As a reluctant soon to be house guest, what are the expectations on both sides?
We’ve been invited for Labor Day weekend to what my boss calls his summer house. As house guests, what is expected of us? The cost of flying there and back is prohibitive enough without having to buy a house present, which my wife seems to think we have to bring. What are the expectations – on both sides?
–G.W., Brooklyn, NY
- Will you be going sailing, playing golf, tennis, cycling? Having boat shoes for the sailboat and all white attire for the tennis court may be mandatory requirements.
- My favorite is, "Bring old clothes for the clambake."
- We've even had a host ask us if there was anything we're allergic to or if we had any dietary needs.
- If you're planning to bring a child or pet in tow, be sure to communicate any requirements, such as a babysitter, crib, or dog walker -- should you be on a boat for the day.
- Guests who have stayed a week are known to have installed simple lighting in our garden, and another put shelves in the garage. It was a gift of their time and the expense was minimal. In other words, make yourself useful when you can.
- If there is a staff member assigned to the task, ask if you should leave a small tip, especially if someone has gone out of their way to iron your trousers or bring you Advil or a hairdryer.