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Knock knock..who’s there?

Unlike bugs which can be pest-controlled, some house guests are just pests who refuse to perish, says Jennifer Mallick.

india Updated: Sep 29, 2008 19:41 IST
Jennifer Mallick

Being located in a city which has an international airport, and being the only relative with a two-bedroom place, I’ve become a victim to a chronic problem of entertaining guests. <b1>

Unlike bugs, roaches, and mosquitoes which can be pest-controlled, some house guests are just pests who refuse to perish.

They come knocking at my door in various shapes and sizes.. likes and dislikes, at various hours, for various number of days. They don’t seem to bother if I’m busy, unwell, without a maid or in the midst of renovating my house. They are just there.

High energy levels
When I was newly married, my energy levels were high. I also felt the need to impress, pamper them and make their stay memorable.

Slowly it started getting to me, especially when I noticed my husband’s pattern of having all-important meetings or engagements on days like this, while I would be breaking my back.

I was not just busy with my job and housework, but also worrying about what time to pick them up, what they would have for breakfast, how many days they would stay and what gifts would I have to buy for them.

Phew! After a brief respite, the bell goes again. A new set arrives, along with a new excuse from my husband, making me want to howl loudly.

Need a break
I’ve tried various measures to get a break — like blatant lying. “Oh, I’m not going to be there.. My Mother-in-law is not well.. my maid has just absconded.”

But all this just seemed to fall on deaf ears. Even if I like my guests, I wonder what makes the love fly out of the window. Is it the extra workload or their lack of ‘good guest’ etiquette?

I even thought of shifting to a small apartment, cutting out on their luxuries and even being nasty. But eventually, a really good idea worked.

I made a list of etiquettes of a good guest, gave it a header — Guest or Pest? Choose! And put it right in front of the pot, where they would surely have the time to read it.