So, I have been a guest in people’s homes a handful of times when visiting out of town. I have also hosted people a number of times. What is the right thing to do when staying with someone? If best friends with the person, should one do less? Is a gift still necessary? If you don’t know them that well, should they leave a gift or money or treat for dinner? What is proper? I guess more importantly speaking, what is important to you?
My guy tells me that you don’t do something for someone to get something in return. I get that. I totally do. But don’t most of us want to be treated in the kind manner that we treat someone? Let’s be real. I know that there are some people on here that would have a holier than thou answer. Maybe some of you all are better people than I. If you don’t expect anything when you go out of your way for someone, then good for you! Maybe I could learn a lesson or 2!
Here is the real story that got me riled up enough to write this post. So, an acquaintance recently stayed with me. A friend of my ex-husband’s, whom I have been cool with over the years. She and I are not close, but I think she is a good mom and pretty cool person. She did the social media shoutout about wanting to crash in D.C. and because I live in the area and we have kids similar ages, I was like- why not?
She has mentioned doing this several times and has only stayed with us only once nearly a decade ago, so I wasn’t even sure if it would happen. But it did this time and it was not that bad because she was sight seeing during the day and I worked all day and my kiddo was in camp. When they came in the 3 evenings, it was around 8 or 9 and our kids would hang out for a couple of hours and it was all good.
Well I haven’t been feeling well lately and just got off of an antibiotic and woke up a couple of days ago feeling bad again. So, I went to urgent care after work and told this houseguest that I would have a tough time meeting for dinner because I would not be out of urgent care for probably another hour. She said she would try to wait. Well, she didn’t, nor did she offer to grab me anything, knowing that I had been at work all day, drove 30 minutes to get my daughter from her dad’s work and then had to go to doc for more meds.
To make matters worse, 2 days before, I said that if she could pick my kid up from camp, that would be stellar on her 3rd day of sight seeing knowing that they may be tired of being out all day by day 3. She said she wasn’t sure if she could, I said let me know that day by 3 because she doesn’t have to be picked up until almost 5. I texted my guest the day I was sick to tell her I was probably going to urgent care and it was almost 5, They had been home for a couple of hours. She could have picked my kid up!
I was a little pissed because I am a single mom and she knows how I struggle to make it all work. Also, because she was staying with me and had not offered to buy anything or to even take the kids for ice cream. 100 percent cheap skate all the way. Now I did not expect a steak dinner, but her family paid for her way back to her home state. She has a hubby, so she has a 2 person income. She couldn’t use 5 dollars in gas to help me out when she knows my struggles?
So, I got over that, because I am nice. But when she got in, she did not even ask how I was feeling or anything. And because it was around 9 pm, I told her good night and I enjoyed seeing them and to have a safe trip. I went to my room and talked to my man for awhile and took a shower and I didn’t think anymore about things that I was a little annoyed about.
Okay! Here is the KICKER! I get home yesterday and my carbon monoxide detector is beeping non-stop. It was not beeping because of CM, it was beeping because she or her child pushed the trash against it by mistake and it was pushing the button in. There is no way she did not hear it as she was leaving. It was ear piercing. And we know there was no danger, because we unplugged it and plugged it back in and it did not go off again. So my poor cat was hiding under the bed for probably 8 hours!
Then, I look by the door and the recycle bag that I meant to grab that day was still on the floor. The very least they could have done, was walk that down to garbage bin. If they didn’t know where one was, all they had to do was walk 100 feet and they would run into it. Okay, again, I thought that maybe it didn’t dawn on them. But then I go to my kid’s bathroom and her little trash can is filled to the top with feminine products, used of course. I was utterly pissed. She couldn’t dump that in the bigger trash can before leaving.
So, I go to the counter and see a note for us. It was written on MY notecards! Leaving a note was nice, but to be there for 3 nights and that was all that she had to offer? If she was my best friend, or a relative, it would not be a big deal. Or my man. Because I am invested with these people and there is love and reciprocity already built-in. Stripping the beds and a note from my drawer was not enough. And I did not mention that she was supposed to stay only 2 nights, but a week before, she said-btw I am coming to town a day early and need to stay 3 nights! So, to say I am not repeating that mistake, is a understatement.
There was quite a bit to be pissed off about. I do not feel that my generosity was appreciated fully and I won’t be doing this again. She is nice enough and I like her. But my guy and I were talking about it last night, outside of our inner circle, we aren’t going out of our way for folks anymore. It just isn’t worth the time and stress and energy. Why not spend time and money and conversation on people who genuinely have our backs? So, that is exactly what I am going to do.
No more Dee overextending herself for people who don’t fully respect me. No more offering to buy things or host things or give things. I am so over serving as a doormat for people. And even though I don’t think that everyone, including this houseguest means to take advantage. Nor do I think that they all realize that their actions are inappropriate or selfish, or whatever. But I am over being the one to go all out for people that aren’t necessarily deserving of it.
I know that people often do not like to share their experiences on blogs, but I would love if you would comment about a time that you felt underappreciated when you were hosting someone or an event. Have a beautiful Friday Eve!