Be Our Guest

steve sarkisian friday GIF

Peeps and Meeps, I’d like to have a chat about your expectations for having guests over.

The last time I saw my nanny kidlets was at the end of July, right after I moved. It might have actually been August 1st, but whatever that doesn’t matter. While I was there, I was having a conversation with the mom and she said something that kind of set me on edge. Like I guess it’s just a regular opinion for her to have, but I’d like to know if she is the one who is being weird or maybe if I am? Be honest I won’t have my feelings hurt lol. Well, maybe I will just a little bit, but I promise it won’t be for too long.

Okies so here’s the situation: I was asking if they had found a new nanny and the mom said they had someone come to stay with them for a few days who she was considering. It wasn’t a trial job interview for a few days or anything, apparently the nanny was from out of town (or from a different country all together I think) and needed a place to stay for a few days. So my boss, being the nice person she is, offered one of her rooms for those days. It was just like 2-3 days.

So my old boss, was upset because this nanny didn’t help out at all. Like it wasn’t a job interview or anything, but she just stayed in her bedroom and didn’t come out. She didn’t speak any English either, just French. And my boss speaks no French. But she was saying that if you go to someone’s house you are expected to help out.

This is my question to you: to what extent are you expected to help out? Like my mama raised me to be a proper 1950’s housewife so if I am invited to someone’s house for dinner I am offering to bring a dish, or picking up some flowers or something for the hostess. And when I arrive I will offer to help with things OR I will offer to help clean up after. Usually I find that offering to help before is much more appreciated than offering to help clean up after. Usually it’s just a “can you put this on the table” or “stir this pot real quick”

But her thinking is that this lady should have been offering to wash dishes and set up and serve and all that while she was staying there.

I’m sorry but no. That’s just inconsiderate on behalf of the hostess.

My old boss says she LOVES to entertain. I say she just loves playing hostess. She never does the whole thing. She has people who will cook and clean up for her (or she’ll have it catered). She just wants to mingle and have people over. Literally she would have people over on a Sunday or a holiday Monday and I would be doing the dishes the next day when I came in for work. I was there for a special dinner over a long weekend and the mom had all the other women she invited in the kitchen working in an assembly line putting together 50 burgers and making salad.

I’ve been invited over for birthday cake for 4th. Last year, while I was still working for the family, 4th’s birthday was on a Sunday. I was also invited over for the party which was happening the same day. If you remember there was a lady who cooked and cleaned at the house as well, so I arrive after “dinner” but in time for “cake” and this lady was there hustling her butt! Like she was tidying up and organizing and tons of kids were running around and this was on one of her regular days off. As soon as I walked in, my boss put me to work as if it was a regular work day for me.

During the singing of the birthday song and cake and presents, I was able to sit for literally 30 seconds, just enough to sing happy birthday and see the candles blown out. Then I was called into the kitchen to cut the cake and dish it out and does anyone need another drink? So I missed everything that I came for (to see the presents being opened and to sit and have cake with the family).

So I’ve been invited once again for the birthday. 4th text me herself!! So I will be going over on her actual birthday to see her, but I probably won’t be staying long. I don’t want to get roped into working when I don’t even work for the family any more. Like it’s just cake with the family and home-stay students, but still.

I guess, now that we’re at the end, which side are you on? Am I totally over reacting here? Or is there some validity to my thinking? If you went to someone’s house and was immediately put to work – what would you do?

8 thoughts on “Be Our Guest

  1. You. Are. Right. Expecting a guest to pitch in is preposterous unless it was talked about before the fact. If the host said something to the effect of: I have a spare room you can stay in if you wouldn’t mind pitching in around the house while you are here. Otherwise, a guest is a guest. I’m like you though. I will offer help especially if I’m benefiting in any way from the host.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Lol I’m glad I’m not alone in this. I feel really bad too cos im trying to plan my visit for the birthday so that I miss the expectation to “work”. Like it’s hard to transition out of that impulse while I’m in the house so it’s a little on me but also a lot on the attitude of the mom

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I think you’re in the right here. Like you, if I’m staying with someone or having dinner at someone’s house, my first inclination is to offer to help with something. Generally, the person whose house it is tells me to just make myself at home. Which is how I would be if I had a guest staying with me or coming over for a meal. If they happen to ask if they can help with something, I’m likely to just say no thanks if I’ve got everything in hand. If there is something little that I haven’t gotten around to, like you said, “Put that on the table…” that kind of thing. If someone’s coming to spend the weekend at my place and they’re crashing on my couch, I may not go all out and put a mint on their pillow, but that person is my guest. My job as their host is to serve them.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I think there is the expectation of help – but only in terms of manners. And that comes from the guest making the offer. If they don’t, you can think, gee, they didn’t offer to help, but there should be no other expectation (from another raised as a 1950’s housewife)

    Liked by 1 person

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