I’ve always preferred being a guest in people’s summer homes to owning one myself. There’s a lot less hassle and, more importantly, way less expense.
But it’s weird when a host invites you, then doesn’t thrill to the sight of your actual presence. I feel a lot of times people think they want you as a guest, but when reality hits, they resent your intrusion on their private routine and can’t wait for you to leave. And I can’t really blame them that much!
One time, a wealthy lady invited me and a friend for a country weekend, and it was lovely and peaceful enough. But then a petty fight erupted between her husband and another guest, so I genteely tried to crawl out the door and go home, terrified of confrontation, especially on a vacation. My host begged me back, so I complied, hoping things would be warm and fuzzy again. But when she served dinner in the house that night, she conspicuously didn’t invite me and my friend! Meanwhile, she did invite the other guest, the one who’d provoked the screaming matches! Why were we being punished and not the nightmare woman?
That’s just one example of how being a house guest sometimes makes you feel like a motherless child. You’re a drop-in on their turf and you have to submit to their whims and wishes at every turn. But I’ll still take it because it’s completely free (including the re-gift I always bring)!
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on August 17, 2009