thing. I admire people who has no problem opening up their homes to others. I am not that. I am also not gracious. I am a Filipino and I may possess the trait of being hospitable but that excludes my home. I have privacy issues. We are not breakfast eaters. I cannot stand mess. I am not comfortable cooking for other people. Yes, I have gazillion issues.

Then I started to look at things differently. The Lord changed my heart and has continuously assured me everything will be okay. And that's when I calmed down. He wants to give me this opportunity to learn grace, among a whole other character trait. God also reminded me of the times I was welcomed to homes of relatives and friends. It is time to pay it forward.

I began reading about what is expected of me and my house guests. Martha Stewart has a section on Hostessing and House Guests. I found out that the expectations are more for house guests. Emily Post, the queen of etiquette, came up with her lists of Dos and Donts for House Guests.

Then I'm beginning to realize that since it our home, we are in control. And I shouldn't worry nor apologize if I can't be the most gracious hostess. My schedule and how I go on with my daily life should also be not compromised. Please do not expect the same services as Shangri-la Hotel - room service, valet service, laundry and housekeeping.

I am sharing with you a list I found in Wiki How on how to be a good house guest. Their list is the most in-depth. I wish I had read this earlier so I could have been a dream house guest.

Attention to my soon-to-be and future house guests, please read on and help me become a gracious hostess.

How to Be a Good House Guest:

  • Be specific with dates of arrival and departure.
  • Arrive when you say you will arrive.
  • Avoid showing up several hours or even the day after you said you'd arrive.
  • Be courteous by letting your host(s) know your plans and communicate clearly about your comings and goings from their home.
  • Don't overstay your visit.
  • Bring a gift to say thank you when you arrive.
  • Be flexible and adaptive.
  • Keep your guest area neat.
  • Keep yourself neat.
  • If you have your own bedroom, keep the door open when you are not in it, with the bed neatly made and your belongings neat and tidy.
  • Clean up after yourself.
  • Be reasonable about sharing a household bathroom.
  • Be clean yourself and try to make sure that you do not pass anything to your hosts.
  • Don't keep the hosts up late.
  • Always offer to help at mealtimes.
  • Don't make assumptions.
  • Offer to make contributions
  • Be aware of cultural/personal/family differences.
  • Be appreciative.
  • Do your own laundry.
  • Entertain yourself.
  • Be home on time.
  • Be careful about Internet and phone usage.
  • Leave a thank you gift on your departure.
  • Strip your bedclothes on leaving.
  • Leave quietly and thoughtfully.
  • Don't outstay your welcome.
  • Send a thank-you note.
  • Do not invite other people to the residence without consideration for the host's thoughts and opinions.
  • Don't behave as if it's your own home.

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