Right off the bat, establish strict guest rules. They seem egregious, and that’s because they are. But this is how we all get through the summer never discussing money or being secretly angry for letting someone’s unsuspecting guest mooch. Each bedroom has a rate, each guest has a flat rate, and that rate is assigned, calculated, and spreadsheeted before the summer starts — everyone pays. These rules are annoying but effective, and I don’t know about you, but I’m not interested in fighting with friends over money.
Bring food for others, prepare said food between lunch and dinner, right when people get snacky (Gigi taught me that) — people love the person who brings the snacks. But beware, when you get the gourmet salsa and chocolate covered pretzels for yourself, act like auntie Sarah and hide it in the salad spinner. You’re worth it.
Group dinners are tricky. When the bill comes, your friends will go from casually chatting to full on accountants. You have two types of people now sitting with you — your splitters-evenly and your itemizers. I’m not going to comment on this any further because I’ve got friends on both sides of the isle, and you know I’m nothing if not bi-partisan.
Beach towels. Everyone forgets them and everyone needs them. If you’ve got a pool, floats are a must. They’re fun. Everyone thinks they’re too serious to get into a glazed donut float until they’re face-to-face with one after three white claws. Oh white claws.
Bring a book! It’s fun to accomplish something other than cancelling (a new word I learned) a case of sparkling rosé. I chose to read Southern Lady Code by Helen Ellis and absolutely tore through it — so fabulous and funny.
Try to cook a few nights. Grill out, make some veggies, throw together a guac and cheese spread. Pasta is good but I can barely fit into my generously-sized swimsuits I Amazon Primed myself in July — so beware.
Don’t eat anyone else’s takeout.
Everyone has a different personality, but if you stick to the money rules, are explicitly clear about house rules before move-in, and speak up when you’re annoyed, it’ll be easy breezy beautiful. A good way to speak up about something you’re not happy with is to SED. Yep, I made you an acronym. Be S — SOBER when speaking about something you’re not happy with, E — EMPATHETIC in that everyone is not a mindreader and the person on the receiving end may not even know what’s going on, and D — DIRECT in that you go straight to the source.
This is totally just Sarah advice, but you MUST dress like a peacock. It’s fun. If you can’t wear it with your friends in paradise, where are you actually going to be able to? Like, actually? Mommy also loves a statement earring and a print, paired down with a scuffed sneaker.
Go out. Party with your friends. Go home early some nights and eat pizza on the sofa. Stay out late other nights. Do your own thing. Go with the group. This is your vacation so you need to do what YOU want. But good god lordy lord in heaven, no matter what you do, lock all the doors before everyone goes to sleep. I don’t care if you’re in the safest neighborhood in East Hampton, suburbia is terrifying and I’ve listened to far too much true crime.
Oh, one more acronym for the road. SMS — sunglasses, medication, and sunscreen.
With you struggling to get a four-seater on the LIRR,