How do you know when you’ve overstayed your welcome? Possibly one indication would be if you find your luggage packed, and placed on the curb, ready for your departure—- whether you’re ready or not.

We spent the holidays with our daughters in Texas. I soon noticed that nothing is as it was in our home in Loveland. For instance; when I got up at three in the morning, and headed for the bathroom, I quickly found that the linen closet was where the bathroom should be. Stubbed toes are a frequent consequence when searching for a strange bathroom in the dark.

Dirty clothes are another problem. We didn’t want our hosts to have to do our laundry, but where do you store the discards until you can borrow the clothes washer for a few minutes? Within a couple of days the guest room resembled one of our son’s bedrooms eons ago when they were teens. The room smelled better, but the clutter was still there.

Our possessions were in one suitcase or another. When I asked my wife where a specific a article of clothing was, she said that it was “in the suitcase”. It would help if she were a little more specific; I.E. Give a size, or color of the bag, for instance. Suitcase living is not what one would consider ideal.

All the fish needs is a pair of pajamas.

All the fish needs is a pair of pajamas.

Benjamin Franklin said: “Guests, like fish, begin to smell after three days.” I hope that when I’m a guest at one of my offspring’s homes, that they (the offspring) can ignore the smell, and tolerate me for just another day or two. A little strategically applied air freshener might help.

A few years ago, we hosted a couple who spent most of their time regaling us with stories of their mis-treatment by their children; or what they perceived to be mis-treatment. After five or six hours of this, I’m afraid I zoned out. I began to hallucinate. I dreamed I was being held hostage, and was being tortured by a very experienced dungeon master. When I came to, I found I wasn’t hallucinating.

Next on the irritant list were the naps. I nap too, but when I do, I’m usually sprawled in a chair, with my head bobbing and my mouth agape, and possibly a wisp of drool dribbling onto my shirt. Our male guest took napping to a new level. He suited up in his pajamas and went to bed. I guess that’s ok, providing one is planning to be laid up for several months, but for a thirty minute nap? It might be considered excessive. And you’d think one nap would suffice, but several naps, continuing right up to bed time?….well, I’d had it. I was ready to help them pack. Mentally, their bags were on the curb.

Then there were the dietary restrictions. “No tomatoes!“ one of our guests yelped, “they give me gas.“. My wife is a patient soul, and she took it in stride, leaving out, or adding what our guests demanded. “I love tomatoes.” I said, but my salad was served without. They stayed for only 36 hours. Thirty-six hours that to my reckoning, equaled a two- week stay.

If you still plan to visit, I have two suggestions; bring some air freshener, and please, save your jammies for bedtime.

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2 Responses to Houseguests

  1. Janet Aaron says:

    Deja Vu — Haven't I seen this before?

    • Mike Foley says:

      Janet, you are an eagle eye! Yes, this is a newspaper column that was run several years ago.
      deja vu all over again. And speaking of deja vu, how about last weeks column, one that was run by the RH on October 4th? Deja vu for sure.


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