Rules of hospitality aren't anywhere near as big of a thing now as they used to be, the ancient Greeks and Romans had a definite lead there, but most people are still familiar with how to be a good host, right? Apparently not, it seems.
Reddit user u/Azzizzi asked:
When I studied for a semester in France, I had a French homestay with an old woman. She had a lot of weird control issues and living with her was very stressful. She had printed rules all over the house, including some taped to our toilet seat. Some were basic rules like don't flush tampons, but one toilet rule was not to close the lid too loudly. One time I heard her shuffling outside while I was using the bathroom then yell at me when she thought I closed the lid loudly.
She cleaned my room daily and moved my belongings around. If I had my tshirts in one drawer, I could be sure she'd move them to another drawer before I got home because other drawer was "better for tshirts." Same thing with my hairbrush and bottle of lotion on the dresser. I never felt like I could really settle in.
On a weekly basis, just when I thought I'd learned all of her rules, she would add a new rule to yell at me about. One rule was to keep showers under ten minutes. I was really good at abiding to this rule, then a week before I left, probably no more than six minutes into my shower, the water ran cold.
I was so angry and still had soap in my hair, so I came downstairs to confront her in nothing but a towel. It turned out she was entertaining guests and clearly shut off the hot water to show off to them. I guess she didn't count on me being angrily confrontational -she looked borderline terrified as I b!tched her out wearing nothing but a towel with soap running down my face, then ran to turn the hot water back on.
Near the end of my stay I learned her adult kids didn't talk to her and she was genuinely flummoxed as to why that was.
Stayed at my uncle's house for a couple of days with my younger sister. She's closer in age with our cousins, and I'm the oldest by 10 years.
My uncle didn't like that my sister was playing with our cousins toys. That she was too old and it bothered him. He's miserable and a territorial @ssweed, and I could tell he was counting down the days until we left.
He threatened my sister by saying he'll make her sleep in the garage. Then proceeded to say things like, "I never really liked you guys anyway."
Went to visit a friend for the weekend and reminded her repeatedly that my flight was landing at 7am (she had issues with over sleeping), and would she be sure to be awake to let me in?
Flight lands, I call. Goes straight to voicemail. This continues the entire cab ride to her apartment, so great, her phone is dead. When I get there, I find the intercom system is broken so my attempts to buzz her are worthless.
I sit outside her apartment building for close to an hour with my luggage before someone exits and I can grab the door and go up. Pound on her door until she FINALLY gets out of bed and opens up. She laughs, "Ya know, I kinda forgot you were coming."
Ok. Literally texted you yesterday.
Needless to say, we are no longer friends.
Was invited to my SOs coworkers house along with a few other people for a small party. When the pizza arrived she told everyone they needed to give her $10 each to cover the cost.
Some people, like myself, didn't have cash because we weren't expecting to need any. She tried to say anyone who didn't pay couldn't have any.
Party died shortly after. If she had just said before hand "Hey I want to throw a get together. I'll take care of the food, booze, drinks, etc. everyone just toss me $10 to cover the cost." we'd have been totally fine whit that. But don't spring that on someone by surprise then tell them they aren't allowed to eat.
When I was in university, I went on a short road trip with my friend and her parents. On the way back home, her dad decided to take a detour to visit an old friend he hadn't seen in a few decades. None of us (including my friend's mother) knew quite what we were in for, but oh boy it was an experience.
Guy lived in the middle of nowhere. Got to his house, walked in the door, and we're greeted by an elderly woman (the guy's mother) in a hospital bed. Okay, a bit awkward but she seemed like a sweet old lady.
The house was filthy like nothing I'd ever seen before and my friend and I were so uncomfortable that we made some excuse to go sit out in the car.
A few minutes later her mother came running out of the house yelling at us to let her into the car. Turns out the guy gave them a tour of his house, including his filthy unusable kitchen. He told my friend's mother to clean it up a bit and make a nice dinner for all of us while he took friend's dad to look at his gun collection. Friend's mother said no and went back out to the front of the house, but unfortunately granny had dementia and did not remember meeting her. Thought she was a burglar and starting screaming and swearing at her and threatening to shoot her.
THEN we went to "the nicest restaurant in town" (the only restaurant in town) where the guy lectured me and my friend about Jesus, implied that we were both promiscuous, and told us we were going to hell.
My ex-MIL used to invite me to family gatherings and then proceed to get absolutely trashed and loudly insult and berate me in front of everyone. Everything from how I dressed, to my choice of major in college, how I wasn't good enough for her son, etc., etc. She just absolutely hated me from the get-go and didn't make a secret of it.
After a couple of particularly bad episodes where this happened I started to refuse to attend family functions if I knew she would be there. My ex would get mad at me about it but he never once spoke up to defend me or tell her to stop. Big surprise that he and I aren't married any more.
I don't see my family often, but came to town when my great-aunt died. After the funeral we met at my older cousin's house, and his wife had never met me. His wife had met my younger brother and knew of my mom, but didn't have any idea that I existed. We had all been drinking and she mentions that she didn't know me. When my cousin explained our relation, she said, "I know (my brother) and I know (my mom); and (mom) doesn't have anymore kids." Okay....
Later on, we're in their basement, and I had my feet propped on the ottoman. She barreled downstairs, yanked the ottoman from beneath my feet and began to yell and call me a b!tch. She legit thought I was there to try and steal my cousin from her. Little did she know that even if I wasn't in a same sex relationship, there's no way in the west side of HELL I'd be attracted to my cousin. Ever.
My mom called them the next day and demanded that she apologize, and she did- just not to me. Needless to say, I don't ever want to be in the same room as her.
In high school I went to a friend's house for the first time for a birthday-slumber party. In the morning we were all sitting around the table waiting for breakfast and their dog was walking around and checking everyone out. I absentmindedly reached down and pet the dog and my friend's mom immediately snapped at me for petting the dog at the table and told me to go wash my hands. I wasn't going to be touching anyone's food but my own and at my house there were no rules about petting the cat at the table. As a shy person who doesn't like confrontation I was pretty upset.
An ex of mine brought me onto Ft. Meade to attend an engagement party for a friend of hers that was a linguist for NSA. She had another couple (guy and girl - married) come with us. I was cool with the guy, so we all get in the car, go on base and meet these new people. Nice house, people were super egg headed, ALL of them were hammered. We were there for 20 minutes when we had our first beers.
The soon to be groom shuffled up to me not long after that, and slurring his words asked me if I spoke Japanese. So I responded in Japanese and we talk for a few minutes. Dude was absolutely angry about something. He asked me where I went to school for Japanese. I said I didn't, I lived there for a long time and just picked up the language.
MF-er starts literally SCREAMING at me, calling me a liar and backing me into a corner. It's his house, his friends, he is hammered and I am not sure what to do. One thing I did know, was that this little girl of a dude wasn't going to get the drop on me. HE lunged at me and a tossed him backwards and he fell on his back. He's screaming at me and I just told him if he touched me he was a dead man.
My ex took me out of there and she was yelling at me too. "HOW COULD YOU DO THAT?!?!?"
"What do you mean? Dude came right at me for no good reason. He's lucky I didn't knock him out."
"THERE IS NO PUNCHING! NO PUNCH! NO PUNCHING, DO YOU UNDERSTAND?!?!?!"
They drove me off base and I asked them to let me out. Told the ex to go f--- herself, and called a cab to take me home.
I'd say that was the most impolite thing a host has ever done to me.
First internship, new city. Was quite young so my family made me stay at an acquaintance's place. Things were off from the start.
Heard their elder daughter (she was in her late 20s or early 30s) having a screaming match with her mother about not wanting me in the house, hating how she was being asked to make small talk with me, etc. (I would have been happier staying with my friends. The family had insisted that I stay with them.)
I was given their son's room and was told to not lock the door at night or day because the son needed to come and go as he pleased, as if knocking was an unheard of practice.
Few days in, they had a house guest. So I moved to sleep on the floor in the elder daughter's room. At night she proceeded to complain to the younger one about how "some people" take too much time in the bathroom and that they should be grateful we're letting them stay. (I used to occupy the bathroom for 20 mins each morning to finish up all my business. They had 2 other bathrooms in the house and yet somehow the one I was in, at the time I was in, was always needed.)
Sh!t hit the ceiling when the mother discovered I had used the bathroom dustbin to dispose off sanitary napkins (I has disposed them off responsibly and very very properly). I was berated for quite a while and was told that the "big city" culture is different (in their eyes, I was from a small city. Its like calling Philadelphia a small city because you live in Chicago). My using the dustbin had corrupted it because they believed menstrual blood to be unhygienic or some regressive bull like that. She told me it was an expensive dustbin and now the set was ruined coz they'll have to throw it.
I lost my cool and told my parents about it. I guess I had sounded a little too tearful. My father decided to take the next flight and surprise me for my birthday. I was camping at the city library when he turned up. One of my best memories to date. We went to their place, I got my suitcase (there was no need to pack because I was living out of the suitcase since they decided to give me a shelf in the bathroom, the shelf was the size of an airplane over head compartment — you could keep a maximum of 4 sets of clothes at one time), I left some money on the bed for their dustbin and peaced out.
The next couple of days were amazing. My dad stayed with me for the Christmas holidays, we bought books, watched movies and chilled whenever I got free from work.
I hope to host them someday, just to show them what real hospitality looks like.
There's a small back story to this. Some time ago, my partner and I were living with his brother and a few other people. As we were a couple and organise the house we took the master bedroom with the en-suite, which also happened to be the whole top floor of the house. I came home one afternoon exhausted from work to the comfort of my bedroom to hear coming from our bathroom, "hey, umm just letting you know, I'm in here. So don't come in" I'm a bit taken back so I say ok what are you doing in my room, why are you not using the bathroom far more convenient for you downstairs etc. only to be cut off "yeah don't talk to me, I'm on the toilet" Because I'M the one invading his privacy! I didn't say anything after that and it never got mentioned again because my partner wouldn't confront him about anything. Even his smoking weed inside the house stinking it up for everyone!
A few years later and we have all moved on and my partner and I are living alone, but were between rentals and needed to crash for a week or so. Brother has the nerve to walk us through the place to were we will be staying and say "this is the bathroom YOU use. I have my en-suite in my room. YOU don't use that! You use this one!" I'm not kidding, that's how he said it!
It took everything in me no to turn around and say "don't worry, we won't invade your privacy like you did ours by coming into your bedroom and shitting in your toilet while your not home like YOU did!"
I was staying with my step-grandmother for a few days because I was getting sick and tired of my mom and step-father always fighting. So I go to an online school, I was doing my work and yadda yadda what ever, one of my assignments was to take a close up of things in a kitchen for digital photography, well I didn't know what to take a picture of.
She said to take a close up of the coffee pot because it did some weird reflective thing with my phone. I declined because I'd been trying to avoid showing my reflection, photo, etc, I'm not the most confident person and she knows this.
She got all pissed and huffy when I didn't want to do her idea, saying "well you have to show your photo eventually!!" Then things escalated and we started having a full blown screaming match because I pointed out that she was pissed, "you're the one who got pissed when I didn't want to do your idea!" And yeah....
Most of the time when I stay over there it ends in some fight and me going home, something she usually has started and expects me to take, which I don't.
Had a friend spend the night at mine during summer holidays, every thing was fine until the next day where we couldn't decide what to do so we go out and start walking as if we'd think of something eventually. Turns out he'd been sneakily using his phone whenever i wasn't paying attention and eventually said "hey lets go to my other friend's house, they're just round the corner".
So we get there, knock on the door, and she lets us in. Offers us a drink and then immediately leads us up to her room to "watch tv and listen to music" or whatever. My friend and her without a fucking second thought jump into her bed and pull the covers over them and i'm just left sat there at her desk with a glass of water. We hadn't even been there 3 minutes.
I wouldn't've minded if he had just been honest and said "hey i'm gonna go to this persons house to do the dirty, i'll see you later", but nah, he lied to me and led me along to make me feel like a the most awkward 3rd wheel. So i got up, walked out the house and slammed the door behind me. I wish i had done something to get back at him for being an ass but it just happened so quick that i basically just did the physical depiction of "k bye". I don't speak to him anymore.
I was staying at my grandmother's house for a few days and happened to lose my job. She and my step grandfather cornered me in the kitchen and berated me for a good 45 minutes about how I'm a loser who was never going to make anything out of myself just like my piece of shit father, and his entire side of my family was garbage.
This was their way of motivating me. I was in high school. It was a shit job bagging groceries. Not the end of the world at all, but Jesus did they screw me up after that.
Then i found out my grandmother and step grandfather started screwing while she was his secretary. They were both still married. And his wife was dying of cancer at the time.
Who's a piece of shit? My father's side of the family has a lot of issues, but i have way less respect for my mother's side now than i ever will his.
I went to stay at my girlfriends for a week. Was a long distance relationship so I travelled for a few hours to get there.
They were very well off. Her father was cool but her mother absolutely detested me, I assumed because I was the poor boy from up North.
Anyway later on in the evening of my first day there her mother called "dinner's ready" up to us. We went down and her mother had made dinner for everyone, but me.
I'm not entitled or anything so just shrugged it off but my girlfriend went ballistic and it caused a massive full-on screaming argument that lasted for hours.
Best part was her dad was just laying into his food not paying any attention to it all.