It’s time to enjoy the utmost Canadian summer pursuit – cottaging. But, dear reader, don’t pack your bags just yet. Before you jump in the car and head to your own slice of paradise, make sure that you follow the cottage code of conduct, and avoid committing any of the following faux pas.
Mr. Guitar Zero
Many will rhetorically ask, “What better a way to spend an evening than strumming a guitar and serenading your friends around the campfire?” Well, we hate to break it to those people, but there are actually lots of better ways to spend an evening. Most of us don’t have record contracts, and there’s a reason that we haven’t given up our day jobs. Your friends may be polite, but they definitely agree.
How To Avoid: We’re not saying you should leave the guitar at home, but don’t make yourself the main event. Pass it around and give everybody a go at it. Or, even better, leave it to the pros by putting that thing down and turning up the stereo.
Mr. Skinny Dip
While the lake does appear inviting and your clothes are beginning to become one with your skin, please refrain from making any rash decisions. If you’re suddenly in your birthday suit, gracefully swimming through cool and peaceful waters without a care in the world, know this: you’ve just committed a major cottage faux pas.
How To Avoid: Never forget the golden rule – friends don’t want to see friends naked. Dress lightly and wear a bathing suit at all times. Don’t even give temptation a chance to strike.
Mr. Charity Case
It might seem obvious, but the rules of hospitality and decorum dictate that you should take drinks and food to a friend’s cottage as a contribution and to avoid looking like a penny-pinching parasite. So do it!
How To Avoid: It’s simple, really. Bring stuff. For food, all it takes is a quick stop at the grocery store. Think burgers, hot dogs, and chips. As for the drinks, we suggest that you retrace your steps to where you picked up this magazine.
Mr. Cottage Crasher
Nope – not a movie starring Vince Vaughan and the blonde guy from Marley and Me. Cottage Crashers are a particularly troublesome species that appear uninvited and unexpected. They can ruin romantic weekends, bring irritating habits, and, if left untreated, can result in alienation and loss of friendship. You don’t want this. And your fellow cottagers don’t either.
How To Avoid: The best treatment for cottage crashers is prevention. Avoid bringing uninvited friends to your buddy’s cottage without the consent of the owner, and, whatever you do, don’t become a cottage crasher yourself.
All is well with the world – the sun is high in the sky and you’re working on an awesome tan. However, please be wary of the rays that you’re soaking in. Unfortunately, it seems that sunburns are something of a rite of passage that far too many of us go through summer after summer. Nothing can spoil a weekend at the cottage quicker than the searing, sizzling agony of a sunburn. And remember this: you’re not the only one who suffers. If your cottage crew wanted to spend a few days with a lobster, they’d book a flight to the East Coast.
How To Avoid: Don’t forget to pack and apply sun block, and dress appropriately for the weather. Otherwise, this summer, your friends will be toasting their marshmallows in front of you and not a campfire.