The Worst Things About Being Someone’s Guest on the Holidays
The holidays are here and it's time to relax and celebrate, but there's a problem. Every year I forget all the things I dislike about being a guest at someone's home.
The being late. The party is at 1 o'clock so I showered and got dressed at 11:30 am. I also packed the car with everything I thought we needed and then I sit down. It's now noon and no one is showing any sense of urgency. None of them even start getting ready until 12:30, no one can find their charger, the babies bag is missing twelve things and someone "doesn't have anything to wear". You leave the house at 4:45 pm.
The "we have to stop". You can't just show up at someone's house because they invited you, we all know that that's why I went and got a box of donuts and a bottle of wine yesterday but that's not going to cut it. Someone who is not attending made cookies that they want me to pick up and bring for them and we have to drive to Wyoming to get them "on the way". We get the Wyoming cookies and that is not enough either, we forgot ribbon for one of the 63 presents and need to drive to the Dollar Store. I'll be parked outside the Dollar Store for one hour and ten minutes with the kids screaming. My wife walks out of the Dollar Store and gets in the car, holding a bag with 51 items in it, none of those items are ribbons.
The standing in the entrance. You finally get to the person's house and make it in the door but you are stopped right there. The host has a story, a funny one that they must tell you before you fully enter the house. You must stand there, holding everything you own and wait for this funny story to be over before you can come in.
The shoes. I am a "shoes on" person. My feet always hurt and I really need to wear my shoes to be comfortable. Even if I didn't have foot problems, I'd prefer to keep all of my clothes. I don't think we all need to be in just our socks, I'm just not going to get that relaxed, so relax. If you have a shoe policy, please stop it.
The first drink. People try too hard to be good hosts, it's really not that difficult. I don't need you to check on me every twelve seconds for the next four hours. All you need to do is hurry up with the first drink offer. If I've been at your house 9 minutes and have not been offered a drink, your priorities are way out of whack.
The tour. I don't need a tour, this is not the Magic Kingdom.
The apologetic host. You've reconstructed your home to fit the needs of many, you decorated, you cooked, you cleaned and everything is wonderful. Don't apologize because you don't have Heineken. Don't apologize because the downstairs bathroom is "a mess" when you know it's not a mess. Don't make me have to answer these apologies all day, eventually, I will quit answering the apologies and things will get weird.
The "where did you buy that?" At some point, someone will compliment the host on something in their home. Next up, someone will ask where they bought it and the world's longest, most unbelievably pointless conversation is underway. No matter how hard I try to ignore this dialogue about a thing, where it was purchased and for how much, someone will involve me and say I should "get it". I don't really want it, if I did, I'd get it. I don't need you to tell me where to get it or what it costs because I have the Google.
The TV. If I am asking you to put the TV on, I should have never been asked to spend time with you to begin with. The TV needs to be on, and set to a sporting event. By sporting event, I mean football and only football.
The photo/video on your phone. Someone has to show me something on their phone 100% of the time I visit someone's house. I wouldn't be that bothered if you just once had it ready to go. The quicker we can fake our way through caring about this, the better, but you never have it ready, do you?
Saying goodbye. One frustrated wave should do, I can't kiss everyone I don't like kissing.
P.S. Inviting someone into your home is one of the kindest things a person can do. Truth be told, I'm never a bad guest or ungrateful. I just have a weird brain and writing about it helps me expel the worst of my personality. That way, I'm not an actual a-hole, when I am a guest in someone's home. Now that I've hedged my bets for you overly sensitive types, please share this someone who has a sense of humor.