Thursday, March 08, 2007

Countdown to Mom

T minus 6 and counting... my mother arrives next Wednesday. I keep wracking my brain trying to think of what I might need to buy to prevent her from being horrified at my spartan lifestyle! And just generally to make sure she feels comfortable... but not so comfortable that she wants to move in!
I think she'll approve of my apartment in some ways... but in other ways she is going to want to go on a spending rampage to get it into better shape. She'll want me to have window treatments other than $5 trim-to-fit paper shades. She'll want me to have area rugs in my bedrooms. She'll want me to have more food in my fridge. She'll think most of my towels should be thrown out. I will have to give her strict instructions not to buy me anything! Even if I allow her to pick up groceries for herself, I know she'll go apeshit and there will be 10 pounds of cold cuts and potato chips left over after she leaves.

What else... I don't currently have a hair dryer. I wonder if she'll bring her own? I don't have a TV. I'd better try to scrounge up some romance novels from the office give-away pile to keep her entertained. I don't have a humidifier and she'll probably complain that the apartment is too dry. And she'll make that weird coughing noise that drives me crazy. And she'll probably snore even more. Maybe I'd better buy a humidifier.

I'm so unused to having family visitors-- it must be almost 10 years since my mom came to visit, back when I lived with my ex- and didn't have to worry about having all these things. Have you ever had to spend a lot of money because of a family member visiting you?

9 comments:

thc said...

For the first couple of years that we lived here in the Bay Area it seemed that we were having out of town guests at least once a month. And we were always buying new stuff to make them more comfortable. I guess it's just part of the fun of intertaining.

Dawn said...

We always seem to spend some money when people visit- It just kills me, but then I want them happy AND I'd rather not sleep on the couch as well.

Anonymous said...

My overseas cousin (who's in her early twenties) came to visit my family in Boston two summers ago. She stayed with us for three weeks and didn't spend one cent of her own money. I doled out over $200 to treat her to such things as a special exhibit and laser show at the Museum of Science, The Lion King show, afternoon tea at the Ritz, a day at Crane's Beach and my mom took her on a trip to NYC. We bought treats we thought she would like, such as icecream and corn on the cob (but she complained that they were too sweet!). My cousin wrote one small thank you note at the end of her stay but other than that, didn't really express that she enjoyed any of the things that we tried so hard to entertain her with. Needless to say, we won't be eager to host when/if she comes to Boston again.

Amy said...

Not Really. When I had roommates they always had a fold-out couch for guests. Now that I'm living with my boyfriend and we're combining households, we've got duplicates of so much (extra bed, towels, nightstand, etc.)

Most of my guest prep involves buying food, planning activities (I swear by my library's museum passes) and cleaning like Martha Stewart. If they only know how filthy my house usually is...

Anonymous said...

enforcing a moratorium on spending (by the mother) is an excellent idea.
could you just buy fresh flowers and display them prominently for when she arrives? maybe that will distract her enough into realizing it really is homey.
good luck!
~ib

minotte's notes said...

i always try to make guests feel comfortable but they have to accept my level of simplicity. taking them out shopping is better than buying things for them that you won't use afterwards.

it's always hard when a parent comes to visit. but it is important that they come to visit and not change our lives.

www.frugalme.blogspot.com

good luck!

Anonymous said...

Yes because you'll never know if you eve get o see or speak to them again...life is short!

Anonymous said...

Hotel rooms. Never are my relatives/family members staying over at my place. It'll be expensive but it'll be worth it not having to go to prison for killing them.

StyleyGeek said...

I have the same issues with my parents. They get totally freaked out by the fact we own only four oldish towels, a four-person set of dinnerware, knives, forks, glasses etc, two sets of bedding, and that we don't have a toaster, a TV, or a stereo. Every time they come they try to persuade us to "live like real people", but we don't need any more junk. They are too badly off (due to their own excessive spending) to buy much for us, but last time we did end up with extra cups (because four apparently isn't enough for two people), and new flannels/towels.

It's so frustrating when you are trying to live simply.