When Is A Guest No Longer A Guest?

When I was a kid going to visit my grandmother, she always said the same thing after my week-long visit, "I'm happy to see you come and I'm happy to see you go". This confused me when I was a kid but now I know what she means.

One of my closest friends has been staying with me on and off for the past month while she's having some work done on her home. I adore her. We get along great. We have the same ebbs and flows of energy and often, when I'm considering what to eat or how to spend the evening, she'll come up with a suggestion that makes me feel as if she's read my mind. But my grandmother had another saying, the one about guests and fish smelling after three days. As well as my friend and I get along, she's a guest in my home, not my roommate, and, as easy as it can be to have her here, there's a subtle but distinct difference.

Taking out the garbage, vacuuming, doing laundry -- these are all my chores. My little quirks -- always keep the toilet seat down, all towels get hung up on the back of the door, the dishes washed and the sink clean before bed -- are things she has to adjust to, however odd she may find them. I stretch my grandmother's rule to five days, then seven and worry if I am risking our friendship, worry even more that I'm happy when she leaves and I have the house to myself again. I use it for a sleep and movie marathon and spend the weekend in my pajamas. No wonder my grandmother was happy. It's nice to have the house to myself again.

MORE GUESTS ON APARTMENT THERAPY:
Small Space Solutions: Making Guests Comfortable Without A Guest Room
What Guests Can Teach You About Your Home
The Rule For Guests: How Long? How Many?

(Image: KiltBear, from his Flickr, with a Creative Commons License, some rights reserved)

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