No , not that kind of sleep over…
DEAR COUGAR: I’m confused about the protocol in thanking or repaying someone after staying several nights at their home. My feeling is, if you’re staying with people, the nicest way to thank them for their hospitality is to pay for most, if not all, the lunches and dinners you share with them when you dine out. That way, you lessen the monetary burden of your visit, and it gives you a chance to say “thank you” for the use of their home.
Some visitors seem to think that when they come to your home, you should not only put them up, but also pay for all their activities while you show them your town. What is correct? Or is it a matter of preference? — Not Too Old for a Sleepover!
Dear Not Too Old for a Sleepover!
The art of a proper “thank you” is dying. I’m a huge proponent of showing thanks for all sorts of occasions where others feel an email could cover it. I say it is never in bad taste to be thankful.
To that end, it is all a matter of preference. If you’ve been invited to stay with someone for several days and they insist on paying for everything, let them! It is otherwise rude to refuse hospitality.
On the other hand, if you’ve asked to stay with someone, its only right that you pony up some cash and maybe not pay for everything, but a good share.
In either case I think the best way to thank someone comes before, during and after your stay.
- Make sure that they are in the know and up-to-date on the details of your stay. Don’t tell them you’ll be there for one night with the secret intention of staying three. Make sure they know your plans and are prepared to accommodate.
- Thank them by being an excellent guest while in their company. Clean up after yourself. Take showers. Be social and fun. Don’t drink all of their booze. Don’t sleep with their significant other. You know, be a good guest.
- Finally, post stay, make sure to leave your lodging in better condition than you found it in. Once you’ve made it back to wherever you call home my suggestion is go with a hand-written letter of thanks. Buy a funny card, send a bottle of wine. That’s classy and classy is what you want to be remembered as.
Long story short, if you’re going to take over someone’s home and life for days on end, do it with class. You don’t have to pay for everything while you’re in their company, but if you do nothing or even worse, write an email thank you, you’re an a-hole who deserves the worst house guest karma the devil can serve up.
I hope that helps.
PS, I stole that question from Dear Abby. Click here to read her interpretation of how to say thanks.