we had a light dusting of snow last night and i think it had to do more with the fact that it was raining and then got cold- than it just snowed. strange weather we have been having here. so, it occurred to me that folks are going to be getting together- and staying with other folks over the next couple of months- what with holidays and such. it also occurred to me- from personal experience- that some folks don't know how to behave in other folks' homes sometimes. not out of deliberate malice for sure- but speaking before thinking. so i thought i should put some pointers out there for the 'manners challenged' among us.
1) when you are a guest, it is a major faux pas to continuously refer to the host's hometown as 'a dump.' they are usually well aware that the city in which they reside has fallen on hard times. and you sound like a snob.
2) do help out. some folks stay for several days with the host- usually family- and the added people adds up on the work. you may think you don't make much of a mess- but you do.
3) don't make yourself too much at home- it isn't yours. it is ok to be comfy in that spare room- but rearranging the host's things to suit your own- is disrespectful. at least ask.
4) don't monopolize conversations with how much and what you know. conversations are more interesting than long winded monologues. if you are family, chances are, the host has heard your stories over and over and over......
5) while the invitation to use whatever you need is implicit in the invitation to stay, there are certain things off limits- unless asked about. expensive perfumes or soaps or what have you- shouldn't be used unless asked about. basics are usually provided.
6) don't monopolize electronics. uncle joe is going to want to watch football and aunt suzie will want to check her emails once in a while too. plenty of time to do your thing- after you go back home.
7) be mindful of what you say when you say it. you may be joking about folks who ride buses being 'those people' but cousin sarah doesn't find it amusing. she is one of 'those people.'
the rule of thumb is- no matter how comfy you are while visiting- good manners are always appreciated. and- you are just visiting. your hosts live there. to get an invitation back, be a good house guest. not every family member with 'too many things' are as generous about letting others share them.