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Counting The Minutes

Counting the Minutes

“I just have a few things.”

Portuguese Proverb: “Visits always give pleasure—if not the arrival, the departure.”

“Hospitality is making your guests feel at home, even if you wish they were.”
—Author Unknown.

But not unknown in its universal meaning.

More and more people seem to be eschewing the nearby motels for the pleasure of your company.

“Please, don’t go to any trouble, anything you want.”

“No problem.”

Which means olives, special imported cheeses, Serrano ham, plus the special Columbian roast in the morning.

“Still suffering from the effects of a plague of house guests?” an article in the Daily Mail describes some of the horrors that await:

“That scabrous husband of your best friend…and opened all of your best wine, your neurotic sister-in-law, who turned vegan on you…your son’s school chum, who arrived with a suitcase of dirty laundry and an expectant look on his face.”

So how to handle guests?

The experts say prevention is the key.

Prevent them from entering and bar the door?

Well, that may be your first option, but prevention in the sense that you have to prevent them from getting ideas.

So set parameters:

“Yes, please come, we’d love to have you for three days, exactly.”

When that doesn’t work another gentle nudge is needed.

Packing their bags for them; changing the lock; then driving them to the station.

The Man Who Came to Dinner,” written by George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart, opened October 16, 1939 at the Music Box Theatre in New York City and is, of course, the classic overstaying your welcome comedy.

You remember the plot.

Sheridan Whiteside, based on the curmudgeonly character of critic and wit Alexander Woollcott, invited to dine at the house of Ernest W. Stanley, slips on a patch of ice outside the front door, breaks a leg and stays and stays and…

So, with the weather turning, it would behoove you to make sure to stock up on many bags of rock salt.

This is not to say that all of us are not delightful house guests who display the perfect etiquette at all times, wrestling the dirty dishes away from our hosts to help and only suggesting rearranging their furniture.

But whatever you do, bring a nice gift.

I’ll leave you with this parting thought by English mathematician and philosopher Alfred North Whitehead who philosophically said:

“I always feel that I have two duties to perform with a parting guest: one, to see that he doesn’t forget anything that is his; the other, to see that he doesn’t take anything that is mine.”

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