Because the service weren't creepy and awkward enough as it is, Airbnb is apparently planning to add home dining to its list of offered services.
The concept is simple: just like you can currently pay for a room in a creepy stranger's house with Airbnb, now you can also pay for said creepy stranger to serve you things which you will put in your mouth, because you are an adventurous world explorer/you have no sense of self-preservation/you enjoy a dining experience where people you don't know stare at you the entire time. Let's just say I see a lot of ways this can go horribly wrong.
Those of you who grew up with gourmet-quality cooks for parents probably think I'm being a little harsh here, and maybe that's true; I'm sure there are plenty of instances where people will have great experiences with this. Personally, though, I was incredibly confused about why anyone said the words "home-cooked meal" other than in the same hushed tones used for "Lord Voldemort" until I was 25. There's far worse than my experience out there, too: there are a LOT of people in this country who think themselves gourmands despite possessing culinary mastery on par with Drunk Amy Schumer.
Besides, even if the food were good, there's still plenty of ways it could go wrong, as HuffPo points out:
Here are just a few ways we dreamed up that this could all go very, very wrong:
- You show up and the people are AWKWARD. How do you politely escape?
- You show up, eat the meal, it's not good, and you feel like a terrible person because their food sucks.
- You show up, the place is dirty, and there's no way out.
- The host won't stop talking and you just want to chat to your friends/partner/spouse. AWKWARD and ANNOYING.
I'll add one — anyone who has ever complained about the cleanliness or health standards in a professional kitchen is a complete hypocrite if they ever use this service, because home kitchens are likely to be less sanitary than professional ones. Obviously, that's not a universal, but you're really telling me you'd trust a stranger who doesn't have to deal with health department oversight (which appears to be one of the few governmental agencies left that actually has any regulatory power) over a professional kitchen that will get shut down if anything's amiss?
Besides, dealing with strange people isn't exactly at the top of my to-do list as it is — at least in most situations, I can escape with a quick "hey, gotta go, Netflix is on" or "excuse me, I think my guinea pig may have exploded," or, in truly desperate situations, "OH CRAP, LOOK OVER THERE, IT'S BRUCE CAMPBELL FIGHTING A GIANT CRAWDAD!" I can't imagine being stuck dealing with awkward people with absolutely no way to escape.
Yeah, no thanks, Airbnb. I'm gonna pass.
Image via Ollyy/Shutterstock.