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A Good Guest

By Lavender May 19, 2011

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The joy of weekending at someone’s home can go from treat to treatment very easily. Between the valet running off to the circus and the host’s inability to train the housemaid, both of you may be left to pick up the slack. Fear not: Send your RSVPs, pack your attaché, and remember these golden rules. (You might tear out this page, and paste it into the lid of your steamer for future reference.)

• The invitation to be a guest is both a privilege and an honor, so treat it as such. If other plans conflict, send your regrets immediately. No one wants an RSVP at the last hour.

• Ask the right questions to minimize confusion. Knowing what activities are planned can help you pack your trunk accordingly. Will you be hitting the gym, dining with friends at the club, or dancing like a fiend to cheesy house music? It sets the mind reeling, doesn’t it?

• Schedule activities for yourself if your host will be working during your visit, to prevent inconvenience and misunderstandings. As a golden rule, good guests entertain themselves by day and their host/hostess by night.

• Frame of mind. As a guest it’s your greatest tool for success. You may be exposed to the shortcomings of your host’s planning (or lack thereof), inability to make decisions, or homicidal neat-freak tendencies. Don’t worry—take a deep breath, and remember your frame of mind: I am a guest.

• Being a guest is not like staying in a hotel. Be aware of your messes, and pick up after yourself.

• Expenses should be shared with your host. It’s an important way of showing gratitude. Take your host out for a meal, and replace the bar stock you emptied. Gestures like these show your respect for your hosts and their kindness.

• Before departing, strip your bed linens to minimize cleanup efforts. Call a local florist to order a small arrangement, delivered the day after you leave. If you’re especially well-bred, you’ll have your thank-you note written and posted before you even arrive home.

It seems that with all we need to think of and do, we might never leave for a weekend at all. Remember the rules, and you’ll be invited frequently and graciously. With just 52 weekends in a year, choosing how, where, and with whom to spend them will become your new challenge.

Floral Arrangment
A perfect item to send after your stay. Contact a nearby florist to deliver a lovely spring bouquet to show your appreciation.
Flowers $30

Indulge & Bloom
3 Mpls. locations
(612) 343-0000
indulgeandbloom.com

Oil & Vinegar Set
For hosts who love to cook, why not reward them for the lovely meals they prepared during your visit.
Gourmet Vinaigrettes $14-$20

Vinaigrette
5006 Xerxes Ave. S., Mpls. (612) 922-9192
vinaigrettemn.com

Veuve Clicquot
Need a reason to celebrate? Your stay is reason enough. If you’re a good guest, your host might even share.
Veuve Clicquot
Ponsardin Brut $32.99

Haskell’s
81 S. 9th St., Mpls.
(612) 333-2434
haskells.com

Garden Tools
For the host with the green thumb, this fun and attractive garden-tool set is sure to please.
Bright Floral Garden Tool Set $26.50

Bibelot Stores
1082 Grand Ave., St. Paul
(651) 222-0231
bibelotshops.com

Children’s Book
This neat new book will delight your host’s children, and proceeds from sales of the book benefit charity.
The Governor’s Mouse $20

Minnesota’s Bookstore
660 Olive St., St. Paul
(651) 297-3000
mnbookstore.com

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