Benjamin Franklin once said,"Guests, like fish begin to smell after three days." I found myself wryly agreeing with him when reality set in after six days of being upset with my cousin's behavior who is currently visiting us from India for about a month.
Initially I couldn't put my finger on the source of my irritation. It was like having a well hidden pet turd in my living room which I couldn't find but the stench was driving me nuts. What makes her a bad guest?
She, a thirty-three year old, is behaving like a fat, hungry five year old and I'm the "new mama", someone expected to feed her three meals every day, wash her used dishes, put up with her big ugly undergarments hanging in my bathroom, entertain her 24/7 and, worst of all, listen to her sole reason for living - beading!
The woman treats my home like a free board and lodging place with food included. In the morning she'd wake up and ask what's for breakfast. If the menu wasn't to her liking the response would be "I don't want to eat that" and then silence.
The pattern would continue through the day; she would go to her bead and button workshops, return home, lie down for about two hours and, instead of helping me in the kitchen, expect hot food to be laid out for her to eat after she had woken up.
Somehow I started to feel more like her personal cook and chambermaid instead of a tired, overdue, pregnant cousin.
If we would step out for chow (which we did a lot as I've become somewhat redundant in the cooking department), never once did she offer to go Dutch, nevermind paying the whole amount. It's understandable that she wouldn't pay or go Dutch while we went out with my husband but when she and I went out alone not once did she reach for her wallet.
At home she would park her arse on the futon with her beading material and pass the evening away watching movies, serials or relaxing while I slaved over the stove, did her laundry or picked deliberate pointed fights with my unaware, helpful husband about not pitching in around the house while my swollen feet and painful lower back made me feel like a ninety year old cranky hag.
But to no avail, she remained oblivious to the hints about everyone washing their own dishes because I was too tired to cook and clean up or too tired to go out.