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|Written by Miss Smartypants|
|Monday, 20 February 2012 00:00|
Miss Smartypants is back, babies! It's time to ditch the q&a and talk about the real problem plaguing pretty much everyone these days: being a grown up (why do you think we have so many man-boy comedies?). The thing no one wants to tell you is that it ain't easy. The catch is that it's not easy in a variety of ways, many of them unexpected. Maybe one day we'll all be big boys and girls. Until then, each month Miss Smartypants will have quick tips to make things go a little more smoothly.
If you saw that pithy little article description, you probably came up with your own top 5 on the spot. Some of you went for safety, like a fire extinguisher, and others opted for practicality and a well-stocked tool box. Those things are important, too, but I'm not talking about what's important for you. I'm talking about what happens when other people come over. And, no, I'm not talking about guest towels and clean sheets. Stop guessing, will you? This is a list of stuff you missed. So get ready to shop, and I'll take care of the list.
1. Garbage Cans.
Yes, garbage cans. Plural. Sure, you have one in the kitchen, but what about the bathroom? What about the guest room? Hey, why not get crazy and toss one out in the living room? Why? Because people have things they need to throw out and wandering around your house with their garbage isn't exactly fun. Worse, they end up stuffing something like a dirty tissue in their pocket and carrying it home because they can't figure out where it goes (something I've actually had to do). Do everyone a favour and stuff a few little cans around the place. Don't make your guests work for it.2. Tissues.
February is part of cold and flu season, but allergies go all year round. So do sneezes and tears and all manner of little situations that need quick clean-up. It'd be a shame to make your guest run to the bathroom to find that all you've got going on is a roll of toilet paper. Stock up when the things go on sale, and keep a few boxes just lying around your place. You can even invest in a few box covers knitted by cute old ladies at church bazaars to make them into kitschy objets d'art if that does it for you.
3. Salt & Pepper Shakers.
By all means, sub that out for salt & pepper mills if you so please (and you should. Freshly ground pepper really does taste better). Regardless, you need to get some and put them out on the table because, as much as it pains me to say this, you are not as great a cook as you think you are. Well, you are, but not everyone has the same refined palate as you do, and you are going to have to accept that. Let 'em eat salt (and pepper).4. Hangers.
Your guests just walked in the door, so don't start out on the wrong foot. Don't make them put their coats on a bed. Hang them up. On hangers. In a closet. If you are short on space, a hall tree will do, but make sure you clear enough of your own coats off first. Those can go on the bed.
5. Notepads and pens.
If I look left or right in my apartment, I can see a bucket of pens. And next to those pens is a notepad. Big, small, lined, or sticky, it doesn't matter. What matters is the ability to write something down. Sure, lots of people don't write things down on actual paper with literal pens any more. But lots of people still do. Ask yourself if it's better to hand over the back of a receipt or if it's worth it to drop a dime at the dollar store for a three pack of spiral bounds. You should probably pick up some pens while you're there.
Start by jotting this list down, and you'll be well on your way to treating your guests right.
Got a topic idea for Miss Smartypants? Send it to advice[at]culturemagazine[dot]ca.
Miss Smartypants is just like your best friend if you have the kind of best friend who will tell you that you're wearing Bad Idea jeans, your partner's a douche, and who that guy was in that movie that time. And if your best friend won't do that for you, well, it's a good thing you've got Miss Smartypants.
Tags: advice, church bazaars make my day, home essentials, how to be a grown up, pass the pepper, repression