Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Top Ten Things You Should Provide To Guests

(At the risk of alienating my readers, I need to start this post on a personal note to R, who not only hosted me for the first night of Yom Tov, but who, despite being the first IRL friend who knew about my blog, only just started to read it. R- you're an awesome hostess, no matter how many or how few of the following you provided. The lack of number 8 was made up for by the excellent food, the adorable baby, and the really amazing company. Oh, and I slept superbly, so that gives you points too...)

This list has been culled from the extensive experience I've had as a shuntee; someone with enough chashivus to get invited to a family simcha or the like, but not enough chashivus to get placed anywhere but a strange, albeit tolerant neighbor. Some things make the stay a little

10) A Private Bathroom: Its always a part of the plans for my dream house, but it's obviously not something I can expect in just any house; it needs to be built in. But there are few things I enjoy less than rummaging through my bag with my eyes half closed, trying to find a slinky skirt and a sweatshirt so I can go use the restroom...

9) A Shabbos Lamp: Again, this comes along with expenses, so I can't expect it every time I go away, but a shabbos lamp makes all the difference when I am cooped up in a tiny room for a while.

8) Clock: this isn't immediately obvious, but with my watch somewhere on the bottom of the yam hakineret, I was amazingly appreciative of the simple wall clock hanging in the room I stayed in for shavuos. I mean, it's not a big problem during the week, when I get the time off my phone, but shabbos is a killer. I wake up and see it's light out. Is it six? Seven? Ten? Maybe twelve? For all I know it could be four and I missed the seudah... There's just no way to know.

7) A Water Bottle: this is just a small token, but I was so impressed at the thoughtfullness of the hostess who put this out for me recently...

6) An Extra Pillow: No guest will ever ask for an extra pillow, but people are often very picky about their pillow habits. A pillow can easily be put on the side, but just one pillow for someone like me who generally uses three is a real good recipe for insomnia.

5) An Outlet (or three): Nothing bugs me more than a weekday stayover without a place to plug in all of my "stuff".

4) A Mirror: At the risk of sounding a bit MPish, I kinda like to take a glimpse at myself before I stumble out of my room in all of my non-morning-person glory before exiting and letting the world see first.

3) Closet Space: Ever stayed at some stranger's house for a simcha, opened the closet to hang your things, and felt like you were intruding? G-d I hate that. Gimme some space. And a hanger. I just want to hang my skirt!

2) Reading Material: I don't know if it was on purpose or just where he had space, but a lady I once stayed at kept all of her old Mishpachas and Binahs in a drawer in the guest room. It was great, I had plenty to keep me busy all night long.

1) A Friendly Invitation: Maybe it's just me, but If the host(ess) doesn't invite me to touch, I don't touch. If she doesn't offer a drink, I don't drink. It's pretty easy, yet really nice if you just tell your guest to make themself at home...

(please note- this post was not meant to make fun of, criticize, or mitigate the goodness of my past host(ess)s. I think it's very special that so many yidden open their homes to strangers. I just mean to present some ideas for when you host someone... And to remind myself for when I have a place to have guests.


stam[azoid] said...

I love this post!

The slinky skirt and sweatshirt scenario is all too familiar. Don't forget to add in a snood once you're married.

I always try to provide all of the things you mentioned, and every sort of toiletry i can imagine, safety pins, bobby pins, solutions to any possible mishap i can imagine! I'm one of those people prepared for the worst, (you should see my purse ;)) and thinking of what anyone might forget....
It's gotten to be a pretty large guest basket.... If i have a chance to bake i'll usually stick a bag of cookies in the room, nothing worse than getting into pajamas in someone's guestroom and suddenly hearing your stomach growl....

Unfortunately, our apartment only has one bathroom so our poor guests need to share with us, and if our guests are male i have to stumble around for my slinky skirt, sweatshirt, and snood ;)

Maybe I should write a post on guest appreciation, a certain male blogger that stayed over only complained publicly about the feminine smelling shampoo and body wash i generously provided. Seriously, if it bugs you that much, bring your own!

I did add some lens solution after his stay, i had actually never thought of it being a glasses wearer myself. ;)

halfshared said...

I bring most of the things myself but always appreciate a Shabbos lamp, mirror and clock.

Anonymous said...

i could have written that list! the private bathroom and the clock ones especially. i also hate that i have to get all dressed just to go to the bathroom! and its funny how no one seems to use watches anymore - we all use our phones for the times. i always forget to take a watch when im away for shabbos and its so annoying! great post!

Diana said...

I went to someone's house for Rosh Hashana, and had a great time, but I never knew what time it was.
I went back for Sukkos, and got them an automatically setting clock for the guest room as a gift (and a bunch of toys/games for their kids).

itsagift said...

Awesome list!
It's great when you get a whole guestroom with all the extras.

I once stayed in an empty basement and there was not a single thing to read. I was ready to climb the walls from boredom! I learned my lesson and from now on I always pack some reading material to take along. I also bring my own digital alarm clock in case they don't have one.

Frayda said...

I always bring a nightlight, an alarm clock, water bottle, and reading material. That is why #5 is so important. I agree on all of these.

Rachelli Dreyfuss said...

Can totally relate...
Can I add to your list?

-working bathroom - private bathroom is great, but if it doesnt work, whats the point
-toilet paper- pre-ripped, especially for shabbos
-fan- i am a very picky person when it comes to hot/cold with my sleep. i love going to sleep cold
-shelf/dresser space
-you forgot a pillow mint!

Something Different said...

Stam- can I be your guest?

HS- i should remember em, but somehow I always bring just what I don't need. :-P

Anon- so you never wear a watch? Man oh man!

Diana- someone I stayed with had this big gorgeous mirror, courtesy of her previous guest who couldn't believe she dent have one! ;-)

IAG- yeah, reading material is one thing I always remember... Miserable without it.

Frayda- I thought everyone would find that one redundant. Lol I guess not.

RD- I don't like mint. ;-)

L! said...


stam[azoid] said...

haha, for sure. we can compare our giant purses when you come visit

Michaltastik said...

I know this is a little old but, HOLY COW, I've stayed at so many places where they don't evn have soap, EW!!! Oh, and there should be bags in the garbage. I had my period once... no soap and no bags. I felt so grosssssss!