The perfect guest

A gay friend has come to visit. However he has decided not to stay with us. It is not because he is gay, but that comes into it just a little bit. It is not us. It is not our house, as ramshackle as it is. It is not our children, he adores them. It is not our dogs, he ignores them. It is not the cats, he pampers them. He is staying at a bed and breakfast about five minutes away. We have to collect him after breakfast then take him back before bed. Then what is it?

It needs a little explanation. It is not as simple as it may seem. He is Argentinian. His paternal grandfather was French and he has an entirely French name but speaks very little French, just gets by one might say. His mother is Irish. He learned some English from her as a child but she mainly speaks Spanish having arrived in Argentina as a young girl. He arrived in Zurich when he came to Europe, so learned Swiss German and parallel improved his English. He spent quite a lot of time in England as well. Then he met somebody and moved to Italian speaking Switzerland and on the basis of his Spanish learned Italian like falling off a log. Now what has that got to do with this visit or his choice?

Well, he is an actor. He went to drama school in Buenos Aires and rounded off his studies with more courses in Zurich and London. He mainly does stage work, specialising in works by Dario Fo. To earn a better income he also does small part acting for films using his several languages. So, what has this to do with staying in a bed and breakfast instead of here?

His professional life takes him to a lot of places. In most of them he now has friends. Most of them are like him, that is to say gay. Because they have that in common he is treated as though he, as he puts it, was made of porcelain. He is rarely allowed space and time to himself. That goes to the extent that even if a friend offers him a room with en suite bathroom or even a little studio flat, they are ever present. It is not that there are seduction scenes or anything like that. Indeed, everybody knows he is in a single, permanent relationship. Occasionally his partner travels with him. He also feels that never pays his way. For him that is as though something is stolen from him. His pride and independence he concluded. He decided that whilst visiting us he would treat himself. He explained and asked us to book the bed and breakfast. He calls us when he has had breakfast, has showered and so on and in the evening tells us when he would like to go. He is not beholden to us and we are not always on top of him. As he said last night, it also allows him neither to be gay or straight, just with friends.

We talked about it after he was gone last night and know what? We wish that friends and relatives who kind of plonk themselves in the middle of our home, start having opinions about our life we do not want or need, keep us up after we are ready to fall off our chairs and then get up demanding breakfast literally minutes before we have lunch would occasionally do the same.

I totally agree with you Brian. Does anyone have guests that visit for a free holiday? By guests I mean aquaintances, people we know, but were neither family or friends. We had a few when we first arrived, fortunately they no longer "visit". Perhaps I am a bad hostess or landlady!

Visitors always bring pleasure,

Some when they arrive and others when they leave....

A very big like for this one Brian! Thanks :)

3/5 nights is ideal.

For us it usually means that we are going out to restaurants and

also thinking about meal structures and times in order to accomodate our

guests needs.

We are, of course chauffer and cleaners but sometimes get some willing

chefs. Great to see them and be with them, sad to see them go.

Look forward to their return.

I have had friends and family stay here and now we have a rule 3 nights minimum, it is just too much I feel like a housekeep except when my neice Catherine comes with her family, she does everything!!!

Three of my family have been staying for the last two and a half weeks. It seemed like two and a half years. When I was out shopping without them or meeting friends I didn't want to go home. I felt pushed out and my haven was somewhere I didn't want to be. The behaviour of my 24 year old was that of a spoilt 12 year old brat and the days they were here were only bearable because my five year old grandson was so lovely and the hours we spent together in the morning before his parents surfaced were lovely. No thanks for the days out, the eight hundred miles of driving I did to take them to places they wanted to go. No treat of dinner out to show their appreciation. Just moaning, long faces, bad language and no happy interaction at all with me. Even my grandson asked if his mother was going to be "shitty all day"! My tongue hurts from biting it - I was determined not to sink to her level. She said she wouldn't be back again next year - what a relief! I shall miss my grandson but I shan't miss being used and abused. They were staying in the house next door to mine in my garden so thank goodness I didn't have them 24 hours a day, but however long each day they were with me it was too long.

How true that you can choose your friends but you can't choose your family. I shall look forward to having my oldest (in every sense) friend to stay because we respect each other, love each other and know exactly how to treat each other to have the best time together. We met when we shared a house back in 1969 and have remained firm friends ever since.

In fact this guest is staying for a whole week, but this arrangement and the fact he can use one of our cars if he really wants makes it fine. Now my sister who I dearly love who came for a long (four full days) weekend last week was as said several times below... The less said...

A very long time ago in the UK a friend of ours was dreading a Christmas visit from his Mother in Law, as a joke, we gave him a framed brass plaque which read "Fish and visitors stink after 3 days". It is still displayed with pride in their home now, or do they just get it out when we go to visit?

To be honest, I totally understand your friend! I hate staying at people’s place when I visit friends and relatives!!! my husband is even worse when it comes to host people! he can be the sweetest guy the 1 st day, and by the 3rd, he’d be ready to yell to your face :"just go home now, I just can’t stand you anymore!!!"
The key to a successful visit to relatives is “chacun chez soi”!

An ideal guest stays two nights and three days - day 1 welcome and orientation, day 2 tours and a dinner, day 3 - fond farewells - "wish you could have stayed longer"...

ps thanks for the desmartis heads up

Got you, I have been to Calgary! lol ;-)

It sure reminds me of living in Las Vegas. Plenty of relatives and friends. Calgary? Not so much.

In a nutshell... as long as you include other friends who behave the same way as relatives...

So the whole article was not so much about the visitor, but more so in a final paragraph about unruly relatives....?