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How to Offend Your Host in One Easy Step

Dear Rudy,

Several years ago, a friend from grad school was getting married near Washington, DC, and I offered my house as a place for two other school friends to stay with their husbands during the wedding. I had just bought the house, a small townhouse in an historic part of town, and it was a tight fit for all five of us -- especially with only one bathroom. But we managed, and it reminded us a bit of our student days.

On the morning of the wedding, the husband of one of my friends, who had just landed his first job working on Wall Street, took an interest in my house and asked me a number of questions about it. When he learned what I paid for the house, he turned to his wife, and said, "Wow, we could easily afford double that. We could get a house that would be big enough to have guests stay overnight."

I was shocked by this callous comment, and have never forgotten it (nor has the other couple). To say the least, I have not welcomed the man back in my house, even now that I have a much larger place -- with three baths and four guest rooms.




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