The Art of Being A Perfect House Guest

Let me take a moment to tell you about a recent house guest who's visit makes me smile still. A longtime friend from New York was with me for over a week and I can't stop gushing about the little things he did to make his stay remarkable. Basic things we could all use to remember when we're invited into someones home.

For starters he offered to take a taxi to my house from the airport on arrival, which I declined, insisting I pick him up. Once at my house, he kept all his luggage and personal items neatly contained in our guest room and bathroom. From there on out he was charming and respectful to everyone we came in contact with, never making the conversation just about him. He always said 'please' and 'thank you' and offered to pay for food and groceries. A gesture I succeeded in preventing about fifty percent of the time.

While I was at work, I let him drive my car to visit friends and sightsee, as one does. And while not wrecking it and probably driving as safe as a grandma he not only inquired if I needed anything at the store (which I did once, again refusing payment) but he also filled the gas tank, which I discovered a few days after his departure.

Beyond that, my good guest—who shall be invited back anytime, ever—managed to tidy up and do the dishes once per day. He picked up on on what time my precious kitties were fed each night and did that before I got home as well. To top it all off, on the last night he took out the garbage and stripped his bed, stopping short of washing the sheets because, in his words, "I didn't know if you use fabric softener or not."

You'd think this type of behavior would be limited to single, gay men of a certain age, but you'd be wrong. Earlier this year we entertained a young family of five on a budget from Los Angeles who, at every age pulled nearly the same archaic antics. 

Perhaps manners do still exist. If so, we all should do our part to keep them from becoming completely extinct. It is what separates us from our primitive ancestors and a guaranteed way to make and keep friends for life. My two cents.

Journal, TravelJesse Walker