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To Host or Not to Host
Wednesday, Jul 25, 2007 from Erieville, New York
Posted: Jul 25, 2007 | 742 words | 2 Comments
That IS the question. That’s been the question for a lot of people. Who is this kid asking to stay with us? We don’t know him. I have been the complete stranger to walk through the door and I have seen all kinds of ways hosts respond to having a guest, and one they have never met for that matter. So here are some of the reactions to a complete stranger asking to spend a couple nights.
Just recently a woman from Upstate New York asked me to please never call again and was upset that her daughter gave out her personal contact information through my website. She was insisted to take down my name and phone number. It’s understandable. I knew there would be some people like this, and it worries me some. She mockingly said, “Yeah I hope to write a book too.”
There was one couple who turned me down as a host, this was after I already brought a couple bags in side, even a loaf of friendship bread. They were both psychologists and I watch them discuss (or was it an argument?) in front of me if I was welcome to stay there. Their son, a few years younger than I, said it was alright for me to stay there. The wife invited me to sit down with them while they discussed. It could have been one of the most awkward moments of the trip. One, a world renown psychologist, was even another MSU alum. I actually had my State shirt on that day, even had some friendship bread from a previous host that I brought to say thank you in advance for hosting me. They asked if I could find another place to stay. I very calmly said yes and was agreeable, while in my mind I was completely going crazy of wondering where I would stay. I forgot my friendship bread there. Ironic. Their son who was my contact through another previous host said they enjoyed the friendship bread after I left. Once again, ironic.
I felt I had to share a couple of the not so favorable hosting moments. And I always intend to put the milk away!
Now on one of my favorite stops of the trip I found out there was a little bit of tension between the boyfriend and girlfriend before I arrived. She was upset that he invited a complete stranger to the house on the same week that her mother was there to visit! Well, to make a long story short, we all hugged for as long as we could that day I left, even the mother, and I think we all were choking up a little bit. For a while they thanked me for giving them the best week of the year. They weren’t the only ones to tear up.
It seems like only one host has set the ground rules of the house, I still had my bags on my shoulders as I walked in the door. But my feet never got cold! Several have asked to call me back while they consult their spouse, a very noble thing. Some don’t seem to consult anyone else in the family and I just show up and it makes it a little more awkward. Most husbands who have checked with their wives have come through as hosts. But a few women who have checked with their boyfriends or husbands have called back to say it wasn’t ok with them. Oh c’mon, I can’t be that big of a threat.
Several hosts insist that I stay as long as possible, even if I’m sleeping on the couch. Those are a true honor! Some have been very insistent and convincing to get me to stay another day or two. Some leave me on my own every minute, some try to entertain me every minute, most are in between somewhere.
Some hosts have checked out the website in immense detail before my arrival. Some were shocked to find out there was a website. Some do research on what I like and many have offered to cook me whatever my favorite meal is. Some ask what it is I do, others just have me show up. The most interesting contrast of all is between those who are hesitant and back out to those who as soon as I say “50-state tour” they open up their arms, fridge, and prepare the guest room immediately.
Comment by mom
From Baraga, MI
Love the story about the 2 psychologists and the loaf of friendship bread. Sounds like one of those jokes......Hey you never told us about these incidences, but I can see you are protecting your parents! I am so happy that the mojority of people see that you are for real, on the up and up, and have no ulterior motives. Maybe the 2 psychologists and the mom from upstate NY will see your book someday! Or see you on some TV show!
Comment by dad
From Baraga, MI
What do you expect from two psychos, oops, Imean psychologists!!! Great blog Bugs, this is what we like to hear, the real experience.