This year I need to grow up and learn to say no. Last night a friend, not a close friend mind you, called to ask if she could stay with me in my apartment all week. She realized it was short notice but the friends she was supposed to stay with backed out unexpectedly so I said yes. I should have said no, but she is a friend and if I were in her position then I would hope she would say yes. She is a nice girl, but here is the thing. I hate having uninvited guests. I absolutely hate it. I love having guests that I invite. I offer them food, drinks, and fun. But, I feel like I shouldn't have to offer an uninvited guest anything other than a spot to sleep. Is that rude?
I rarely invite people to stay with me because I don't like doing extra laundry or sharing my space with people other than close friends. I have a one bedroom apartment and it's not like a house where you can still maintain privacy with guests around. Fortunately, my guest is good in that she brought her own laptop and she is buying her own food. I have no steady income and pay nearly $100/day to live in this apartment, so excuse me if I am very conscious of when people come over and add to the electricity/cooking gas bill. When you don't know when your next project will come along, this is the type of thing you have to think about. It's sad but true.
The ideal guest in a small Manhattan apartment is a friend so close that you don't get annoyed spending 24/7 around the person for a few days and sharing all your stuff with them. If the guest is not invited, but just somebody just looking to crash, he or she should:
1. Pack enough that he or she doesn't have to ask you to use any of your stuff, but little enough that he/she takes up very little space. 1 small bag and 1 small rolly suitcase is plenty! This means that the guest should not be excessively asking for things. My guest just came today and I have been asked for a pot, a drinking glass, the Ethernet cord out of my laptop, scissors, tea, cough drops, Tylenol, and more.
2. Bring her own laptop and go to a coffee shop to use it. I'm sorry but I can't afford wireless and I should only have to provide internet for guests I invite
3. Bring her own towel. (sheets would be nice too but I realize that's a lot to pack)
4. Clean up after herself. I hate picking orange peels out of the trash can because someone couldn't be bothered to put make sure they fall into the trash bag.
5. Never take more than 20 min in the bathroom, including shower time.
6. Not make any noise in the morning.
7. Clean the tub after showering.
8. Refrain from asking personal questions about my apartment and the things in it.
9. Eat out for all meals. It's strange when someone I'm not close with opens up my refrigerator and puts her groceries inside. My guest keeps asking where things are in my kitchen and I am perplexed because I didn't say she could use my kitchen while she was here. Is allowing someone to stay with you and invitation to move in and set up house.
I just think when you inconvenience someone last minute, you have to be extra extra polite. Am I not gracious? I should be more gracious. But I should also stat saying NO.