Moocher Madness or House Guest Heaven?

Winter morning, Sydney Opera House

Sydney, August 2009

Sydney

Anyone who lives and/or owns property in a desirable location knows the issue of house guests regularly rears its head.

I’ve spent years experiencing and considering the pros and cons of house guests. For various reasons, mostly because we’ve had too many unpleasant experiences and treasure our relatively recent empty nest privacy, Clive and I no longer have them. Since we stopped offering accommodation to all and sundry, we’re much happier being occasional local tour guides. We enjoy having a few close family and friends stay with us, but that’s it.

An article in this week’s New York Times prompted us to revisit our approach to guests, and we concluded it’s still the right one for us. We have friends who love having guests and are wonderful hosts. Michelle of Mid-Atlantic English recently posted a wonderful set of tips on how to manage visitors (and another on how to be a good guest). We’ve had several nice house guests over the years, but too many were simply moochers.

Moochers Are Skilled at What They Do

Moochers are not good house guests but they are excellent freeloaders, some having honed their skills over many years.

My late husband had an acquaintance from Los Angeles who mooched his way around the world for over 40 years. This gentleman loved to travel and always collected names and addresses of ‘new friends’ along the way. He was one of the cheapest individuals I’ve ever met, yet managed to organise stays in people’s homes on every continent, an achievement about which he often boasted. Maybe he fooled them because he was an older professional and sometimes wore a suit, even when travelling. Despite a stable government job, he lived in a studio apartment and was unable to return the hosting favour when his contacts from other countries visited California.

He stayed with us only once in Sydney, needing airport transportation both ways and turning up at the house five minutes before dinner every night. He was on his way to mooch off a mother and daughter in Melbourne, whom he’d met the prior year on a bus trip in South Africa. After that, he wanted to return to our comfortable guest room in Sydney.

It was our first time saying “no” and we did it cowardly, having not yet developed confidence in our right to do so. We sent him a postcard in Melbourne, telling him, “Our schedule has changed and we can no longer offer accommodation on your return.” We never heard from him again.

Moochers Fancy Themselves Interesting and Desirable

Moochers can be boring and arrogant at the same time. The year after the L.A. moocher disappeared from our lives, a distant cousin of mine was on sabbatical from an Ivy League university, doing research in New Zealand. We should have learned our lesson, but in a misguided burst of ‘her grandmother was so good to my mother’ and ‘she’s family – how can I say no?’ we agreed for her to visit us in Sydney. She showed up with two of the biggest duffel bags I’ve ever seen, both filled with dirty laundry.

This distant cousin also returned to the house a few minutes before dinner every evening, always empty-handed. She never brought flowers or a bottle of wine, nor did she say ‘thank you’ during or after her visit. It became clear she felt her presence alone was our reward. We should be the grateful ones, as she blessed us with academic pontifications over dinner every night and deigned to discuss her Ivy League PhD program with the lowly Bachelor-degree holding relatives Down Under.

Never Give Up Your Own Bed

Moocher Guest

My mother sometimes had house guests when my brother and I were growing up, and my memories of those visits are pleasant. The only guest rule my mother taught me, which her mother taught her, was never give up your own bed. My mother said this should never be expected by a well-mannered guest, and it was important to be able to go into your own bedroom for privacy at night.

I began my adult years with this policy, and it served me well. Various friends stayed over at my apartment during my single years, and after I married, we had guests once in a while, usually for a weekend or short visit.

It wasn’t until I moved to Sydney, a world class city high on many people’s tourist agenda, the issue of house guests moved from the periphery of my life to front and centre. We received frequent communications from friends and friends of friends, announcing they were thinking of a trip to Australia. Some asked directly to stay with us; others were more subtle. I’ve seen hundreds of variations of, “We don’t know where to stay. Do you know of a place?”

It’s Personal

Having guests, or not, is a personal choice and one we each have the right to make for ourselves.

When I told my Australian boss we’d acquired an apartment in Paris, he offered advice based on his experience owning a flat in London: “Develop a policy about guests right up front. Either have them or don’t.”

He was so right.

My Favourite ‘No’ Book

NoBookAs a good girl from way back, I found it difficult to give myself permission to say ‘no’ to requests I felt were rude or unreasonable.

How to Say No without Feeling Guilty by Patti Breitman and Connie Hatch helped me learn to stand up for myself in a way that was both polite and acceptable to me. Breitman and Hatch also recommend the ‘policy approach’. Clive and I generally respond to requests with something like, “I’m sorry we can’t offer accommodation, but we look forward to seeing you and getting together when you’re here.”

I’ve learned this simple sentence works a treat, and quickly weeds out genuine visitors from potential moochers. When they realise you mean it about no accommodation, moochers disappear.

Explanation Not Required

No” is a complete sentence. I used to be afraid of saying the word, and felt I should offer a detailed explanation. As Clive points out, there is no excuse you give that can’t be countered, especially by a skilled moocher.

I’m sorry we have limited space’ brings on, ‘No problem. We’ll sleep on the floor.’ ‘We have a dodgy gas heater’ brings on, ‘James is very good at fixing things.’ ‘Someone else will be staying with us’ brings on, ‘The more the merrier’.

Somewhere along the line, a lightbulb went on in my brain and I realised it was not rude of me to politely decline a request for accommodation. It was rude of the requester to not take no for an answer. Moochers often continue to press you, or demand an explanation, or act huffy, hurt, or indignant when what you say comes down to that little word – no.

Only last week, I received an e-mail from one of my late husband’s distant relatives. I hadn’t heard from her in years. She hinted at staying in Sydney for an extended period. I sent back a friendly e-mail with our standard response. She disappeared.

Be Happy

I can happily report in developing a personal approach that works, no suffering is involved. It’s quite the contrary. Friends remain friends, moochers vanish, and everyone is much happier.

Paris, April 2009

Paris, April 2009

  NY Times ‘It’s August. They’re Coming for You.’ 
  NY Times Quiz: Are You Your Own Doormat?

36 Responses

  1. Having read all this, I don’t know what to say!!

    btw I am going to Paris soon!! 🙂

  2. Great post although a bit scary since we’re adding on to the house. I’lll make sure John has a look at it too.

  3. I read your post with much interest! It’s so good to hear someone speaking honestly and sensibly. Not all of us are naturally hospitable to all and sundry or enjoy a houseful of people we barely know, especially the “moocher” types. Thank you for the advice.

  4. I’m so glad you’ve worked through to be able to say NO now. Some of those stories — from the article and your own — are so crazy. Especially the lady who clearly believed you two lucky to benefit from hearing her learned discourses . . .puh-leeze!

    I enjoyed so much having my huge embassy apartment to share with friends and family when I was here before. Most guests were a joy, with a few exceptions (and funny enough, I was almost always surprised by who was the most difficult and who was easy rather than high-maintenance as I had expected). Anyway now no one could dream of staying with us, so it’s not an issue in my current life! But still enjoyed your post.

  5. Hi Carol,

    Wow! I hardly know what to say. I always enjoy having company, although my town is somewhat out of the way, but I’ve certainly been glad to see those who have shown up. Even with the popularity of Penn State football games, we have never felt over run with guests, and I have like making contact with football fans, old friends, and other assorted folk! I always think having company is the least of my problems, and folks had better be willing to take whatever accommodations I can offer, shape of house, and amount of food in the pantry!

    My mom and I have often laughed about the many people who visited us in the years that my family lived in the Atlanta suburbs. My mother was the hostess because it was her house, and I wasn’t always living there to either be a help or a hindrance! Certainly more people visited us there than any other place we ever lived because it is conveniently situated on the route to Florida for many. I think it is safe to say that some were moochers, and some were delightful guests, and we have laughed often about some of the crazy ones. We would agree with your mother about not giving up one’s bed, however.

  6. Great post! I have many people seeking accomodations with me at my apartment in Stockholm but cannot stand mooching, freeloading houseguests. Thanks for the great tips on saying no!

  7. I enjoy having family and I don’t mind visitors for a short time. It’s long stays that get to me. I seem to do nothing but cook and do dishes. I’ve usually said no to people I know are moochers but noth with family. Maurice and I are exhausted after two months of almost non stop visitors. One day we had 27 people for lunch and dinner-no sleep overs, thank God. I don’t think I will agree to that again. They were all related to Maurice.

  8. I guess upon reflection the problem is that one doesn’t know ahead of time *who* will be the mooching, freeloading houseguests. I think most people would like to welcome people in, but avoid the latter. But it’s impossible to do, because people will always surprise you!

    But then, I also see the point that some people have just learned over time that they are more likely than not to be UNcomfortable hosting – so your blanket policy works well.

    As I said, this is all immaterial for us now, since the two of us can’t dine together without taking a folding chair out of the belly of the table and placing it smack bang in front of the fridge.

  9. Thanks for these comments, everyone. You all make some great points and it’s interesting to hear everyone’s different experiences and feelings about having visitors.

    Cheers to all and happy travels 🙂

  10. Interesting dilemma you solved. Living in Florida brings its share of visitors and with my work schedule and in the past young children, I would welcome the visitors with the expectation that they help cook and play with our two daughters. I would usually say something like, I will cook on Wed. night, pause a long time, then add, you are welcome to use whatever food is in the house on the other days you are here, but the store is.located…… and we eat family style, meaning all together.

    It has worked well over the years and their visit makes it feel like a vacation for me too. And I do mooch off of them too when we go north so it is a win win situation.

  11. Janet, I love the idea of your guests making it feel liike a vacation for you, too — that’s how it should be. Your ‘I will cook … pause a long time’ etc. is brilliant.

    You’ve definitely managed a win win situation — as the Aussies say, good on ya 🙂

    Cheers and enjoy the visitors and travels..

  12. Carolyn,

    thank you very much for sharing your experiences, especially how you have been dealing with requests for accommodation from moochers and others. This was exactly what I was looking for. (I have a feeling extended family on my husband’s side whom we haven’t even met is going to ask us if they can have their wedding on our acreage and I want to be prepared, as this would be a major inconvenience and cost us money and time we don’t even have and generally speaking is a too big favour to ask.) Moreover, my husband wants to eventually live ‘somewhere hot, on the ocean, with corals’. Hmmm…we haven’t been married for a year and are both over 40 and want to have a family and have no time to waste. Once we can afford to sell up and buy a home in a dream location, I will be struggling to live a normal life, raise our children etc., while fending off whoever tells us that they want to visit us. Already, anyone who owns a log cabin on a lake or a timeshare in the South is inviting us to stay with them (and my husband happily and innocently accepts any invitation, including from his ex’s brother and has no problem having family, friends or anyone else who would ask, visit us) with the unspoken expectation that we will of course return the invitation. At the risk of sounding unsociable, I can’t help thinking that visits should be by invitation and by that I do not mean self-invitation. People should not be punished for living and working or just owning a holiday home in what is just another vacation spot for others.

    I would never inconvenience anyone, be a financial and/or other burden on them just to be able to have a free/near free holiday or stay for free anywhere in the world. Never again, I should add, as the only time that I did stay with my sister for an extended visit over a year ago, sibling rivalry and past family issues showed us both that I would have been better off declining her invitations over the years and staying in a hotel. Despite my helping her with her household chores and always being grateful and showing my gratitude to her and her husband within my budget, it ruined our already difficult relationship. Other than this experience, my policy has been that If I can’t afford to go on holiday and pay for a hotel (but somehow manage to pay for the flights, transportation to the airport, have money to spend etc.), I simply won’t go.

    But even when someone invites me and I can tell it is a genuine invitation, I would rather stay in a hotel, save them from the inconvenience of having me and meet for a meal etc. and I would enjoy it much more.

    Frustrated, as you can tell and curious about any responses,
    Esther

  13. Esther, welcome! and thanks for your comment.

    It’s clear you have already given a lot of thought to this subject, and I agree with you that ‘visits should be by invitation, and not self-invitation’ – well-stated 🙂 We too prefer to stay in a hotel for a number of reasons, including privacy — I think that’s something every couple works out for themselves.

    It sounds like you and your hubby are in ‘early days’ and I’m sure you’ll figure out what works best for you as you learn from your own experience. It took me a long time (years!) to develop the courage / confidence to say ‘no’ to moochers — it seems like you are much farther along that path than I was! and it’s great you already have some ‘policies’ you’ve thought through about your values, preferences, etc.

    The only other suggestion I have is that I wrote a follow-up post, ‘Hospitality Plus’ — with some ideas about how to be hospitable to guests without providing overnight accommodation. That post is at https://mysydneyparislife.wordpress.com/2009/09/09/hospitality-plus/

    I totally understand this can be so frustrating — and emotional, and at times upsetting — it’s such a personal thing and I wish you and your hubby all the best with your dreams and plans.

    Cheers and thanks again for visiting and for your thoughtful comment.

  14. This is a wonderful article. I totally agree…I hate moochers, freeloaders and the like. Now can you explain to me how to get rid of my sister-in-law who has lived with us for 4 years? HELP!

  15. Thanks for the kind words about this post, go away moochers.

    I’m not sure I can help with your situation but it sounds like a challenge and I wish you all the best if and when you decide to take some action to change it.

    Cheers and good luck!

  16. Wow, you are WONDERFUL. You have said exactly what I needed to hear right from the first sentence about desirable locations bringing on many guests.

    My husband and I decided to accept an overseas job offer extended to him as a liaison between two international companies. Since we have beautiful, spacious living quarters, business guests from BOTH companies are regularly turning up, all wanting to stay with us, and getting their way.

    I have recently reached my wits end when over the last three months, I have been pressed on two different occasions to provide more than one bed in one of my guest rooms and make up another room off the kitchen for guests that is being used for storage to accomodate larger groups of people. Because these prospective guests are always dangling the carrot of good business relations to my husband in return for MY hospitality, he has a hard time saying no. He ends up smiling and accepting compliments about how good his wife’s cooking is and how lovely his home is, and bringing them on. The end result is that I end up cooking for them, washing their towels, sheets and cleaning their bathrooms, as well as accomodating their requests and interruptions, and feeling like a servant in my own home. What’s more I end up feeling resentful about not having any personal privacy at home (not to mention giving up my room that has my dressing closet in it!)

    In the past one guest we had here was so delighted by our home as soon as he arrived, he announced he had been having some snags scheduling his business flights during the week, was canceling his business, and “would not be going ANYWHERE” for the week. He ended up being the rudest guest I have ever encountered, and constantly was putting in for trips that would have him enjoying our sanctuary once again – but he was fired.

    I am due to actually have a guest arrive tomorrow. Because it is only one person and is a personal friend as well as a business associate, I hardly have thought anything of him coming, while I’ve been fuming about a group of four planning on coming to my home in a few weeks, which has been difficult for me to confront.

    Because my patience with these guests has come to an end and I have had to face ways not to confront them without being rude, I have realized that people who invite themselves, assuming you will cook and clean for them day and night, are the rude ones. I ended up doing exactly as you had suggested and inviting the larger group to dinner ONLY – declining the overnight stays at our house. That seemed to do the magic trick for me, as you reported it did for you also. As for the friend/associate coming tomorrow, I won’t let myself be dissuaded from enjoying good company in my own home either.

    Thanks for many words of validation and confirming for me that “no” is all that is needed.

  17. No More Alice Brady (what a perfect nickname!), welcome and thanks for your comment.

    It sounds as if you’ve reached that critical point where you’ve thought this issue through very well and are ready to take action on your own behalf. As the Aussies say, good on ya — and good luck as you go through the process. I’m sure you’ll be successful! (Remember as you note, it’s those who won’t accept a polite ‘no’ who are the rude ones!).

    Cheers and all the best – hang in there because it gets easier each time. Bonne chance! (Good luck!)

  18. Hi. Actually I was looking for advice on how to get rid of my son’s moocher friend (living with us 3 months, and no end in sight). However, I couldn’t help reading the entire post and comments. Fun and I agree: Moochers are to be dismissed as soon as possible.

    We have a similar problem with our boat on Lake Erie. The same families keep hinting (mooching) invitations off of my good-hearted wife. Of course, chipping in for gas, or bringing some wine or treats just never occurs to them. But I have the pleasure of boating around Lake Erie, to the tune of several hundred dollars in gas, and paying for lunch, etc.

    What is particularly infuriating is that most of these same folks make more money than I and will actively criticize boaters for throwing away their money on boating. Personally, I’ve had it but the wife …. Such is one of the prices of marital bliss.

  19. Robert in Ohio, thanks for stopping by and sharing your comment. And good luck with your son’s moocher friend with no end in sight!

    That’s interesting re your boat on Lake Erie with ‘guests’ not chipping in for gas or finding another way to thank you and show their appreciation. Must be frustrating and would definitely get to me, especially if they invite themselves. Outrageous, and just so rude.

    It does get tricky when one partner is more inclined than the other to say ‘yes’ to those kinds of requests. Best wishes to you and your wife as you keep juggling them all..

    Cheers.

  20. The problem usually starts when a guest has overstayed his/her welcome and they don’t seem to get the hint. We’ve had people stay with us off and on and it always starts out with “just for a couple of weeks” or “only for a month or two until I can get my own place”. Six months later they were still with us and eating our food, drinking our beverages (much of it being wasted – half empty cans of soda or beer everywhere), using up lots of electricity and water, using up OUR toiletries and never replenishing anything. Once they get a job they would always come up with one excuse or another as to why they haven’t been able to get enough money saved up to get into an apartment of their own. Then the anger and resentment starts to fester until it comes to a huge blow-up and the person moves out and we never speak to them again.

    My advice: If you do decide to take in a houseguest or room mate, have a clear timeline as to when the person has to get out. If they don’t have anything lined up, too bad, there are cheap motels to stay in.
    Better advice: Don’t get yourself into this situation in the first place, just say NO!

  21. Miss Kitty, hello and welcome, and thanks for your great comment!

    You obviously speak from experience, and painful experience at times. It seems so utterly wrong and unfair to me, that so often the outcome of someone’s generosity and understanding is that the moocher ends up making accusations and becoming upset or angry or making accusations and then ‘never speaking to each other again’ – when he or she should be grateful for what they’ve received. It just doesn’t happen that way, in so many cases.

    I think your advice is spot on!

    Thanks and cheers.

  22. Thank you Carolyn, for your wonderful article. I am recovering from a rather gruelling visit from “friends” and was web surfing to find ways to discourage future “mooching” as they are already talking of a return visit (they left yesterday). It is my own fault that I allowed myself to be manipulated into caving in to their unreasonable requests. We are a very hospitable family with frequent visitors but we are tired of paying for guest’s visits to expensive attractions, meals out, meals in and requests for the use of our vehicle. These last guests were over the top in rudeness, I purchased (at our expense) a dual annual membership for them to two local attractions and repeatedly used my own guest passes for a third guest that they brought with them. Not yet satisfied with our generousity, they wanted to utilize MY annual pass which had modest additional “inPark” benefits as I would not be with them on their final trip to the park (I had accompanied them on all the other days, picking up the tab for them throughout their visit), I politely explained that would be unethical,and when they persisted, that misuse would also jeodardize my own membership etc.. They continued to badger me and tried again to extract it from me the next morning (on their way to the airport no less, saying they’d mail it back to me!). Outrageous! These aren’t “poor” people, they travel the world, go on cruises etc, nor are they uneducated, they are retired teachers with a lovely paid for home and great retirement income. They ARE ridiculously cheap and eager to save every last penny they can. They stayed with us for six days and took us out just once for a very inexpensive meal and complained when my husband had a soda (coffee and tea were inclusive) even though their guest had a soda too. We won’t be hosting them again, they don’t appreciate our generous hospitality nor do they reciprocate in any way. We can’t afford to pay for everyone’s vacations anymore and will be practicing a polite and measured response to the requests we receive for hosting in the future.Thank you for helping me realize that I am not rude when I say no to people who would rather I say yes to all of their requests!
    No, no, no, no, no, sorry can’t do it, No,no, no, no, no!
    Would be delighted to have you over for dinner, No,no, no, no, no, no!

    Must admit that I already like the sound of it! : )

  23. Liberated in California, thanks for visiting and sharing your experience, horrifying as it is!

    You made me smile, though, as so many of us have been where you are and can relate! You’ve been way, way more than generous to these awful moochers and have nothing to feel guilty about — instead, give yourselves a HUGE pat on the back and congratulate yourselves for your hospitality and tolerance of such rude behaviour. Then, with *zero* guilt (easier said than done, I know!), move into that ‘sorry we can’t offer accommodation but would love to see/meet your for dinner’ mode 🙂

    Cheers and good on ya, and hang in there! Best of luck. (No no no sorry no no no no sorry no no no 🙂 )

  24. I wish I could get rid of my freeloading cousin,he stays at my house all but 3 days a month,goes with me and my hubby when we go out,never pays for himself,my hubby feels sorry for him.Hes latched to my hubby , and I get angry , just can’t tell him to get lost, he’s family has little money,I’m fed up it causes fights between me and my hubby,my hubby gets mad also but thinks its funny he’s so bold at the same time.highlight someone please take him

  25. usagiver, thanks for your comment and sounds like a terribly challenging situation with your cousin. Wishing you and your hubby all the best as you deal with this and good luck if and when you make any changes.

    • Carolyn,

      Thanks for this article and to your readers for sharing their experiences. Besides my mother, a couple of close friends I have known for decades and a few family members, my wife and I simply don’t have the time, patience or energy to deal with unruly houseguests.

  26. To expect someone’s home to be open to you like a hotel is beyond rude! Where were these people brought up! They are users and freeloaders!! Many of them are not even embarrassed to ask or suggest! Amazing, but a truth! It says a lot about them.
    Yes, that’s right, get it in your head, they are only USING you for their own benefit! When you understand that, it will be much easier to be smart, get a pair, and say NO!
    The only possible/maybe exception is your immediate family if you’re on good terms.
    A person’s home is theirs (not for the convenience of anyone else). Period!
    If your home is on the coast or other desirable location and someone asks to visit without a SPECIFIC direct (date and exit time) invitation initiated by you, suggest a hotel or B&B.
    I bet their desire to get their toes in the sand or relax will wane when he/she has to shell out their own money to pay for a place. What a shocker!!!!!
    Say, “I’ll have to say no, my place is private.” The end. Don’t be used!
    If they give you the POOR me routine-see through it. I bet they just came back from somewhere.
    Come on now, you can do it for YOURSELF! You’ll feel better that you were true to you own desires. Good-bye stress. Good-bye deadbeats!
    p.s. If you don’t hear from them again and can’t figure out why, don’t waste a moment caring. Your smart enough to get the reason. You’re better off with them gone!

  27. Suzy, I agree that behaviour/expectations are rude, especially if they’re presented with a kind of ‘entitlement’ attitude. I think many people (myself included, at least in the past) start from a place of wanting to be hospitable, wanting to be friendly or help a friend/relative, and so on. At least for me, it’s taken a long time to develop the confidence and ability to reply with a friendly ‘I’m sorry we can’t provide accommodation but would love to see you’ and so on. Since we moved to the UK our situation has changed and we no longer have a big house/apartment with extra rooms so it’s a bit simpler in this regard.

    My follow up post to this one ‘Hospitality Plus’ outlines many ways one can be welcoming without providing accommodation but still provide help and support to visitors. https://mysydneyparislife.wordpress.com/2009/09/09/hospitality-plus/

    Cheers and good luck to everyone struggling to find the right balance with this!

  28. These people who try to invite themselves but trying to act friendly and then suggesting staying over are amazing, ignorant, and just rude! But they don’t get it! They think they’re justified and doing you a favor! (LOL) Then they criticize and talk about you to others because you didn’t bite at their mooching ways! It’s amazing! They don’t even realize how classless their low-life ways are. I just have to smile and say -no. Then they leave. They don’t apologize. They want a free ride! They do feel entitled! I wouldn’t dream of hinting or asking stay at their private home.

    Do like guests by my direct and stated invitation only- and only for a few hours. Don’t want them staying over. Don’t want them sleeping in my beds. Don’t want them in my private areas, bathroom. Don’t want to constantly entertain them. Don’t want to clean up before and after-you get it. Don’t want them there -period!

    You just have to say-no. Yes, they will be offended. Too bad. They were incredible rude and obnoxious to hint or ask. But of course they’ll never get it!

  29. Fran, thanks for your comment. This is such a personal thing and I think every individual is entitled to his or her own personal space and to decide whatever level of privacy/guests etc. he or she is comfortable with. We have friends who *love* having guests and others who would agree with you on all counts.

    It shouldn’t surprise me any more but I still get taken aback to think people actually criticise anyone who gives them a polite ‘decline’ to a request for overnight accommodation. I don’t mind a polite request — I think a lot of people do it without thinking — but they should also graciously accept a polite ‘decline’. That’s my ideal, anyway!

    Our friends will always be our friends and there are so many other ways to be hospitable (ref. my next post after this one). It just takes time for people to clarify their own ‘privacy needs’ and then to feel comfortable responding with, ‘sorry, no.’ Good luck to everyone in finding their own happy medium!

  30. Thank you 🙂 That’s great advice!

  31. Victoria, thanks for your comment. Cheers.

  32. I don’t allow houseguests anymore. The last straw was when a not so close girlfriend sent me a Christmas card telling me, (not asking) that she would be visiting over the Christmas/New Year period and would be staying with hubby and me for 6 nights!!! I told her that she could stay 2 nights. By the way, she has two siblings who live in my town. My friend Margie insisted on taking hubby and me to dinner. I chose a cheap n cheerful restaurant. When the bill came, instead of discreetly taking care of it, Margie turned and eyeballed hubby and said, “Would you like me to get this?” Hubby was put on the spot and being the gentleman that he is, paid. I was furious! We could have had dinner at home!!! Then when Margie departed, I received not a bottle of wine, or a bunch of flowers or even a phone call, but a text message, saying that she had left her half used deodorant behind and would I please post it to her. (I forgot to mention that I picked her up from the airport which saved her $70 cabfare, plus two nights accommodation and dinner out.) Needless to say, we are no longer friends. Now I know why her siblings don’t host her.

    • Hi Loretta – a belated but sincere reply of sympathy and good on you for even having your ‘friend’ stay 2 nights. That’s quite hospitable IMO, especially considering the rude way you were informed vs. having the courtesy of a request first.

      Isn’t it amazing how much a simple act of kindness/thanks (eg a ‘cheap and cheerful’ dinner out, bottle of wine, etc.) can go such a long way in building good will in both directions, while the reverse, when people are utterly ungrateful, just says something very unfortunate about them.

      Wishing you a happy holiday season with no moochers and many nice friends! Cheers.

  33. Thank you so much for this post. I am at the stage where I truly feel taken advantage of. Some me guests won’t even change the bed when they leave ,even though I have asked them to.
    Some stay for days at a time then return and think doing the dishes and clearing the table is their contribution. Never paying for their own beer or buying me a bottle or two of wine. No gift or card left on the bed when they depart. A text to say thanks is not acceptable in my opinion.
    Fed up with rude manners of people whom I guess I thought valued me more and had better manners.

  34. Suzy, hello and thanks for your comment, though sorry you had that experience(s) – urrrrgh.

    Sounds like you have been a more than gracious and accommodating hostess. Truly appalling that some people so easily take advantage of that. Wishing you great good luck and ‘bon courage’ in getting to a better place with your guests/moochers.

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