Monday, January 7, 2013

How Long Is Too Long?

Who has In-Laws?  This guy does. Before you start with your jokes, I actually like them. I know it's against every law that Issac Newton ever laid down but they are OK.

Well they just left town (on a big jet airplane) but it got me thinking about house guests in general. I've been on both sides of the coin and I started to figure out about how long is too long. At what point do your friends and family stop becoming guests and start becoming pests?

There are lots of guides out there on how to be a good house guest and lots of guides on how to be a bad house guest. What I can't find out is how long is too long? Is it 3 days or 2 weeks? Where is the line? Where are the guides for this? 

I propose that 3 days or shorter is the perfect stay.

Day 1: Pick Up
You pick your guests up at the airport/subway/train station/horse track...whatever moves you. This is the whole "oh it's great to see you" phase. There's a lot of smiles, handshakes, hugs, chest bumping...again whatever moves you. There's usually a nice meal out and the carrying of bags to the guest room, sofa, futon, or fold out couch. Simple, easy, and civil.

Day 2: The Event Day
The second day starts with a nice breakfast, maybe some coffee. From there it's off to an event of some sort. Maybe the park or the shopping mall or if your guests are really lucky a football game. Either way the "event" takes up a good chunk of the day and the rest of the day is spent talking about the event. Dinner, followed by chit chat and possibly use of the computer to check in to their flight online.

Day 3: Going Home
Bags are packed, the bed is stripped (if you have the "good" variety of guests), and breakfast is on the table. Your guests are ready to go home. Their stay has been wonderful and the memories will last a lifetime, but it's time to go.

There it is in a nutshell. Anything beyond 3 days is pushing it (although for clarification my inlaw's 5-day stay was not overstepping and actually enjoyable). There may be acceptations to this rule. If your guest is a gourmet chef and cooks you foie gras stuffed pineapples or if there are significant amounts of financial encouragement.

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