I figured I couldn’t take the piss out of my brother yesterday without taking a few moments to talk about what it means to be a gracious host. Because yes, opening up your home to someone is a wonderful and generous thing to do, but if you leave them so emotionally scarred that the cost of future therapy sessions will far outweigh what they would have spent on a hotel, it’s not at all worth it.
Here are my ten rules for making sure that your guests have a lovely vacation (and if it isn’t lovely, these rules will make sure they can’t blame you):
- Give them clean sheets. Not everyone has a spare bed (or spare bedroom). But even if someone has to sleep on the couch, a nice pristine sheet can make all the difference. Our host’s once graciously gave up their own bed for us, but after we climbed in, we realized the sheets had not been changed. I spent 2 hours the next day trying to wash someone else’s B.O. out of my hair. (Shudder).
- Clean up communal areas. While no one expects your house to be spotless (it’s where you live, after all), take some care in cleaning up a bit before your guests arrive. Remove embarassing ointments and fungal creams from the dining room table. Secure whips and chains in the hall closet. Kindly ask your husband to put on pants. You know, that sort of thing.