Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Fish and house guests...

In this season of holiday giving, I watch as many neighbors and friends have their families descend upon their homes for holiday fun and merriment. And, then I give great thanks. I love both sides of my family dearly. They are generous and giving people as a whole. Salt of the earth, I tell you. But, mostly I am thankful for the fact that our family never comes for more than a few days at a time. What is that old saying about fish and house guests smelling bad after more than three days?

SO...in tribute to those of you who have endured the marathon visits from family and friends all with the hopes of spreading holiday cheer, only to find yourselves in holiday hell, this one is for you. ***

If you go and visit family, please take note. Do not make these mistakes:
  • DO NOT insist that no other desserts need to be made after finding out one family member is already making a few. Then, feeling competitive, rush and make 2-3 more desserts for Christmas Eve in an attempt to upstage, or keep up with the original dessert maker. She is not trying to compete with you--just trying to help out. Let it go, will you?

  • It is inevitable that among all of the holiday delectables and tasty indulgences, you may have a few unhappy visits to the Great Porcelain God in the home of your host/hostess. DO NOT walk away from any explosive experiences (that's as nicely as I can put it) and pretend that the disaster you've made with the toilet and surrounding area is not there. You have visited this home many times and know where the toilet brush and cleaner is. For the sake of your own embarrassment, grab a brush man and scrub the carnage away. Please.

  • Are you a smoker? This is America and that is your right. But, DO NOT expect that your non-smoking host/hostess will overlook or not notice that you smoked in their house hidden in the guest room. Trust me, if you do not smoke, you can smell it a MILE away. Just smoke outside please, if you know it offends your loved ones.

  • On the same smoking topic, don't assume that the same non-smoking host/hostess will not mind if you smoke in their car while they're driving. If they are not OK with you puffing it up in their near 4,000 square foot home, what makes you think that lighting up in an enclosed SUV will be no problem? Have you never heard of secondhand smoke?

  • DO NOT wait until your host/hostess has frantically made a huge meal, put it all on the table and is just doing the final few things before ringing the dinner bell to offer to help out. It was obvious when you sat on your ass on the kitchen stool watching them for the past 45 minutes that you did not want to help. So, just keep quiet and don't try and throw him/her a bone when the dirty work is all done.

  • Along the same lines, the same goes for the dish clean-up. DO NOT say, "I guess I could have helped you wash those," when the last dish is being dried. It only annoys the crap out of your host/hostess. Wallow in your rudeness and laziness if you must, but don't act like you intended to help when everyone knows that you did not for one second.

  • DO NOT not insist upon coming over to a family member's home who lives nearby, when you haven't even been invited with the guises of looking at some new home renovations, when you really just want a change of scenery from where you are staying. It becomes very obvious when you don't even spend one second looking at the renovated area that you just wanted a new couch to sit on and magazines to read.

  • Unless you live in another country or you have a family member who needs your help through a health crises, DO NOT come and stay with family members for a period of more than a week, unless they've requested for you to do so. Yes, they have a new home, but is your staying in the new home for almost a month necessary to break it in? Uh, I think NOT!

  • DO NOT try to outdo every family member in the gift giving department just because you are insecure. Just buy a decent gift and let it go. It's not a competition for goodness sake! Who gives a crap what you spent?

  • DO NOT give a speech before the Christmas names for gifts have been drawn about how the spending limit is X and how if someone exceeds that, then they can't expect everyone else to go over. If they spend more on your gift, they want to. You just make yourself look like a cheap-ass tightwad with this speech.

  • However, DO NOT only put items that are significantly over the spending limit on your holiday wish lists either. That's just rude!

  • DO NOT whine and whine and whine about how you need holiday wish lists from your family members when you have not sent your own wish list out for the past 12 years.

  • And, when you finally get your family member's wish list after you'd whined for it starting from three weeks before Thanksgiving, DO NOT choose to pick something not on that list and then announce that you thought they'd like your gift better than what the had down anyway. If they'd wanted your gift, wouldn't it have appeared on their WISH LIST?

  • DO NOT give used CDs, DVDs, etc. Also, DO NOT try to hide this by saying you just had to watch the DVD before you gave it and that's why it had no plastic wrap around it. Please, if that's not even more rude, then I don't know what is. Would you wear someone's new sweater before you gave it to them too?

  • If you are unable to attend a family affair, DO NOT be rude enough to call the host/hostesses home 55 times in the course of three days to report insignificant facts to the visitors who have come without you, all the while interrupting the few days the host/hostess have to enjoy the company they have there.

  • Do not say you are getting a family member an extravagent gift, letting them know ahead of time, only to never deliver said gift. You will become the butt of many a holiday joke behind your back. I promise you.

  • DO NOT walk around the home of your host/hostess in the morning in any gaping underwear or overly worn pajamas that are, shall we say, a little too revealing? Do not choose to go outside in said pajamas/underwear for the paper, a smoke, or to get something from your car. There are neighbors to think of and I'm certain the Jones's next door don't feel like walking out to get the paper and seeing Grandpa's twig and berries staring back at them from the lawn next door.

  • If you are visiting family members, do not shoot down every single idea they have for fun excursions or things to do, talking about how you don't like a single one of them and then just wallow on their couch the entire day. They are trying to entertain you and while it is OK to not really like or want to do everything they suggest, cut them a break and try to break out of your norm a little, will you?
Feel free to add your own DOs and DON'Ts in the comments below. Resolutions will be coming soon as will a few other posts. Happy New Year everyone! Or, as my 3-year-old says, "Happy You Year!"

*** DISCLAIMER: The aformentioned incidents may or may not have happened with my OWN beloved family and could entirely be the hearsay of ranting friends about their famlies. Seriously, I couldn't make this shit up if I tried!

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Blogger Nicole said...

Wow MomCat, I only though I had it bad! It's good that you can joke about it so soon after the holidays ;-) Your list should be published and distrubuted to houseguests everywhere!!! Very funny. And so true.

8:24 PM, January 02, 2008  
Blogger Crazy MomCat said...

Honestly, guys...read my disclaimer. I have had one comment, one email, and one in-person ask me if this was ALL my family. It is SO not! I promise. And the ones that ARE my family are gathered from years of incidents, not one trip. Oh, I'd definitely be bonkers if that were the case! HA! I just got to listing off things and it opened a whole can of repressed worms and reminded me of stories from friends and family too.

More positive posts soon, I promise!

10:09 PM, January 02, 2008  
Blogger kristi said...

I really don't mind the previously viewed DVD's. Our movie store sells them really cheap, around $5.50 each!

6:38 PM, January 19, 2008  

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