Unexpected House Guests

We are all familiar with the awkward moment when someone important comes over out of the blue and nothing has been cleaned in over a week. It could be:

  • a cute boy
  • a stranger
  • a judgmental neat freak
  • Mom and Dad
  • pretty much any adult figure over the age of 30

Either way, it’s a panic to find a way to keep him or her from that messy apartment.

Senior Katie Phillips recalls a story of the first week she moved in when a neighbor unexpectedly stopped by her apartment with some cookies as a house-warming gift.

“I hadn’t cleaned up since the weekend’s festivities and the guy wanted to look Red Solo Cupsaround the place,” she said.

Phillips said she hesitantly lead him around the house while awkwardly pulling red party cups off the floor and kicking miscellaneous objects under the couch, hoping he wasn’t noticing. His reaction to the place was uncomfortable and judgemental, she said, like he had never seen the aftermath of a party.

“Honestly by the time he left, I was stressed out and the place wasn’t even much cleaner,” Phillips said, “Its safe to say we didn’t become fast friends.”

Sometimes the guest calls ahead, giving a generous 20 minutes to erase all evidence of the tornado that appeared to have come through.

Sophomore Joslyn Denny got an unexpected visit from her mother’s friend who was passing through SLO and wanted to see the new place. Unfortunately the new place looked like “a hobo’s free-for-all,” Denny said, but she had 30 minutes to try and amend that situation.

The following half hour was a mad dash to clean, she said. Toilets were scrubbed, dishes were put away, laundry was folded, and the place was just about immaculate when the unexpected visitor knocked at the door.

“I just felt like there was something I was forgetting and I was panicked,” Denny said.

Fortunately the guest made a B-line for the bathroom so Denny was given a few extra minutes. However, she said she couldn’t find a single item out of place.

The unexpected houseguest was there for about an hour before venturing on her way and Denny said she could finally relax again. She said she went to the bathroom to splash some cold water on her face and that’s when she saw it.

“Behind the bathroom door was a huge pile of dirty clothes that I always forget to pick up after I shower,” Denny said.

In hindsight she said she knew it wasn’t that big of a deal but that she still hoped her guest would not pass the mishap along to her mother.

1941 Monterey St. San Luis Obispo, CAFreshman Brandon Howard is a front desk clerk at the San Luis Creek Lodge, a small, family-owned Bed & Breakfast. With the constant walk-ins and unexpected customers, he is considered an expert in these particular situations.

Howard said the rooms are always prepared for the unexpected. They are cleaned everyday at 9am so if and when walk-ins do occur, the rooms are pristine and ready to go, he said.

“All of the rooms are already cleaned, and if a person were to walk in right now it would just be a matter of selling them a room,” Howard said.

Even with all that preparation, there are inevitably still instances where things don’t go quite as smoothly, he said. A few weeks back a woman showed up three days after her reservation and her room was no longer available, he said.

“There was a bit of a fiasco because she had a child and a husband and was overwhelmed,” Howard said. “I didn’t know how to help her and she was going to breakdown and cry.”

Even though this wasn’t his fault in any way, Howard said he still felt bad and wished he could have prevented the situation.

“The best way to be prepared for unexpected house guests is to make sure you’re cleaning routinely,” he said.

Howard said cleaning for just 20 minutes everyday will be easy, painless, and will prepare for any houseguest, no matter how unexpected.


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