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Posted: 1/24/2006 3:45:31 PM EDT
Background: My brother-in-law, sister and nieces are living with my folks until they get back on their feet. They've been living with them for a couple of years (in two states) and are finally closing on a fixer-upper next month. They should be ready to move in June, after the renovation is complete.

I just got a call from my mother, wondering if they were over at my place. Apparently, both of their cars are gone and nobody left a note. I said "And? What's the difference? I'm sure they both had something to do, and they'll be back sometime before everybody heads to bed". She is upset that they didn't let anyone know where they were at. She said it's common courtesy. I've had folks stay with me over the years, and a few things come to mind:

The people I've invited into my home were adults. Provided they weren't out past lights-out, I didn't expect a note or a call. I only asked for a note if they were expected to come home rather late, so that I woulnd't be startled and confuse them for an intruder. Otherwise, I never cared. As far as I'm concerned, it's none of my business.

I understand that when you're a guest in someone's home, you must abide by their rules - even if they seem silly. Their house, their rules - no argument. Simple.

Having estblished that, I have a question: What makes leaving a note logical or reasonable, provided the guests will return before a reasonable time; say 10:00pm? I understand that the expactation is "common", but I don't understand the "courtesy" part.

I don't have a strong opinion on this, so help me understand what I'm missing. My feelings on this seem to be a minority opinion and I want to know what I haven't considered. Maybe my own guest stay policy needs to be revised.
Link Posted: 1/24/2006 3:48:21 PM EDT
Yes, it is common curtesy to keep your hosts informed of your comings and goings.
Link Posted: 1/24/2006 3:50:08 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Will-Rogers:
Yes, it is common curtesy to keep your hosts informed of your comings and goings.



I realize that, but I'd like an explanation as to "why", since I don't expect this of my guests. Some of you know something I don't. I think.
Link Posted: 1/24/2006 4:42:05 PM EDT
When you stay with someone, you are imposing on their freedom and their assets. Out of courtesy, you keep them informed of your comings and goings in order to reduce their inconvenience. We like to think that we don't cause any problems to our hosts, but we do. We are in their home making it less of a refuge and more of a bed and breakfast.
Link Posted: 1/24/2006 4:45:36 PM EDT
No house guest, no problem.
Link Posted: 1/24/2006 4:48:28 PM EDT

BRITANNUS (shocked):
Caesar, this is not proper.
THEODOTUS (outraged):
How?
CAESAR (recovering his self-possession):
Pardon him Theodotus: he is a barbarian, and thinks that the customs of his tribe and island are the laws of nature.
Caesar and Cleopatra, Act II
Link Posted: 1/24/2006 4:48:51 PM EDT
Link Posted: 1/24/2006 4:54:49 PM EDT

Originally Posted By thebeekeeper1:
Yes, it's common courtesy for the reasons given above by Will-Rogers.

Oh, and long before the two years went by they ceased to be "staying there until they get on their feet" and became squatters.



+1. That's about 20 months too long where I come from.

Link Posted: 1/24/2006 4:56:18 PM EDT
If I had someone living with me for a few years, I wouldn't consider it my house and I were their host - I would consider it their home as well. They could come and go as pleased. It is common courtesy if going to be later than expected [or normal such as typically home for dinner but not able to attend, etc] that a call or note be left.

I was at a dinner party this past week end where a woman told of a brother inlaw who lived for 3 years in her children's tree house.

Patty
Link Posted: 1/24/2006 5:07:04 PM EDT
For me, I have door barriers that you don't get through with a key after hours.

My kids have come and gone, If they are in the come mode, they need to
let me know if they won't make lock down.

I like my security, let me know if you are in the "circle of trust"


GM
Link Posted: 1/24/2006 9:40:11 PM EDT

Originally Posted By thebeekeeper1:
Yes, it's common courtesy for the reasons given above by Will-Rogers.

Oh, and long before the two years went by they ceased to be "staying there until they get on their feet" and became squatters.



I'm with you 100%, but I wasn't going to go there.

I still don't understand how it's courteous, even with Will-Roger's additional explanation. I honestly don't see the inconvienence posed by the lack of communication, unless it results in a rather late return home.
Link Posted: 1/24/2006 9:52:23 PM EDT
I always wondered how this worked at Southfork when Bobby or JR was shacking up with someone in town. Did they have to call Miss Ellie to check in by 10 PM?

When did Clayton or Miss Ellie call the po-po to report them as missing? Sue Ellen spent a few blacked-out nights in her car as well.

How did this work for them?
Link Posted: 1/24/2006 9:54:05 PM EDT

Originally Posted By TomHighway:
I always wondered how this worked at Southfork when Bobby or JR was shacking up with someone in town. Did they have to call Miss Ellie to check in by 10 PM?

When did Clayton or Miss Ellie call the po-po to report them as missing? Sue Ellen spent a few blacked-out nights in her car as well.

How did this work for them?



Oh, dear God that was before my time; and I haven't a clue.
Link Posted: 1/24/2006 10:08:42 PM EDT

Oh, dear God that was before my time; and I haven't a clue.

It can't be. It's from Dallas, which went off the air in 1991. You are older than 15 aren't you?z
Link Posted: 1/24/2006 10:14:48 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/24/2006 10:36:45 PM EDT by eye_spy]
Yes it is common courtesy.

There is no written rule that says that they are OBLIGATED to, but as the term states "common courtesy".

ETA: There are things that are just common practice to many that have become unwritten "laws". This may be one of them. You ask "WHY". I can only say ... because it just IS. When I impose on people, friend or family, I try as much as possible to be less of an inconvenience. I try to be very sensitive to their feelings about things and second guess my every move so I do not offend them.

In the case you mentioned. Maybe your folks just did not like the idea that your BIL leaving the place unattended. [edited: I misunderstood the first time. I thought they already left.]
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