Good Guest or Bad

response to the Daily Prompt: Guest

Whether in a well-appointed luxury  hotel, or someone’s modest hovel there are certain expectations as a guest.  As a guest we expect to be welcomed and have our needs met.  We expect a place to sleep, be warm and safe, access to facilities to care for personal needs, food and water.

In some places we are offered private, climate controlled rooms.  We might have a small kitchen, and private bath.  There might be staff to make up our bed and bring fresh towels on demand, and clean up after us.  Even complete meals may be brought right to our room.  This type of hospitality comes with a price.

Under crowded conditions, as when we are visiting family,  the welcome is expected.  We expect family to take us in, but you may have to compromise personal sleeping comfort. Sleeping arraignments are not as private nor spacious.  But room will be made for you, even if on a sofa, or with a pillow and blanket on the floor.  You might not be entirely comfortable, but you will have a warm dry place to sleep, as long as the roof is not leaking.  Food and drink will be shared, but we may have to wait upon ourselves.  There will also be a wait for the bathroom, and a wait for hot water before showers.

Being with those you love is worth the inconvenience of helping with the cooking and cleaning, and waiting our turn.   Covering up to go to the bathroom at night, or to find a midnight snack is a small inconvenience for the togetherness of family.  Following the house rules, and excepting the differences between us, and being considerate of each other to keep the peace and make things go smoothly for everyone is expected for a guest.

But sometimes things don’t go smoothly.  Sometimes we think we can be quick enough to run to the kitchen for a snack when everyone is asleep, and risk running uncovered into our mother-in-law or brother-in-law.  Sometimes we don’t think the rules apply to us, because we are adults, we have the right to our opinions, we are right and you are not so right.  We forget we are a guest and forget to be thankful.  We overstep and impose our judgement over that of our generous hosts.  We forget we are a guest and argue with our hosts, in their house, when the smarter choice would be to quietly, and peacefully leave.

Our family might even forgive us such laps, because they love us.  Then again, they might not.



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