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a home + living guide for the post-college, pre-parenthood, quasi-adult generation

03.15.2001

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be our guest how to be 
everyone's favorite houseguest
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2. Donít be a slob.
You probably already know this, I hope, but while itís perfectly acceptable to throw your dirty clothes in a pile at the foot of the bed in your own home, the same is not true when youíre staying at someone elseís place. Keep your stuff tidy and isolated. Fold up your clothing at the end of the day, then tuck it neatly back into your duffel bag or suitcase which should, if possible, remain zipped when not in use. Keep your toiletries in a little travel bag, not scattered about the already cluttered bathroom countertop. Make your bed every morning, and if youíve been sleeping on a futon or sofabed in the living room, fold it back up into couch form as soon as you wake up. In short: be neat, be clean, even if neither normally comes naturally to you.

3. Go with the flow.
A visit with a friend is a great opportunity to see how someone else lives for a few days. Enjoy the novelty of that big sausage-and-eggs breakfast that your host eats every Sunday, and donít say a word about how you usually prefer cereal. Give it an eager go when s/he takes you out to his/her favorite country and western bar Saturday night for some good old-fashioned line-dancing. Be enthusiastic, be adventurous, be game -- after all, nobody likes a party pooper.

And do try your best to keep the same schedule as your hosts, even if it means sleeping a little less than youíd like. Donít insist on going to sleep at 9 p.m. if youíre sleeping in the TV room and your hosts donít normally hit the sack until midnight. Trust me, theyíll resent it if they have to spend the remaining three hours of their evening holed up in their tiny bedrooms rather than indulging in their usual boob tube addictions. Likewise, itís rather rude to sleep till noon if your host has gone to the trouble of planning a fun-filled day of sightseeing for you.

4. Bring a book.
Or your laptop, or that sweater youíre in the process of knitting, or anything else to keep you entertained when your host needs a break from being Super-Host. A little self-sufficiency is a good thing.

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