Dealing with an Unwanted Houseguest

I recently had a houseguest who came uninvited and just would not leave! He was a mouse, though, who I first saw as little flashes in the corner of my eye. Nah, I said, it must be my imagination. Then I finally saw him with his beady little eyes and twitchy little nose. I broke the news to my roommate gently, “I don’t want to alarm you but I have seen a mouse…”

As compassionate (and squeamish) people, we decided to go with discouragement first, rush ordering some Mouse Away spray from Amazon Prime. As I was spritzing the perimeter of our living room, I discovered Sir Mousey’s treasure trove of snacks- a forgotten roll of rice cakes left in my roommate’s storage bin. Since she was asleep when I made my discovery and we wouldn’t see each other for at least 48 hours I felt I had no choice but to send her an email so she could deal with the situation post haste. Often the realm of passive aggression, the roommate email is sometimes the best way of sharing bad news- “Hey, so sorry, wouldn’t normally write this in an email but I won’t be home tonight and the mouse has pooped all over your stuff and you’re probably going to want to deal with that sooner rather than later.”

The news got worse. After a weekend mostly out of the apartment, I returned to find that she had done a massive clean of her room and discovered that the mouse had made a nest out of the hay she keeps for her bunnies- in her LLBean Boot. A couple of days later and we have finally purchased lethal traps and hope to have the matter resolved shortly.

In the meantime, I have written a poem in honor of our bewhiskered friend and offer my apologies to Robert Burns for the blatant ripoff:

To A Mouse

Small, crafty, cowering, timorous little beastie,
Oh, what a panic is in your breastie!
Please run away so hasty
With your hurrying scamper
From behind that laundry hamper
Where I see you hiding basely.

I’m truly sorry man’s dominion
Has broken Nature’s social union,
And justifies your ill opinion
Which makes you think
That you belong indoors
And makes me you abhor.

I have found the evidence that you steal;
Making rice cakes your poor meal!
Hay meant for bunny’s bed
Makes the thoughts stir in your head.
But when you use it to make your house,
Then we are sorry, Mr. Mouse.

Your small house, too, in ruin!
Its feeble walls an LLBean Boot!
And nothing now, to build a new one,
You may think me quite a brute
To have cleaned it out
But you must leave, and there’s no doubt.

You saw the streets laid bare and wasted,
And weary winter coming fast,
And cozy here, inside a closet,
You thought to dwell,
Till crash! We couldn’t pause it.
You, we had to expel.

That small bit heap of straw and hay,
Probably took you many a day!
Now you are turned out, for all your trouble,
We have bought a mouse trap, on the double.
To finally put an end
For our peace of mind, we must defend.

But little Mouse, you are not alone,
In proving foresight may be vain:
The best laid schemes of mice and men
Go often awry,
And leave us nothing but grief and pain,
For promised joy!

You had thought you had found a welcome home!
To find you will enter your catacomb.
But oh! I backward cast my eye,
And wish I had never lost my cat.
Who would have prevented me from having to spy,
A mouse upon my mat.

Is Staying Up Late Rude?

Maybe people are afraid they will find their guests hiding under the bed while they sleep. Via

Dear Uncommon Courtesy,

So my dad kept getting in trouble for staying up late at my grandmother’s house and reading at night. Nana would see him, just reading and get angry and start yelling at him.

Tonight my other Nana mentioned that she hates being awake in a house that everyone’s sleeping in. That it is rude- people will think you’ve been nosing around.

So! Is this a generational thing? Are you not supposed to stay up while others are sleeping? Not even, like, staying up making noise, but just staying up in general? My parents hadn’t heard of it- but this was an apparent learned thing for my grandparents.


Wide Awake

Official Etiquette

There is no official etiquette because this is nonsense.

Our Take

Jaya: What on earth is Nana talking about?

Victoria: Made up nonsense! So basically, shes saying that its rude to stay up later than everyone else in the house even if you are just in your room and being quiet because it seems like you are being sneaky?

Jaya: Yeah, which, I don’t understand how you practically apply this if you’re not the only person in your house. Even if you’re in your room, some people like to stay up and read! Or are just not tired yet! The first searches for this on Google bring up like, hostel etiquette.

Victoria: Seriously. Although, I do find it weird when I am the only person awake and I feel like I am in some kind of post apocalyptic world where I am the last human on earth…but maybe that’s just me.

Jaya: No I totally get that.

Victoria: I do think that if you are a guest in someone’s home, you should retire to your room or couch or something when the hosts go to bed. Though you don’t necessarily have to sleep- as long as you are ready to wake up whenever you need to be awake for the next days activities. I also think, as a house guest, you should try not to sleep in toooooo much longer than the hosts- unless the host knows they get up ridiculously early and tells you to sleep til whenever.

Jaya: Yeah, and obviously that depends on your relationship to the hosts. This sort of addresses it. It is sort of awkward if I wake up way earlier than everyone and am wandering around.

Victoria: And yeah, obviously depending on your relationship. I mean, in your parents house, even if you are visiting, you are still family and can do what you want.

Jaya: But I cannot imagine freaking out if I had a guest, said I was going to bed, and they were like “ok I’m gonna stay up and read a bit.”

Victoria: Hahah yeah! For sure, that’s kind of rude. You want to make your guests comfortable!

Jaya: Also, if you as the host are asleep, how would you even know others are awake and nosing around? You’re sleeping!

Victoria: Yeah! Although, my mom claims she could tell when me and my sister were home or not when she was asleep.

Jaya: Unless you’re pretending to sleep to see if your guests also sleep and then surprise them when they don’t sleep, which is just creepy.

Victoria: Yeah, although, if you live in a small place, it’s conceivable that you can see a tiny bit of the light or sense movement, but still, who cares?

Jaya: True. And obviously you shouldn’t be up partying or watching TV loudly or whatever. Man, most etiquette things I can see where they come from, and this one I really can’t. Unless you live in a mansion and have strangers as guests all the time. It’s another case of like, weird etiquette rules when, generally, you know and like the people you have at your house. Your son is not trying to steal your silver.

Victoria: I mean, it probably comes from a time when people had more house guests or some weird derivation from the English country house party. I mean, Emily Post is full of etiquette for visiting people in the country, who you don’t really know super well. But yeah, still even there, there’s not really anything about this.