Please understand that I love you and I am truly happy to see you and have you here. It’s just that when you are here, well, you leave things a mess. I can’t believe I’m the only person alive who knows how to make a bed. Are the sheets, blanket, and bedspread that difficult to straighten out? I’ve made my bed every day since I was ten. And the bathroom; did a hurricane come through? The toilet lid left up, the toothpaste cap off and paste oozing all over, the towel thrown on the side of the tub, oh, and the hairdryer, left on high so that when I turned it on, I nearly jumped out of my skin. Then the water all over the floor. Do you really not see these things?
When I came home from work I was expecting a nice dinner that you had promised to make. What I find is my indoor cat cowering outside at the front door; how did she get out? Inside, every light is on, the television is blaring in the living room, but you aren’t there. In the kitchen a pot of water is boiling on the stove but there isn’t anything in it. Dishes are piled up in the sink and all over the counter, but there doesn’t seem to be anything ready to eat. Where are you? In the back room on the computer; you didn’t hear me come in.
“Oh, are you home already?” you blithely ask. “I was thinking of making beef stroganoff, but I don’t know how so I was looking up a recipe on the internet. Do you have any red wine?”
Is it so difficult to put things back where you found them? I mean, you obviously found where they were and took them out. Why can’t you put them back? Everyone has their idiosyncrasies. Some people leave the toilet lid up, some down. I prefer the down method because I had a kitty once jump onto the toilet and with the lid up she fell in. Kind of funny but still . . . However, when you are in someone else’s home, doesn’t it make sense to be respectful and make sure you leave things the way you found them? Or is the phrase, “make yourself at home” a green light to be lazy, slovenly, and gluttonous. When I say “make yourself at home” I mean you are welcome to use whatever you need but I also mean return it when done. I’m that way. When I visit someone I always make a point of seeing where things are that I use so that I can return them to their proper place. Is being a respectful guest a thing of the past or am I the only one?
I love that you came to visit, but excuse me while I calm my cat, turn off the lights in the empty rooms,turn down the television, take the pot off the stove, do the dishes, dry the bathroom floor, put the toilet lid down, hang the towel on the rack, put the cap on the toothpaste, and make the bed.
“By the way, it takes too long to make stroganoff, can you just order a pizza? Oh, we need more booze, too,” you call out from the computer.
Did you hear that? It was my head . . . exploding.
(Note: while no one guest has done ALL of the above, most have done at least one.)