(Dedicated to The Musings, exemplary models.)
1. Arrive late enough on a Friday evening that Mrs. Barton has time to cook up a feast, but not so late that no one can keep his/her eyes open for dinner, and, upon arrival, present Mrs. Barton with all of Dorothy Sayers's Lord Peter Wimsey and Harriet Vane novels.
2. Act as though it's perfectly normal for people to live in a house that might one day collapse from the weight of all the books and that is basically set up to provide as many comfy reading spots as possible.
3. Eagerly accept Dark and Stormys/glasses of Vampire wine as cocktails/dinner drinks.
4. Politely put up with Mrs. Barton's ghost obsession.
5. Despite Mr. Barton's declaration that they're one of the worst foods going, claim to like Brussels sprouts, especially the way Mrs. Barton has prepared them.
6. Be perfectly willing to engage in heated (but never unfriendly -- well, if you don't count constant interruption as "unfriendly") debates with Mr. and Mrs. Barton about religion/philosophy/politics/books/anything else about which everyone can disagree.
7. Claim that the traffic roaring up and down the Lincoln Hwy, which kept the Bartons up every night during the first month they lived here, didn't bother you at all and that you slept beautifully in the comfortable guest bed.
8. Enjoy the Amish sticky buns and six cups of coffee offered as breakfast.
9. Eagerly embark on a 5-mile walk through barren farmland on a blustery, bitterly cold winter's day, even if you don't really have the proper shoes for it (because Mrs. Barton fancies they're the Wordsworths entertaining their brilliant guests in the Lake District or something).
10. Humor Mr. and Mrs. Barton when they insist on dragging you into the Amish bookstore, basically just so Mrs. Barton can drool over all the stationery.
11. Humor Mrs. Barton a second time when, after the 5-mile walk and visit to the bookstore, she must eat now.
12. Contemplate splitting the cost of the world's most perfect ($4500) wooden and leather reading chair, discovered at a quilt shop (of all places) in Intercourse, PA and sharing it (chair spends 6 months a year in CT and six months a year in PA).
13. Be willing to do nothing more than sit around (in your choice of any of the comfy reading spots in the house) and read for a few hours in the afternoon while Mr. Barton finishes writing his sermon.
14. If you are Mr. Musing, allow Mr. and Mrs. Barton to treat you to a birthday dinner at the Lancaster Brewing Company (one of the Bartons' favorite haunts, which Mrs. Barton bets is haunted).
15. Allow yourself to be stalked and attacked by Mr. and Mrs. Barton's cat and still claim "he's such a nice cat."
16. Don't complain when left to fend for yourself on Sunday morning while the Bartons race off to church duties.
17. Promise to come back to visit again.