A survey shows that almost sixty seven percent of people who visit your bathroom will definitely have a quick poke-around at your cabinets. This does not make them obnoxious. It makes them inquisitive, but perhaps borderline obnoxious.
Then you have people who annoyingly turn up with other people to your sit-down dinner and you have a pre-planned set up with proper place settings and menu. You being the gracious host that you are, have to drag out the wobbly chair from the kid’s study desk and stick it right at the end of the table, having to probably use the spare Mickey Mouse tablemat with unmatched crockery because you only have a place setting for eight with your formal linens, crockery and cutlery.
It’s bad enough that people drag others to parties without checking with the hosts if it is ok, and it’s even more ridiculous, in my very strong opinion, you shrug your shoulders and agree to be invited like that. It helps to ask the host if they’re ok with another person turning up. Usually at parties, many people will say ‘more the merrier’ and allow you to bring a friend or two but it’s always nice to check first if you can be included in the invitation or not.
Guests from hell include kleptomaniacs. I’ve had some people violate me in my own home by taking off with my things. I used to have this lovely Urdu dictionary that I used when listening to Ghazals and would have trouble understanding some of the Urdu words. It was kept right near the stereo system and the CD library, and after one party, it disappeared. Now how do I know which one of my darn friends is a thief? Nowadays I just have my parties outside and not indoors.
Then there are those guests who are forever at your home. They know you’re a kind-hearted person and will never say no so they take advantage of this and turn up at your home at any given opportunity just so that you can cook and entertain. You wouldn’t mind all this if at least they reciprocated by calling you over but no. These are the basic freeloaders who will not even chip in by at least bringing a bottle of wine or a salad.
Not everyone’s from hell. Most of the time, I have lovely friends whom I enjoy entertaining. I love to cook for them and enjoy going over to their homes too. My one habit that I have cultivated from my teens is that I rarely ever go to anyone’s home empty-handed. I always take something with me – either a home-made dessert, a bottle of wine if I know their taste well enough, chocolates, flowers (and these don’t have to be bought – you can always put together something from your garden if you can), cupcakes that I have baked at home or anything else. It doesn’t have to be expensive or bought.
I’ll just say be good to your hosts and other people who invite you. Everyone likes to be around people who bring out good in them and if your hostess is weeping in her kitchen because she can’t Instagram her dinner table setting because of the Mickey Mouse tablemat she was forced to take out because of you, you’re going to be hated forever. Don’t you know how important it is to use the Lo-Fi filter on Instagram to make the crystal-ware sparkle and make the candles take on a soft romantic glaze…?