Treat Your Housesitter Like a Guest

Dear Meg,
My husband and I are going to Europe soon and we are having a friend of my secretary’s housesit for us, take care of our cats, and do yardwork. I’m going to pay him, so I don’t think we should leave any food or other living supplies. My husband disagrees. Who’s righthere? We’ve got a platter of sashimi riding on this.
—Mary Sue

My Dear Mary Sue,
Tell your husband to put his wallet away and his gloat cap on. Good form dictates that you treat the person caring for your home and pets almost as well as you’d treat any other guest. Find out what this guy likes to eat and have plenty on hand. Leave appropriate reading material out for him, cash for emergencies, etc. Also, leave clear and precise instructions,contact information for when the unavoidable mishaps occur, and identifying Post-it notes on your remote control collection. You don’ t want to return to your beloved abode only to discover your microwave is somehow downloading audio blog bits and your LS48 VideoStage 5 is zapping a frozen burrito. It’s been known to happen. Have a good trip.
Love, Meg