Based on experiences with prior visitors to my house and inspired by conversations of do’s/don’ts in various areas including house rules with a friend, I have developed my own regulations. All are a result of actual events that have occurred in the past. So without further ado, here are the Ten House Rules for the house I live in:
- It is my house. It is not your house. Therefore no comments on how you would have preferred to have the window treatments in the other room on opposite sides or how you would have arranged the furniture just so are welcome. I happen to like stubbing my toe on the chair every time I walk by it. Other comments that will not be tolerated include the following topics: “How can you live in a place that is so small?” “Why on earth would you choose to live in this neighborhood?” “When was the last time you cut the grass?” “Why don’t you have a roommate?” “How much did you pay for this tiny place?” “Why don’t you convert your garage and rent it as an apartment?”. Also unacceptable is your imitation of my grandmother’s white glove dust test. I work for a living. I’m lucky if I get the laundry and dishes done. What do I care if it’s a bit dusty in a room I go into only four times a year?
- I have a dog named Whim. I also have a cat named Pete. It is their house, too. When I say that the wingback chair in the kitchen is the pet chair, I’m not joking. It is covered with a slipcover, absorbent padding, and a comforter for that very reason-it is easier for me to clean up after the dog and cat if I don’t have to throw the whole chair in the washer. I can, however, throw you in the washer, clothes and all, so if you make the mistake of attempting to sit on the animal chair be prepared for a proper hosing before you are allowed to sit on any other piece of furniture. Also, as the dog is a lab/husky mutt, she sheds a lot. Since I have hardwood floors the dog hair that collects under the couch and sometimes breaks free is something of a joke. If you do not like the tumbleweeds of dog hair, or “Whimbleweeds” as I like to call them, then don’t sit and try to coax them out from under the couch, silly. And for Pete’s sake (not the cat, the metaphorical Pete), please do not sit and pluck tufts of hair out of the dog’s coat. I know she sheds, there is no need for you to pluck a spot bald because “it’s fun!” or “it was coming out anyway!”.
- Just because I have a dog that likes to sit by the table at meals does not mean that I feed her during said meals. Nor do I feed her after said meals. I feed Whim at her dinner hour, and do not feed her people food. Do not attempt to feed scraps, leftovers, or fatty pieces of steak to her-if I wanted her to have that kind of stuff I would have cooked an extra steak for her to begin with. She does not beg, she does not bark, she just sits and watches. And okay, maybe she drools a little bit. But she knows that she is not allowed to get any of it. If you don’t like my cooking, just say so. Means more for leftovers or those that are more appreciative later. That being said, if you leave something on the edge of the table or on the counter and walk away, it’s your own fault if the dog and/or cat attempts to eat it. You will also be responsible for the clean up if the unexpected human food does not agree with the pet.
- Please do not help yourself to my food or the contents of my fridge, especially without asking. I am a very gracious hostess and will offer you all manner of food and drink, however if I have only enough milk for my cereal in the morning I am probably not going to give it to you as I know I will need it later. I would greatly appreciate it if you would not just help yourself unless I have specifically instructed you to do so. Just because I have a bottle of champagne in the fridge does not mean I am going to open it just for you, nor does the fact that I have wine and/or beer in the house mean that I’m going to let you consume it all because it’s cheaper than buying your own. And I certainly do not intend for you to get schnockered and pass out on my couch or, even worse, drink until you get sick. I’m not your mother. You should know better.
- There is a piano in my living room. It is a functioning piano, in tune, and yes, I do play. I do not, however, perform on command for those visiting. Nor do I feel that your children should be allowed to entertain themselves while visiting by banging away on the keys. Especially after they have eaten a peanut butter and jelly sandwich then left the table before wiping their hands.
- Just because there are televisions in the house does not mean that you are welcome to use them at any time. Nor does the fact that I have movies mean that you are welcome to come over and start grabbing at will. I realize that I may offer to lend the occasional movie to a trusted friend, but after years of being burned and having nothing returned I do not lend out my movies/hardback books/music lightly, and even then I am like an anxious parent waiting for them to come home. Go to Blockbuster. Seriously.
- My movies were purchased for a reason-I like the movie. Same with music CDs. (Granted, those are fewer now that I use iTunes, but still.) Please refrain from making snarky comments on the genre or movie itself. If you don’t like the movie, then don’t buy it! I liked it, I am not forcing you to watch it, so it’s none of your business if I own it or not!
- The computer has a cool screensaver. This is not an open invitation for you to sit down and start using the computer at your own leisure.
- When I bought the house I painted most of it but have made few changes to the bathroom. Yes, the shower doors were clear glass when I moved in. Yes, it took some getting used to. And for the record, it is easy to live with only one bathroom when there is only one person in the house. I ask that you do me the courtesy of washing your hands after finishing with your personal business in there. However, I do ask that instead of using the towels I use after taking a shower, which are on the wall behind you, you instead use the hand towel that is right next to you and intended for this purpose. There is nothing more disgusting that getting out of the shower and reaching for a nice clean towel only to discover that it is damp and gross with soapy residue and who knows what on it because someone decided to use my bath towel to dry their hands and clean up the sink.
- Just because I have a California King Bed does not mean that jumping on the bed is automatically allowed. In fact, as there is a strong likelihood you would catch some part of your body in the running ceiling fan I would actually prefer that you not jump on the bed. Or any other furniture for that matter.
Other than these simple rules, please make yourselves at home!!!