Having a Houseguest and being a Houseguest can always be somewhat difficult. As a Host, one wants to make a welcoming and comfortable environment for the guest. As a guest, one generally wants to avoid being in the way or being demanding. In the end the idea is for both parties to have a somewhat enjoyable time. At least in Theory. In reality, many times guests feel awkward, and hosts feel stressed about creating a nice environment.
This week I have had a houseguest. I finally dropped him off this afternoon at another home, so that he can be their houseguest from Hell…
Initially this started with a group of us getting together to run a Marathon. It coincided with a Space Shuttle Launch, so that was part of the plan. I was unfortunately injured and had to stop my Marathon plans. Out of the 4 of us who planned on doing this, 2 dropped out, of the two left; one was myself, and the other was Houseguest. I'm going to call him Frank, though that isn't his real name.
Frank was coming from far away. He planned to come here for an entire month to go to the Space Shuttle launch and also some sort of conference. I told him I would be up for the Launch and such. Frank stated that he had friends to see in Tampa and Miami and Jacksonville. He then told me that as a PhD student he did not have enough money and that in order for his trip to be possible he wanted to stay at my house during the conference. He assurred me he was (and I quote), an excellent houseguest.
Against my better judgement I said "OK" but I told him that the dog was badly behaved, that I lived 36 miles away from the conference and that I needed to concentrate on work.
He took that as a Yes….and then (first yellow flag) proceeded to ask if I want to drive him to Miami. (5 hours one way) I suggested he rent a car. He ignored this suggestion.
I decided well, one week in the beginning of February and one week in March, not too bad.
Saturday: Frank Arrives. He is affable, friendly and his normal self. I take him to IHOP as he has seen it in a movie at one point. We take off for the space shuttle launch.
It's scheduled for 4 am. Due to Weather it was scrubbed….
So this is all I saw. It was quite cold, and I was slightly exhausted after this.
Sunday: Frank wants to return to the Space Center for the Launch attempt number 2. I can not go because I need to go to work. I go out and make lasagne. He eats and watches me do the dishes. I fiddle about and finally get Frank on a tour bus. he pays the cost of 100.00 for this and I take him to a drop off place 30 mins away.
Monday I go to work….and then return to the drop off place after work to pick him up. I ask him if he is hungry. he says no, but he would like some of the left over Lasagne. I say sure…. We get home and he sits and sits and sits and looks expectantly at me until I go to the fridge and heat up his lasagne and present it to him. Keep in mind I have shown Frank the fridge and the stove and the microwave and everything, and told him to open it when needed…
We go to sleep. I get up the next day and go to work. he is to stay home and walk to the movie theatre etc. I work, I get home, he is asleep (Understandable, jet lag etc). I cook some Salmon with Cajun seasoning, and walk the dog. I come in and find him waiting for me to serve him food again. He then explains to me that the dog had an accident on the floor during the day. I ask him what happened and he states that he did not realize that the dog might need to go out, so…thus poor Teulu had his first accident in ages. HE DID NOT TAKE HIM OUT AFTER THIS!!!!! he just let him wait for me to come home to walk him. he again does not help with the dishes- not even carrying them to the sink. he leaves his cup for coffee on the floor. In aaddition to this, Frank decided to spend part of the day "Playing with the Garmin" a device I use to track running. He may have really messed it up, since it is programmed, but hey, I mean, it was sitting there so why not?
He then tells me that if I want I can come to Universal Studios with him as part of the Conference he is attending- if I want to pay 10.00 He presents this as a deal to me. I'm thinking, for all the cleaning cooking and driving I am doing, he might could just pay my ticket as a thank you.
So. The next day I drive this man out to the Space Center again, this time for a delta V rocket launch.
The launch was scrubbed due to high winds. Since the launch window is one hour (shuttle is ten min only) we had stood in the winds for one hour, so it was an exhausting day.
We then explore the Space Center. I highly recommend it. (But this post is about houseguest.) Frank insists on returning again (A 1.5 hr drive one way with about 7 dollars in tolls which Frank had not and will not offer to pay even one 0.50 cent one. the next day for the relaunch of the rocket.
On the way home from this day Frank tells me casually that his friend in Miami is actually working in Kansas now so he will not being going to Miami. AND that while he sent an email to his friend in Tampa in November he never had heard back from them, and was unsure if they were even in town. When I suggested he call the Tampa people, he stated he did not have their phone number. I then asked him how he planned to get between my home and the conference. He said He didn't know, he though he could figure it out when he got here.
Prior to him buying his ticket, I had explained that it would be difficult for him to get to and from the conference from here as Public transit in rural areas is very limited. So I about blew my top.
He then said, "Well this was an experiment in not overplanning a trip." I guess he forgot that his experiment involved other people.
So the next day we go to the Rocket launch AGAIN. (Same long drive, same large tolls) Luckily it went off right as the launch window opened. It was not very impressive, but I am glad it went off as I would not have wanted to return yet again.
He then wanted to go to the Warbird airplane museum. I agreed, until we got there and found the price was 18.00. I decided not to go in, and he went on ahead. I actually sat in the car and called a few people who helped me to feel slightly better about my annoyance.
I then took him home, and stopped to feed him some very good Vietnamese Pho.
It had been a cold day and I had curry which warmed me up. Frank had the thick noodle soup. He had never had Vietnamese, so I am glad it was actually Pho and not just some sort of ramen soup thing masquerading…
All this day he has not said a word about what he planned to do. I get prepared to give him a small speech about how how he simply can not live in my hoe for one Month. After I walk the dog for 1.5 hours to relax, he informs me he has decided to go see a cousin in Phoenix. He's booked a ticket and feels very clever.
I look at him and ask how me managed this on his "Student budget" He then explains that he actually has travel money but he is trying to not let it run out.
I try not to be judgemental as I see this is the way to keep him away from my home.
During the entire time he was here he seemed to think I was here to wait on him. He did not offer to help with the dishes, did not offer to pay for any meals, tolls, or gas. He did not offer to walk the dog around the block. He did not ask if I could take him back to the Space center, he insisted on it. Then he seemed to think I would want him to stay two weeks more!
I'm still trying to figure out who plans an international trip without having a firm place to stay. But I have definitely decided that I wont be having any more houseguests for a while!!!!! He may still try to come back but I think he can spend his darn travel money on a hotel.
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