But what we're not inclined to forgive are bad guests. Oh, J will forgive them and beg them to return again. But me? Bah. Piss me off twice and I will contemplate spitting in your food. I won't do it, for God's sake, but the thought will be there churning away and in my head I'll be chanting "Go! Go! Go! Go!" to the beat of whatever song amuses me at the moment. And if you are really bad, you will go into my book of bad guests.
Now for those bad guests who happen to read my blog, a caveat: being a bad guest does not mean I consider you a bad person. Oh, I may indeed. You may also be on my shitlist. I once served baked beans with real bacon to a vegan who had majorly pissed me off. And get this, she LIKED them. A lot. But she was not a bad guest.
So what does one do to ascend my Bad Guest Throne?
- Show up with screaming kids. (I'll forgive infants)
- Instruct said screaming kids to pee anywhere that is not a toilet, emergency pee bottle, or other approved tinkle-collecting device. Yes, I understand toddler crisis situations and will forgive one transgression if accompanied by profuse contrition. If they poop in the pool, however, you're dead.
- Suggest that my upholstered furniture is the perfect place to practice tumbling and jumping.
- Pick 70% of the chicken out of the chicken pasta salad because your kids like it more than veggies. So do we.
- Run screaming into the David Austin rosebush, break half the canes, and then shriek at me because it has thorns.
- Ask me, 30 minutes before arrival, what I'll have for your kids to eat. This is incredibly rude. Train your brats to eat what's offered, or bring something for them yourself, that doesn't require me to cook or rearrange my entire fridge. Trust me, if I know your kids are coming, I have prepared something from the list of Acceptable Child Chow Version 7.24b.
- Show up with items that require refrigeration, kids or not. Cousin Debbie, you are exempt because I will SAVE ROOM for your fabulous cannolis.
- Show up with something so pathetic, you should be ashamed. For example, a friend of J's once presented me with a box of 6 Dunkin Donuts, for 4 people. At the door, his 15 year old son told me he was starving and promptly ate 2. Gosh, it sure was fun when he ate two more for dessert (after devouring 2+ pounds of steak) and left 2 for the rest of us to share. Mutant.
- Just as bad was the one who showed up with a 2-liter bottle of soda. Regular soda, which J and I never drink. And when he called to announce this gift, we told him we keep plenty of regular on hand for our guests. We have been shaking our heads all week.
- If you can't afford to bring anything, or forgot, or couldn't find what you wanted, come with nothing. It's fine! Really! Sure, we'll dub you with a nickname (like Ronny-no-pie) but it's you we want, not your treats (again, exemption for Cousin Debbie, we will accept the aforementioned cannolis OR your nut cookies, thanks. 800 dozen, please.)
- Your kids destroy my living room, and you don't clean up.
- You plug the toilet, and do not bother to request homeowner assistance instead of flushing it 56 times and leaving the water teetering at the edge of the bowl.
- You leave cups full of soda in the trash.
- You put full burgers into the trash. At least cover them up so I don't have to spazz out over the waste.
- Give me decorating tips and tell me what you would have done less than a month after I complete an 8-month fullblown kitchen renovation.
- Refer to my house as a cute little cottage. It cost more than yours did, midwesterner.
- Talk endlessly into the night when you can see I'm falling asleep.
- Exclude me from conversations. There is a special hell for you and I'm gonna round up all my southern-drawling pals to duct tape your mouths and then force you to listen.
- Arrive more than 10 minutes early. Park your ass around the block and wait. Or for God's sake, unless you are Amish, use the cell phone, and call to let me know. 9 times out of 10 I'll say come on over, and on the 10th, you will feel my unshowered hysteria through the phone and offer to bring wine, Xanax, or other calming potions.
- Change the baby on my bed without putting down a towel or sheet. Ooof!
- Expect me to provide towels and laundry service. One forgotten towel trip is fine. ONE.
- Smoke in my house.
Gosh. Why would you want to come see me?