Bonnie: It’s that time of year – back yard barbecues and cottage and boat bashes and there’s nothing like being invited to somebody’s home-away-from-home. Of course, a great weekend getaway means inviting good people. However, there always seems to be that one person who doesn’t know how to be a good guest.
James: Who doesn’t like a good party? Just let me know and I’ll be there with bells on. But, of course, I’ll also be on the look-out for “That Guy.” I think we all know who you’re talking about. It’s that knucklehead that gets over-served (on purpose), is the last guy to change out of his swimsuit, and, quite simply, leaves his manners at home?
Bonnie: You mean “That Guy?” The one who’s the first to show up, heads to the liquor cabinet, and helps himself to your secret stash of the good stuff in your cabinet and not the stuff in the cooler for all the guests? He’ll drink all day and night until he’s the last one left, and he’s still drinking after you’ve washed all the dishes and want to head to bed, and says as finally heads out the door, “I owe you one … next time.”
James: Sounds like a complete creep. If you’ve been lucky enough to be invited to someone’s crib, do not show up empty handed. Please. Seriously, how much effort does it take to make a stop at the liquor store on the way and get a bottle of something? When the host says, “I told you not to bring anything,” you can simply reply with the proverbial, “The last time I was here, ‘That Guy’ drank you dry.”
But it could be worse. You could be stuck with “That Guy” at a friends’ cottage for the entire weekend.
Bonnie: Been there. Done that. Many times. When I was in high school and college, my parents had a cottage that was only an hour’s drive from Detroit, and they’d invite people to come up for the day. The day. One day. There was always “That Guy” or “That Family” that stayed for the weekend, expected to get fed, taken on the boat, always expected a drink in their hand, and never ever brought their own beach towels.
James: Your host’s linen closet is not the bath shop at JC Penney, and there’s nothing worse than having to do your guest’s laundry. Seriously, folks, clean up after yourselves. Not just the empty beer cans and wine bottles, but you can change the bed sheets, clean the bathroom, and vacuum the bed of all the sand you dragged into it. It’s a big deal to the host when they get volunteers to clean up on Sunday before everyone needs to split home. And, if you happen to be out-and-about, buy a small “leave behind gift.” It doesn’t have to be fancy or expensive. Maybe a cool candle, a set of coasters, or a nice water pitcher… something that they can use and be reminded of the great time you had.
Bonnie: After all, a cottage is really another home to take care of and clean. The same thing goes for boats.
James: Boats? Oh, you betcha. Boats require a certain level of respect, just like a cottage. The thing is, as I understand, boats require another level of maintenance that most people (or non-boat owners) may not be aware of. Depending upon the size of the vessel, you may need to ratchet-up your responsibility. Just because the boat has a bathroom on it does NOT mean you can automatically soil it. What you’re supposed to do is pull your Captain aside and say, “Excuse me, Captain, but I feel as though I may need to use the head. Regretfully, it’s not Number 1. Is that alright?” Trust me when I say that you’re Captain will respond with the affirmative and you’ll make him feel better for knowing. After all, he needs to empty it before it gets … well, you know.
Bonnie: Yes, I know. Especially when it’s a 90 degree day. The same kind of thing goes for pools. Yeah, it’s a pain to walk into the house, peel off a wet swim suit, and take care of business in the proper receptacle. Hey, it’s all water, right? Sure it is, but you don’t swim In a toilet.
I don’t want to sound like a total crabass, but hosts want to have someone to enjoy these amenities and their hospitality with them. Like I said, a great weekend getaway includes good people.
James: Well then. Let’s all be good people. That way, you can get invited back.
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