JCP : People actually pay you to come into their home?
Mrs Guest : Yes but really, it's not a huge amount considering what we offer. Not only do we show up, we bring a bottle of homemade wine, some wonderful homemade cheeses I make and we provide insightful conversation for the evening. People are able to show off their homes without worrying their friends and family are judging them. It doesn't sound like a lot but some people really enjoy going into the details of their home and friends/family are just no longer interested. This allows them to go into full detail, show their home off and strut their stuff.
Mr Guest : We've seen some lovely homes.
JCP : You mentioned special items that are placed out for you, what are these exactly and why do you get to use them?
Mrs Guest : Many homeowners have items such as soaps, towels, candies and such that aren't to be used by their regular family and friends. Normally these items are specifically hidden away until special occasions, and is basically money wasted until we show up.
Mr Guest : When we show up, all the fancy items that normally are hidden away are brought out and we enjoy them. We use the soaps in the bathrooms, wipe off our hands with the special towels and then light all the candles that have been designated for us. The homeowner is able to enjoy these items along with us, as well as enjoy the happiness it brings us when we visit.
JCP : What have been your favorite items?
Mrs Guest : I really like the little soaps. I once found an intricately carved cat soap that even I felt bad using. It was so cute and smelled like green apples. The host told me he had found it at a specialty bath shop and had invited us over specifically to see it get used.
Mr Guest : Some of the older folks have special rooms where no one but us are allowed in. Family members and friends are not allowed to hang out in there but when we're there, everyone can pile in and have a good time. I like seeing what items they've put in the rooms and the stories that go with them.
JCP : Have you ever stolen anything?
Mrs Guest : Oh Lord no. That'd just be rude.
Mr Guest : Very rude. That's not what we're about at all. We're invited into these homes to enjoy these special items, not be greedy.
JCP : Have you noticed that this trend of having special items is decreasing or increasing?
Mrs Guest : It's stayed pretty steady but the items themselves are changing. There aren't as many decorative soaps left out anymore for us.
Mr Guest : Unless they're elderly usually. They still like those little soaps.
Mrs Guest : Yes, that's true. But mostly it's towels, wine and candles now. People buy so many candles and the nicest can get quite expensive so when those are left out it's a real treat. Not only do we get to light them for the first time, but after we've used them, the candle can then be shared by the rest of the household and their friends because it's no longer brand new. So not only do we appreciate the beautiful item, but provide a way for others to enjoy it. In ways, it's as if we've given permission to these people to use their own items in their home.
Mr Guest : Some of the wines we've tasted are simple exquisite and both we and those we've shared them with have been so excited to finally be able to enjoy them. If you wait too long for some special event to happen, you end up never drinking it and then your grand kids end up doing the same thing. It's nice to hold on to things of course but you have to allow yourself these moments in life to truly enjoy something special.
JCP : Seeing as you're used to new and wonderful things in other homes, what do you have in your own home? Do you go out and buy special soaps and towels for each day?
Mrs Guest : Actually at home we don't really buy many new things until we need them. We have a modest home, simple enough to make us happy but not too elaborate. We enjoy the finer things while sharing them with those who invite us over so we don't need them all the time.
Mr Guest : It wouldn't be special if we had them at home for ourselves.
JCP : How often do you visit others and do this?
Mrs Guest : Once or twice a week. Normally Friday and Saturday nights we're booked. The winters are busy with local events and the summer we travel around the world to visit anyone else.
Mrs Guest : Around holidays like thanksgiving and the winter holidays we're especially busy so book now!
JCP : That was my next question actually, how does one book you and how much does an evening with you both cost?
Mrs Guest : You can go to our website at guestwhoscomingtodinner.com and either book online or call us at the phone number listed. Our rates depend on the amount of time you want us there, if we'll be served dinner, where you live, transportation costs and so on. We have a built in calculator on the website to give estimates.
Mrs Guest : Just make sure you get it as GUESTwhoscomingtodinner.com, we've had a few people use the guess instead of guest. It was my idea for the website name, I thought it was clever but many people don't hear the difference in the words.
JCP : Thank you for the interview, do you have anything else you'd like to add?
Mrs Guest : You're welcome. Thank you for doing this interview, we look forward to seeing it online.
Mrs Guest : Yes, thank you. We'll have to do this again sometime. By the way, I lit the candle you had in the other room and it smells really nice. Cinnamon is one of my favorite scents. The red towels were nice too, I made sure to try them all out.
JCP : Who the hell said you could touch my stuff? GET OUT NOW BEFORE I KILL YOU.
Mrs & Mr Guest run away sobbing.