This happened in the Middle East. My family is Sri Lankan, and we were expatriates living there. Most of my parents’ friends were part of the big Sri Lankan community there, and they invited a couple of those friends to dinner one day. We’ll call them Mr Lake and Mr Hill. Mr Lake was a pleasant and polite guest, Mr Hill less so. He wasn’t much of a conversationalist, which would have been fine, except that at the dinner table he launched into a mini-rant about the failings of the current Sri Lankan ambassador.
The ambassador was Mr Lake’s cousin. They had different last names, so perhaps Mr Hill didn’t realize it, but anyway… awkward. After that my parents didn’t issue any more dinner invitations to Mr Hill.
Unfortunately Mr Hill seemed to think that one invitation meant he was always welcome at our apartment. He would show up every two weeks or so, exchange a few words with my parents and then sit in our living-room reading the newspaper or watching TV for a couple of hours before going home again. A lot of expatriates in the Middle East leave their families back in their home countries, so I could understand him being lonely and wanting to feel like part of a family, but we didn’t enjoy him taking up space in our house whenever he pleased. He never called before coming over, probably guessing that a family with two children would be home during the evening.
My parents never said anything to him about this habit. A traditional Asian culture usually doesn’t foster the direct approach, and my parents had a horror of being rude (or even being considered rude). One day, though, even they had enough. I think they were looking forward to a quiet evening when he rang the doorbell. No one was in the living-room, so the light was off. The conversation between my parents went something like this :
“What are we going to do?”
“Don’t let him in. If he thinks we’re not home, he’ll go away.”
(Mr Hill rings the bell again)
“But if he goes outside, he’ll see the kitchen light on and he’ll know we’re here.”
So my parents retired to their bedroom, along with me and my brother, and turned off all the lights. They opened the curtains in the bedroom so that we could at least see each other in the glow of the streetlights. And there we all sat in near-darkness for twenty minutes, prisoners in our own home, until Mr Hill got tired of ringing the bell and went away.
No, my parents never did grow a polite spine. But after that Mr Hill started calling before he came over. 0624-13
Well, that is certainly one way to handle a presumptuous guest who repeatedly shows up uninvited.