I have family coming to stay starting tomorrow. Being that we are pros at hosting people after living in great places to visit, the Boffin and I have condensed this whole thing down to 5 rules that will make life simpler.
1. If you live with someone, get on the same page and agree to the rules before anyone sets foot past the door. Look, if your mother wore white to your wedding and clung to your ankles during your first dance, chances are, your wife is not going to think it is going to be a great idea to have your parents over for the weekend without discussing the matter with her. I wouldn’t blame your wife, if she goes all Lysistrata on you for a month when Mom rings the doorbell. For the record, the Boffin and I did not have this particular problem, but I know couples who have, and it isn’t pretty.
2. While getting on the same page, remember there is nothing wrong with a person, if he or she does not like having overnight houseguests at all. It does not make a person antisocial or weird, just a person who likes personal space. Conversely, the person who does not like having houseguests can make it easier for the person who does by allowing them, but limiting the time for people to stay. Talk to each other. Try to respect each others’ viewpoint. Both of you can work it out.
3. Enforce those rules once the guests are here. If you agreed that you only want to host people for three days max, three days it is. Don’t undercut your partner, and make exceptions without mutual agreement, even if Elaine wants to stay longer, and you haven’t seen her since you graduated from college. Elaine’s voice has a cicada quality makes your husband’s innards turn to gelatin. Partner trumps guest.
4. The only things you need to provide your guests are clean and comfortable places to eat, sleep, sit, and poop. Provide meals and hospitality too, but you don’t stress yourself out trying to be Martha Stewart to do that. Forget about the pile of clothes you have to go through. Don’t worry about the mounds of paper on the desk. Remember they are coming to see you, and you are doing them a favor by providing them room and board. If they are going to judge the state of your house, and give it the white glove test, tell them to get cracking, and clean it themselves. Or they can leave, and show them the door. Life is too short to put up with rude houseguests, and nobody is going to give you points, if you martyr yourself.
5. If the timing and the arrangements do not work for you, be honest. There are these wonderful places called hotels where your guests can spend money and get their own rooms. They even have beds, showers, and toilets. You can meet them for meals and all the fun touristy things. It’s better to be frank than try to host people, be resentful, and cause friction. And if they don’t understand, that’s their problem, not yours.
It’s your home, not the Hilton. Remember, no one is going to rate you on TripAdvisor.