Pull back the curtain and see how a suspense writer puts the thrills and chills together.

I recently discovered a new (well, new to me anyways) blog that I love. On the surface, we seem to have nothing in common (she’s a stay-at-home mom, a lover of sparkly pink clothing and makeup, and addicted to trashy TV, while I have no kids–unless you count the four-footed variety–wear barely any makeup, and don’t have cable). But every now and then she’ll write something that proves she may be the only person in the world who completely gets me.

Case in point: http://www.confessionsofacookbookqueen.com/2010/10/cinnamon-sugar-pumpkin-blossoms/

Like the Cookbook Queen, there’s nothing I despise more than drop-in visitors. I blame my mother for this, because we used to spend half the weekend lounging around in our bathrobes, and whenever the doorbell rang, we’d hide. I’m sure this seemed like a super-fun game when I was a kid.

My mother is also responsible for teaching me that you can’t have visitors unless your house is perfect. This means no errant cat hair, no stray scraps of laundry, and no dust. (Also no chairs with claw marks or drywall in need of repair.) As the Cookbook Queen writes in her post, people say they don’t care what your house looks like, but they do. This became abundantly clear to me when I had friends over to play games one Sunday night. Unexpectedly, a woman decided she should move one of my couches to improve the seating arrangements. Well, I hadn’t thought to clean under the couches (I have a life, people!), and somehow my two cats had managed to create a third kitty of hair under there. Disgusting. The woman immediately pointed this out, and called me on it in front of everyone. Needless to say, this chick is not my friend anymore. 🙂

I’ve gone to ridiculous lengths to avoid unexpected guests. I haven’t admitted this to many people, and I’m not proud of it, but when I was in my early twenties, I did something pretty bizarre. My roommate and I had given our notice to the Landlord from Hell, so said hellish landlord decided to show our place to prospective new tenants…without notice. I was working from home, in my bathrobe, of course (I’m quite partial to bathrobes), when a real estate agent with a couple in tow showed up at the door. I didn’t have a lot of time, and I knew they’d be touring the entire house, so I ran down to the basement and hid in a giant packing box for an hour…just to avoid them. True story. (Or perhaps it’s a hypothetical situation. You decide.)

When The Boy moved in with me, he was very much an open-door policy sort of person. I quickly cured him of that. In my neighbourhood, if someone turns up at your door unannounced, there are four possibilities:

  • A drunk from the Marion or Chalet Hotels who lost his way.
  • People selling scams, vacuums, or religion.
  • People who want money for a ride to Selkirk because their wife is giving birth in a hospital there and they can’t afford to get to her otherwise. (These callers usually occur from between 1-4 a.m., so they’re easy to spot.)
  • Census takers and water-meter readers.

So you see, it’s just best in all cases not to open the door. In my world, friends are people who call first.

How do you feel about unexpected guests? Are you like the Walsh family, or more of the hide-in-a-cardboard-box person? What’s the most embarrassing uninvited guest moment you’ve had?

Special thanks to the Cookbook Queen for letting me know I’m not alone! Love this woman.
Thanks for reading!
1 part newsletter, 1 part unnerving updates,
2 parts sneak peeks of new projects.


  1. Otherwisecat

    Not a fan of uninvited door knockers – don’t believe they get to be uninvited guests unless you open that door!

    Some are absolutely okay… my team drop by unannounced. That’s fine.

    I have, in the past, hidden from unexpected door knockers. I have. I’m not ashamed to admit it. I have cowered on the kitchen floor hoping they’d just go. They tend to be religious types… I found that a pentacle on the front porch stopped those particular door-knockers.

    But also – we’re usually ‘guest ready’, I’m not big on hanging out in my bathrobe all day. And the house is generally tidy… it’ll pass. 🙂

  2. Jill

    Not a big fan either; just seems rude to pop in without calling first and I wouldn’t do it to others.

    That said, it became much less terrifying after I discovered flylady.net. Her practical home organization advice has saved my sanity and my ass over the years.

    Also a big fan of bathrobes, but have tried to shake that habit now that I work from home full time. At some point, it does just become depressing!


  3. Story Teller

    Welcome to my blog, Otherwise Cat, and thanks for commenting. I hope you visit again. You’re right…”guest” isn’t the right word for these people.

    I envy that you’re always guest-ready. I’d love to be one of those people, but it doesn’t seem meant to be. Good to know someone else has resorted to extreme measures to hide from the unwanted.

    Welcome back, Jill! I’ll check out that site, but in my case, it’s a matter of two jobs and fulltime fight training…not of needing organizational skills. Still, I won’t turn my nose up at any help.

    I must say, though, that if your bathrobe depresses you, you’re wearing the wrong one! 🙂 Victoria’s Secret has some cute ones, along with gorgeous flannel pajamas. http://www.victoriassecret.com. Some are even pink and sparkly, which would delight the Cookbook Queen.

  4. Cookbook Queen

    Love your post and thank you so much for reading!! I’ve been there done that with the moving of the couch…terrifying.

  5. Story Teller

    Wow, a celebrity visits my blog. 🙂 I’m so honored, Kristan…I’m a huge fan!

    Isn’t it wonderful when someone else points out your housekeeping failings? All she needed was a beer cozy!

  6. Giselle

    I love the Queen as well. Found your blog via her FB page.

    I HATE uninvited guest…..doesn’t matter if it’s the neighbor next door or someone an hour away….CALL FIRST. It’s rude when you get down to it to show up unannounced.

    Loved your post. Well said.

  7. Niki*

    Hahahahah. You’re my favorite.

  8. Story Teller

    Thanks for commenting, Giselle! I hope you visit again. Clearly, we’re on the same page.

    @ Niki – thanks. You know I love you.

  9. Mystic_Mom

    Great post, and I can relate. My husband is much more social than I and way more easy going with things. It has rubbed off on me. Now I don’t prepare for hours for ‘guests’ when they are friends stopping by.

    While I do have a short list of people I don’t appreciate or want dropping by, I don’t mind surprise guests. They, if they are friends, know by now to take us as they find us.

    If you see us out fencing or working the cows or playing in the yard, stop by but don’t expect a Martha clean house! We live here, and make memories here that include messes, dog prints and dust bunnies.

    I love my mother-in-law she and I can tidy each other’s houses with no guilt (anymore!) and she knows that no one has caught anything bad from the dirt in my house so it’s not unsafe, just not show home surgical clean.

    I think it is different living in the country when it comes to unexpected, non-friend guests. They come in three types: sales, lost/stuck or “your cows are out!”.

    Having hidden from unwanted visitors before I can relate to the crate, although with our dogs those who don’t know them tend to stay trapped in their car or truck or up on the fence. Love my dogs!

    We had a friend come to visit, and her city friends wanted to ‘see the farm’ and came to visit as well. They stayed most of the day and I started to make supper, they were SHOCKED that we made enough for all, and were inviting them for a meal. They said they always assume they should leave before meal times when visiting unless specifically invited to stay and eat. Our grandparents would NEVER let someone leave without feeding them. It was a rule. (one I kept, the perfect housekeeping ones got modified!) It is our gift, and honour, to feed those who come to our home. Even if it is bought cookies and soda. Or a home made meal.

    Friends know they can drop in any time, no far in advance planning needed. Sometimes just stopping by for a coffee is so much fun! Holli, are you coming to visit soon?

  10. Story Teller

    What a beautiful comment, MM. Thanks for writing it. You’re right, there is a huge difference between city and country life. I imagine sometimes guests can be a welcome distraction. 🙂

    And, although I don’t have an open-door policy, I’ve often wished I did. My grannie lived on a farm, and visitors were always welcome, but I was raised differently and that’s hard to shake.

    I’d love to visit you. Let me know when the greatest number of baby animals are afoot. 🙂

  11. Laura Best

    Living in a small community people pop in unexpected all the time. They think nothing of it. However, I prefer to have some notice. Right now, I’m to the point where I figure if people drop in without warning they’ll have to accept things the way they find it.

  12. Story Teller

    Hey Laura,

    Thanks for commenting. I grew up in a small community as well, which is why my mother taught me how to hide. 🙂 She was also very particular about how clean her house was. I guess I can understand why, if she always had to be ready for unexpected guests!


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.