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"You're stuck with each other for the duration, at least try to enjoy the dance."

We're all guests here. Neither of us, none of us, have real dominion over the birds in the sky or the beasts in the field, we're stewards. Guesting entails a temporary sharing of a semi-sacred stewardship, with the guest's responsibilities no less or more sacred than their host's. They co-habitate for a spell, the host providing space for the guest to fill. A good guest will fill that thoughtfully-provided space without sucking all of the air out of the rest of the place. They'll appreciate the room, though it's never the best in the house. They will have explicitly explained their preferences and limitations before arriving. Most importantly, the guest should be present, genuinely there, for their presence will serve as their greatest gift to their host and to themselves, so show up on time for meals and limit the appeals for special handling. You represent the Big Door Prize of your stay, but never the Daddy Bear, Mommy Bear, Baby Bear, or Goldilocks. This isn't a fairy tale.

If you find yourself in desperate need of toilet paper or a plunger, speak right up; everyone's been there.
Squelching legitimate needs well-serves nobody. If you can't feel cheerful, strive for neutrality; neither the gusher nor complainer be. You're engaging in a convergence of destinies, so show a little self respect, and spread that around. At least pretend to tolerate the odd, unusual sound. This world, exactly like all the other worlds you inhabit, does not revolve around you, but you with it. Remember your pleases and your thank yous but don't go all placating on anybody.

If you can't show up on time, report your projected tardiness as soon as you discover it. Your host has been aching to welcome you and will patiently sit for long after your originally-expected arrival time unless you've long before silently exceeded it. Be explicit, never expecting 'a good host' to somehow read your mind. Minding your mind must remain the guest's personal business, and never, ever the host's. A guest may not expect anything not explicitly agreed-upon or reasonably presumed to be normal and customary. If you don't get a private bathroom, you may safely assume you'll be assigned custody of your own towel. Even if the order of the house doesn't seem to insist upon dishes being done immediately after a meal, the guest's on KP and should presume him self to be. At the very least, extend the offer. Be persistent.

Be self-reliant. Do not build grudges against all your host neglects to provide you. You're responsible for the quality of your own experience. If you need a walk, take a freaking walk. If you need a nap, please permit yourself to excuse yourself. If your host proposes something you don't want to do, say so then, not after you've dragged yourself halfway through to Hell again. Do not try to fix your host, no matter how much he seems to need fixing. Lecturing on the finer points of wine selection will not improve the quality of wine already served. Reminiscing upon what "real" entails, can't but spoil the present soup. Make your bed, close your door, try hard not to be a bore. The guest never fully deserves service, but certainly always warrants it. If you're not getting something you really need, intervene on your own behalf before beseeching your host to save you. No host is God, Jesus, or a magical fairy princess. You're stuck with each other for the duration, at least try to enjoy the dance.

©2019 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved

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