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I am not a bad person.

I grew up in a home where guests were never turned away.

We have always welcomed everyone into our homes. That being said, there is always the ongoing joke about having guests that never leave. (I once stayed on as a guest for two years! Okay, it was at my parents house, but still!)

My parents are the type of people who welcome guests with open arms and really truly mean it! No matter how long they may decide to stay. My siblings and I always love to recount the stories of the fun and unusual guests who visited our home during our years growing and up and even since then. We love to get started with the story about the time we came into the kitchen and found my mother reviewing the situation of one of our lone soldier’s heat rashes (don’t worry, it wasn’t you Aharon). We were appalled but, as my mother sees it, he needed some motherly advice and his mother was far away.

Most of us are not like my parents, we may never be. And although my ideal self is always striving to reach that goal, I am still the same ol’ person who likes my privacy and my space.

So on a nice light note I have decided to compile a list of surefire ways to get your point across to your guests that it’s time for them to leave, without being too direct. Here goes:

10) Make meatballs for supper and serve them on paper plates (not Plastic) so that everything soaks through to the other side and stains their last set of clean clothes.

9) Play your saxophone late at night for some “practice”.

8) When they are having a shower keep flushing the toilet.

7) (Continued from 8…) When they get out of the shower, only have a washcloth sized towel for them to dry off with, sort of like a John Candy-Steve Martin scene from “Planes, Trains and Automobiles”.

6) Allow your children to play “American Idol” early in the morning with the new microphone and amplifier set you just bought them.

5) Serve everyone lots of gassy foods like cabbage and bean stew so that the whole place stinks (and just remind yourself that it’s only temporary and that the ends justify the means).

4) Talk very loudly about the last guest that stayed with you who disappeared and no one has heard from since. And then comment about how well your tulips are growing, at the edge of your backyard, this year.

3) Start making out with your partner on the living room couch while your guest is  sitting next to you reading the newspaper.

2) Give them a key to the front door, but make sure it’s the wrong one.

1) Get a nice big shaggy hairy dog and let it sleep at the end of their bed.