Hamptons House Guests – Welcome or Not?

With opening ceremonies of the summer season underway, it’s time to take a look at who carried the guest torch last year. Second invite? You decide.

The Decorator 

This guest is simply not content with your summer house as you know it. He peddles ideas and must-do’s throughout his visit, insisting that the place has such potential, if only you’d embrace his vision. The touches you find charming—a paint-splattered art table turned kitchen island, the uneven, but skillfully restored oak staircase, a large wicker basket with beach towels at the base of said stairs that constitutes your child safety gate—he dismisses as dirty, broken, outright dangerous! He insists on the necessity of exterior door and window awnings, “A black and white stripe would be sharp!” oilcloth upholstered banquettes to replace the picnic table benches and a shaving mirror for the outdoor shower. As for landscaping, if you let him, he’d have the grounds looking like Balmoral by fall.

The Pastry Pusher

The first batch of baked goods arrives before dawn: fresh, deep-fried churros from Sag Harbor’s Espresso’s, which Pastry Pusher proclaims the beignets of the north. When you decline, he offers up the danish and muffins he bought to keep the solitary sticks company. Just hours later at Sylvester & Co., PP is assembling an assortment of cookies. You explain that one of the dense, chocolate-laden mounds is enough for four people, but he dismisses your math with a wave of his hand and a nod towards the carmelita’s—he’ll take half dozen. Next door, he grabs a bag of day-old muffins at the Golden Pear. “These will freeze beautifully!” he coos as he pulls out his credit card—does it offer pastry points? Dashing over to Division, he introduces himself to the owner of the new Sag Harbor Baking Co. and urgently picks out items two by two, like Noah shepherding animals onto the ark. By Sunday afternoon, the kitchen counter is a dessert dumpster, half-eaten brownies share Ziplocs with almond croissants. “Try more!” he encourages, finishing the last of a dill-cheddar scone (source: Mary’s Marvelous). For the fourth time in two days, you remind him that you’re sensitive to wheat.

The Hamptons Hopeful

An old friend wants to meet your new baby. She’s coming to the east coast and asks if you all might spend the weekend at your Hamptons house. She’s never been out east, and well… really misses you. You imagine a relaxing weekend of lounging and chatting, strolling and shopping and other baby-inclusive activities. But once there, she gives your newborn a squeeze and is off to get the full South Fork experience. Would you mind if she catches a yoga class? Goes for a run on the beach? Hits a happy hour? Nightclub?! Ooh…can you drive her to Montauk? She needs a rash guard. As her stay comes to an end, you offer to walk her to the Jitney (Translation: Leave now). “Nah, that’s OK,” she replies. “I’m just going to sit on a bench…I’m hoping to see a celebrity before I go.”

The Non-Weekender

Unlike other guests, this one demands virtually no time and energy of his host or hostess. He’s a weekday fixture, not there when you are, and not so much a guest as a neighbor-cum-house sitter-cum-trespasser. Often, your home is just a bathroom stop on his way from A to B. (Your husband did tell him about the hide-a-key after he mentioned peeing on the tomatoes.) But other times, he leaves subtle traces of his presence—a ruffled comforter, a damp bath towel, a diminished container of coconut sorbet. What’s ours is yours, non-weekender, but please, just flush.

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