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HIDE! It’s Mr. Annoying Guest At The Door!

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.


Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Lo June 24, 2013, 9:31 am

    This is story is really funny!

    I think that if that’s the best they could do then kudos to them for doing it. I certainly understand being paralyzed by politeness to the point of letting oneself be inconvenienced. Happens to me all the time.

    Points for ingenuity.

  • Jewel June 24, 2013, 9:40 am

    When my mother (now nearly 90) was a little girl, she vividly remembers her mother occasionally taking her by the hand and rushing upstairs for a game of “quiet as a mouse”. The game always coincided with the unexpected arrival of my Mom’s grandfather (her mother’s father-in-law). Apparently, he was known to have an abrasive personality, so my Mom’s mother dealt with him by pretending not to be home whenever he decided on an imprompto visit. The part of this story that tickles me is that my mother grew up on a farm in the middle of nowhere. There was nothing but unbroken miles of crops as far as the eye could see around their house. If they were pretending not to be home, where-oh-where did they think the grandfather would believe they’d gone??

  • gramma dishes June 24, 2013, 9:50 am

    I can’t help but wonder if they also had to at some point stop answering their phone when he called? 😉

  • Library Diva June 24, 2013, 9:56 am

    People who put you in the position of forcing you to hurt their feelings are so rude! Your home is not a coffee shop, not a library, not a public gathering space of any kind.

    Ann Landers once printed a memorable letter in response to a pair of newlyweds who had problems with in-laws just dropping by. He said that he knew this approach was not for everyone, but his mother-in-law would not take repeated hints or suggestions about unannounced visits. So he and his wife came to the door stark naked. That was the last unannounced visit they received from her!

  • siamesecat 2965 June 24, 2013, 10:04 am

    I think your parents handled it as well as they could have. They weren’t rude, they didn’t open the door and tell him to go away, and it seems that Mr. Hill eventually got the message.

  • Wowsers June 24, 2013, 10:23 am

    I think we should all start speaking up and telling others what we expect. I have a relative that never invited us over—ever. She one day asked me why I never came over and said it was becasue she had never invited me over. She proceeded to tell me that she did not have to invite me over, I should just drop in. I was really surprised so I kind of asked around, and it seems a lot of folks in her corner of the world think the same thing—that they shouldn’t have to invite you over that if you really want to see them, you will go straight to their house and visit. I wonder if this is an old-fashioned idea from the Sunday-visiting days when you would just go around and visit?

  • Miss-E June 24, 2013, 10:50 am

    Library Diva – I have a friend who always complains that his mother just walks into his room whenever she pleases even though he is over 18. I’ve told him that I think the best method is to allow her to catch him in an act of self-pleasure but he is too horrified at the idea of having to meet her eyes afterward.

  • Mae June 24, 2013, 10:51 am

    This story made me literally laugh out loud!

    I think we all have pretended not to be at home, at one time or another, when an unannounced visitor has shown up. When my family moved to our current neighborhood, my boss’s daughter would just show up at all times. Early in the morning on weekends, periodically throughout the day during the summer (I worked in the school system at the time), early in the evening when I was cooking supper, etc. The funny thing was, she wasn’t friends with my children; I have 2 boys and they barely knew her and did not enjoy her company. They tried to be friendly with her but she wasn’t interested in the things they liked and they were not interested in the things she liked. To be honest, we all found her to be annoying, presumptuous, and downright rude.

    She would always want to use our bathroom and she would be in there for an hour (seriously) and you could hear here rifling through the medicine cabinet and the cabinet under the sink. I did not want here prowling through our things and quite frankly, at our house since all she did was use the bathroom and make rude remarks about everything: the furniture, what shows were on the TV, what I was cooking, the kind of tissue paper we had in the bathrooms, etc. But it was the bosses daughter, so what to do? We finally decided to park the cars in the garage, cover the garage windows with black paper and pretend we were not home when she showed up.

    The first time we tried that, she went away after a few knocks on the door. Each time after that, she would bang on the door for 10 minutes, walk around trying to peer in the windows (we kept the shades drawn & the curtains closed) and she would try the door knobs! It was like being a prisoner in our own home! I tried to broach the subject with the boss and she said “Oh my princess just loves to visit you! She said you haven’t been home a lot lately. Are your kids in sports or something?” I don’t remember what I told her at the time but I knew that she would not take the news that her daughter needed to stop dropping by well, so I decided to try a different track- I caught the stepdad out one day and mentioned that daughter seemed to have a lot of time on her hands. He asked if she had been just showing up, staying too long and being a general pain. I said yes, but you know your wife is my boss so I don’t want to say or do anything to put my job in jeopardy. He said that we were not the first family she had terrorized (his exact word, not mine) and that he would take care of it. She hasn’t been back since and nothing happened job-wise.

    That was 10 years ago and I can joke about it now, but when is was happening, it was hell. My boys have had many friends to visit, drop by & stay for supper, spend the night, etc, but they are/were never annoying as that one child. They still have friends dropping by but they are respectful and don’t trash-talk us, our home, etc.

  • NostalgicGal June 24, 2013, 10:55 am

    Wowsers, that is another time; on just drop on in anytime…

    It’s sad to be prisoner in one’s own house, and kudos for OP’s family to hit the guest with a cluebyfour that they actually got it…. some just don’t get ‘boundaries’. (I had an ex like that; it took some determination to get his keyster off my couch and keep it off my couch….)

  • penguin tummy June 24, 2013, 10:55 am

    Thank goodness he finally got the hint! My sister in law has the same problem with her partner’s mother who drops around uninvited and doesn’t even knock on the door! She just lets herself in, as she has a key. She was meant to keep a key for emergencies, not everyday. Now they are too scared to relax or do anything in case she shows up. Quite odd!

  • Ergala June 24, 2013, 11:18 am

    I did this once…..I saw the guy driving down my road and I quickly dashed inside and hid in my bedroom with the door shut. I didn’t think he saw me since it was night and my outside light was off. He knocked for a good 15 minutes before giving up. 5 minutes later he left a message on my answering machine screaming about how rude I was to not answer the door and how I need to learn some manners. Since when am I required to open the door?

  • Shannan June 24, 2013, 11:31 am

    I had a destination wedding. After the ceremony, my mother had my change of clothes from when I had gone to the chapel to get ready. The next morning, she decided to bring it to me @ my hotel. We weren’t expecting her. When she knocked on the door, my husband asked who it was. When he opened the door after realizing it was her, she got a nice view of him in his underwear. My mother never dropped by unexpectedly again.

  • Kara June 24, 2013, 11:39 am

    Is it rude to simply not answer the door if you don’t want to? I sure hope not!

    I have used this technique of not answering the door to deal with door-to-door sales people, proselytizers from the church down the road, a certain ex-boyfriend who just wouldn’t stop trying to come by, and people I simply didn’t have the time or energy to deal with at the moment.

    I don’t think that I have ever gone so far as to turn off all of the lights and pretend to not be home. I just don’t open the door.

  • Fizgig June 24, 2013, 11:40 am

    I’ve had to hide from someone. When I lived in the dorms at college, a particularly clingy girl latched onto me. She lived directly upstairs from me, and really wouldn’t take no for an answer. Sometimes she’d call, and if I told her it wasn’t a good time to hang out, I was treated to a good 20-45 minutes of begging, insisting, and of course crying. She’d also show up unannounced, and if I told her she couldn’t come in, I got the in-person crying, which was even worse than the over the phone crying. If I didn’t answer the door, she’d try to get in herself. She’d try the knob for at least 5 minutes before giving up. I once woke u to her in my room, digging through my desk when I neglected to lock my door before going to sleep. I didn’t forget to lock my door after that! Everybody who came over to my room knew about her, and we’d usually keep the tv low, the talking quiet, and the lights low just in case. There was also hall check and mad dash to the bathroom if anyone needed to go while they were visiting.

    The biggest problem was that she was *so* fragile, and I mean that in every way possible. She had a lot of problems including an eating disorder, and she probably weighed less than 80 pounds. I always felt like I was going to break her if I told her “no”, she was *that* fragile looking. She was incredibly emotional as well. She was also really nice, so every time I made her cry(which was often and unavoidable), I felt *terrible*. If she heard about plans to do anything or go anywhere, she assumed she was invited. If she wasn’t, the person making the plans had to “break it to her”, which involved a lot of crying(of course).

  • MissyJ June 24, 2013, 2:20 pm

    I will not answer the door or phone if I don’t feel up to it, as I feel it’s for my convenience, not the caller. I have a neighbor who has a habit of dropping in and needing stuff but I told her right off the bat when we moved in that I have health problems and do not answer the door because I’m resting and my family knows I won’t always answer the phone for the same reason. People seem happy to comply with this because they know I’m not avoiding them, and I would never dream of dropping in on someone unexpectedly.

  • The Elf June 24, 2013, 3:30 pm

    I can understand this! While it’s best to have a polite spine and put the Mr. Hills of the world in their place, it’s hard to do so especially if politeness and hospitality are deeply ingrained in the culture. I’m glad it worked out in the end and Mr. Hill got the point.

  • Marozia June 24, 2013, 7:21 pm

    Perhaps it was for the best. At least Mr Hill rings now. Maybe you should get caller ID for the phone and if he calls and you don’t wish him to come over, at least you can see his number, then the rest is up to you.

  • Anonymous June 24, 2013, 8:07 pm

    >>People who put you in the position of forcing you to hurt their feelings are so rude! Your home is not a coffee shop, not a library, not a public gathering space of any kind.<<

    I think the best way to handle it is to phrase your wishes as a positive statement, so you're saying what you DO want. So, instead of "We don't want you here," you could say, "Dinner time is family time," for example.

  • Anonymous June 24, 2013, 8:10 pm

    @Fizgig–Did you and your friends ever talk to the R.A. about this girl?

  • Jaxsue June 24, 2013, 8:36 pm

    My dad was a minister and we lived in parsonages, so some of the church members considered it “their” home. People would drop by unannounced at all times of the day. We only had 1 car and no garage, so if the car was gone it likely meant that my parents were not home. However, many times I was home but I didn’t feel like messing with yet another interruption (trust me, it got old!). That didn’t stop people from banging on the door, jiggling the door handle to see if it was unlocked, and even peeking in windows. One time one lady was so insistent, going to several windows and doors, that I ended up huddled behind the sofa!

  • Cat June 24, 2013, 9:28 pm

    I never imagined so many people had problems with unwelcome callers. I don’t give keys to many people and, if someone used the key to drop in, I’d change the locks and not give them a new key.
    If someone comes to the door, it’s easy to have your keys in your hand and to say that you are just on your way out or have the dog on a leash and take a very long walk. You can also go outside if it’s daylight and say, “It’s great that you are here. I need help weeding the garden, cleaning the garage, painting the house, etc. ” If it’s dark, say, “My friend/mother-in-law/son who just got out of prison is on his/her way over. You vacuum the floor and I’ll change the sheets in the guest bedroom. Oh, and the dinner dishes need washing.” Be creative and make them feel they are very welcome to come help with your chores anytime.

  • JoW June 24, 2013, 9:44 pm

    I remember handling a pair of Mormon missionaries that way when I was in about kindergarden. Mid afternoon. Dad was at work. Mom didn’t want to deal with them so we all lay on the floor until they left. My brothers were about 3 and about 6 months.

  • Kali June 24, 2013, 10:08 pm

    I have this problem with housemates. I share with four guys, and they know I’m in here because they’re probably seen me walking to the kitchen or the bathroom five minutes before, or they can see my TV. They like my room because I have french doors to the garden, so they can stand inside while technically smoking outside.:/ I generally tell them that I’m just about to go to bed.

  • Pauline June 25, 2013, 1:15 am

    So you give a relative a key and they abuse it, barging in whenever they want? Change the locks! What price sanctuary?! Cheez!

  • Margaret June 25, 2013, 2:23 am

    Re: Cat – #21 — Apparently when I was young, my mom had a reputation that if you dropped by to visit us, you should expect to end up doing chores. This wasn’t (as far as I know) an attempt to keep people away. I think she just really needed help and as the oldest in her generation, was used to making everyone else do what she said!

  • keloe June 25, 2013, 3:32 am

    Annoying guests are not even a modern problem 🙂

    One of my favourite anecdotes is about an artist from a “good” family who, at the end of the 19th century, created a scandal by marrying a peasant’s daughter. (this is him: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/W%C5%82odzimierz_Tetmajer_ ) His wife apparently turned out to be a charming and intelligent woman, who was able to overcome any upbringing and educational differences between them. They lived in a thatched cottage some distance from the city and had a happy, harmonious life. After a while, it became a habit among the city elite to drive out of time and pay them an unannounced visit. In the end, they started posting one child as a lookout and if a carriage with guests seemed to be approaching, the entire family would go hide in the fields among the crops.

  • PHW June 25, 2013, 7:44 am

    I laughed at this story. I don’t know if calling ahead is an etiquette thing or not, but I never feel comfortable just dropping in at someone’s house unannouced.
    When I was a kid we had a front door with a half moon window at the top. From the stairs to the second floor I could get a good vantage point of who was at the door, so I could chose whether or not to answer it. We get a lot of solicitors (even now at my own home), especially around the dinner hour and some are very agressive. Once I ended up having to close the door in the person’s face since they wouldn’t leave and insisted I give them money. So now I often decide not to open the door and will direct my husband to do it if he asks (he is better at dealing with solictors then I am :)).

  • --Lia June 25, 2013, 8:07 am

    When a friend knocked at my small apartment door unexpectedly, I did the right thing and put down the phone long enough to tell her that I couldn’t invite her in because I was on the phone. The next time I saw her, she quite angrily told me that I was rude. Apparently in her book, friends in person take precedence over those on the phone. In my way of looking at things, that long distance call was scheduled and something I’d been looking forward to. Maybe I should say that in her book, she takes precedence over everyone else. Whatever. My only point is that you’d be surprised how differently people look at this situation.

  • psyche June 25, 2013, 9:47 am

    This reminds me of a Home Improvement where the mother makes one of the sons invite an annoying classmate of that particular son under the rationale that the kid must not be as bad as the son is claiming.

    Well, it turns out the son was right. Annoying Classmate is one of those kids who is no doubt destined to be That Guy at parties people avoid at all costs. He doesn’t know when to shut up, he comes over when he feels like it, he doesn’t clean up after himself and to make matters worse, he says some things which seem to imply that his single mother finds him annoying as well, and foists her kid on the first person who seems to want to put up with him. In the end, the entire family sees him coming up the driveway and hides. His mother, he announces through the door, gave Annoying Classmate permission to sleepover at the family’s house for a week. Because of the kid’s lack of a “filter”, the mom and dad got into big trouble socially, so needless to say, the episode ends with even the parents horrified at the kid’s announcement.

  • JaneyD June 25, 2013, 10:01 am

    Unless he or she is an old friend (they are always welcome and may stay as long as they like), my solution is to go outside and stand with a bored look for five minutes, then say, “Oh, look how late it is, I have to get back to (fill in the blank), be sure to call when you want us to come to your place!” and slam the door hard.

    Of course, in one case (when I was married) the unwanted caller interrupted at a bad time and we both answered in hastily pulled on bathrobes, mussed hair and bare feet, breathing hard and glaring. He never returned.

    • Linda March 17, 2014, 9:32 pm

      Your story reminded me of a wonderfully amusing story of my husband’s late uncle. Early one bright morning the doorbell rang. Uncle “Charlie” was alone in the house since Aunt “Gladys” was out doing some early errands. He opened the door, and there, in her flowered hat and bright smile stood a woman from the local church they attended. Now uncle “Charlie” was just out of bed, hair askew, unshaven and holding the family dog to keep it from running out the door. Church lady says “You must be Mr. _____.” Uncle says, “No, I’m just a friend of Mrs. ____.”

  • Shalamar June 25, 2013, 10:22 am

    I’d be lying if I said I’ve never hidden in my own house to deter an unwanted, uninvited guest …

    When I was living in my first house, my in-laws (at the time – I later divorced their son) decided that my garden was a disgrace and that they would help me get it in shape. Now, I hate gardening, and I told them so. “I don’t want to do that. Please don’t bother.” They seemed to think that I was just being coy, or perhaps they couldn’t fathom someone not enjoying gardening (my then-MIL was an avid gardener). So, one evening, they showed up unexpectedly at my door, obviously dressed for several hours of yardwork. And I refused to open the door. They might have guessed that I was home, but frankly, I didn’t care – I hadn’t invited them, I’d done everything I could to put them off, and in my opinion, THEY were being rude by showing up anyway. After ten minutes of fruitlessly ringing the doorbell, they finally went away, and they never offered their gardening services again.

  • Angela June 25, 2013, 10:38 am

    I remember a story of a young newlywed couple and the wife’s mother and sister dropped in randomly, expecting to be received and entertained. Finally the couple had had enough. They saw the mom’s car pull in. They snuck to the front door before she knocked, and pretended they had become overcome with passion right then and there, on the other side of the front door. They heard the footsteps stop, walk away and they never got a surprise visit again.

    Fizgig: I teach at a college and this situation is a recurrent one that I deplore. I try to get any and all parties to go to the counseling center for help or advice. Students like the one you describe can have a devastating effect on other students and can in fact be very manipulative. Supporting friends is great, but a college student shouldn’t be put in the position of feeling responsible for someone else’s emotional life, especially when he or she didn’t volunteer for it.

  • Livvy17 June 25, 2013, 1:32 pm

    @Cat – I love your solution.

    We don’t generally have a problem with uninvited friends or family, thank goodness. Certainly, I don’t feel obligated to open the door for anyone else. My husband is pretty bold – even when he’s on the couch, in full view from the large picture window next to our front door, he will not answer the door when it’s a solicitor. I can’t do it, but he feels zero guilt about refusing to engage a stranger at our door.

  • Angel June 25, 2013, 2:19 pm

    My favorite family drop in story: my father’s family had a habit of dropping in whenever they wanted. Because my mom would often keep the front door unlocked, it made it all the more easy for them to walk in. One morning around 10 or 11 am my mom was taking a shower while I was napping (I was probably about 1 or 2 at the time) and my mom doesn’t own a robe nor has she ever put one on. Anyway she was walking from the bathroom door to the bedroom in the buff with a towel on her head and just as she did this, my dad’s older brother walked in. He was so rattled that he never came over without calling again. My mom was not even phased–her position was, serves him right for not knocking first. Hey at least the guy in the OP’s story knocked and gave the family the opportunity to hide 🙂

  • denise June 25, 2013, 7:02 pm

    I can’t believe so many people will knock for so long. That by itself is rude. I knock once or twice, might ring a bell and then I’m gone. Takes about four minutes total. I know you need to give people time to answer but then get out of there. So creepy, I would never peek in someone’s window.

  • Fizgig June 25, 2013, 7:35 pm

    The situation in the dorm was a really bad one for me. I wasn’t the first person she had latched on to either. Originally, another friend of mine was her preferred target, but when that friend moved out of the dorm, I became her favorite person.

    The biggest problem was that it was obvious to anyone who looked at her that she had severe emotional issues. She had been hospitalized for her eating disorder multiple times, and she was *so* fragile in every way possible. The normal ways of handling this technically were options, but I know she wouldn’t have handled it well. She’d have probably ended up back in the hospital again if I had directly confronted her, even if I had done my best to do it nicely. There was also the real possibility that she’d become suicidal. She was just not well, and I felt *terrible* doing anything that hurt her. Honestly, she probably shouldn’t have been cleared to go to college. She really wasn’t equipped to handle it at that time.

    Maybe she was conscious of what she was doing, maybe she wasn’t. She could very well have been doing this on purpose to manipulate me. Either way, I couldn’t deal with the guilt that I would’ve felt if I had said something and she did end up in the hospital again, or heaven forbid tried to kill herself. I know I wasn’t the cause of her problem, and that really her issues had nothing to do with me at all. I knew *exactly* who was after meeting her family, and I’m really surprised that nobody tried to fix the issue after all those stays in the hospital. It was glaringly obvious what was going on, even to an outsider like myself. Even if I didn’t have any reason to feel responsible for this, as soon as she started crying the guilt kicked in.

    I was not aware of any sort of place I could go to get help for this. They did have some sort of mediation thing for roommates, but I had no idea where to go to try that(and she wasn’t my roommate – thank goodness for that!), or if they even had something for my situation. The RA was useless. I spoke to her once the day I moved in, and occasionally saw her in the bathroom after that. I’m not even sure if she was still the RA when I started having this problem. It got really bad my second year in the dorm, and there might have been a different RA who never introduced herself to me.

    My solution was to avoid her as much as possible, and then move out at the end of the year. Once the easy access to me ended, so did her visits. I hope she eventually found the help she needed and got her problems under control.

  • Anonymous June 25, 2013, 11:23 pm

    Wow, Fizgig……..it sounds like you were really stuck between a rock and a hard place. As for problems with bad R.A.’s, I’ve heard a lot of those, but I haven’t encountered very many. I went to university myself, and I lived in various student residence set-ups (regular residence building with single rooms, apartment-style, share house), and most of the R.A.’s we had were pretty good. At one point, I even became an R.A./mentor myself, and I made a point of being involved, and on top of things, and most people liked me, and felt they could come to me with whatever was on their minds. I can’t think of any place that’d allow a student to get all the “perks” of a leadership position (free or reduced rent, nicer room, etc.), without actually fulfilling that position properly. As for “something for your situation,” did the university not have a counselling office, or at least a health centre? Even if they couldn’t discuss another student with you, they surely could have referred you somewhere. When did all of this happen? I started my first round of university in 2003, at a fairly small and “holistic” university, so maybe that’s why my experience was so different from yours.

  • Pen^2 June 26, 2013, 7:20 am

    What a funny way of getting rid of a crashing bore!

    I would like to point out that the trouble with this method is that it can backfire horribly. I was once a prisoner in my own home for the best part of 24 hours due to this, you see. A relative whom I had cut off due to the increasing level of toxicity (physical assault, blackmail, AND theft–yes I know I should have cut them sooner) turned up one day out of the blue to “sort out.” My spouse and I elected to pretend we weren’t home and sit in silence until they gave up. Unfortunately, this didn’t work, and eventually, the relative started damaging the property and breaking in through our windows.

    We were in a rural area at the time, with poor police coverage. When the police finally did arrive, they sided with the relative and flat-out refused to help us unless I apologised to the relative for making them break into our home. No, I’m not kidding. I never would have believed the police could be so bad until I experienced it myself.

    Although it ultimately did make the relative go away, it took several hours of us untying the scores of knotted lies fed to the police while we had been trapped indoors and the relative was chatting away merrily with various deceptions. At one point I had to prove I wasn’t a kidnap victim.

    We now make a point of living in places with fewer access points, proper police, sleep with the everything locked including the bedroom door, and we keep a baseball bat under the bed.

    This is a funny story, but don’t try this method with someone who is properly out to get you.

  • Shannon June 26, 2013, 11:16 am

    One of my best friends lives in the US, but was born and raised in Bangladesh. Her parent’s friends do this all the time as well. She’s also expected to drop everything to make sure the house is clean and food is ready to serve if they *happen* to call in advance. Usually they don’t.

  • Fiona June 26, 2013, 4:20 pm

    Hee, hee, I love these stories! Anybody read the comic strip “The Broons”? The family has an annoying aunt that drops in and regales them with graphic details about her health problems. One day they end up with their backs against the wall, so they are not visible from the window, when they hear a horrifying rattle of keys and Annoying Aunt enters the apartment.
    It turns out “Pa Broon” forgot the keys in the door! They feebly try to explain “Er, well, we thought the wallpaper was falling down off the wall, so we were all holding it up” and of course Annoying Aunt begins telling the story of one of her many operations.

  • NostalgicGal June 27, 2013, 12:08 am

    Owie, Pen2

    I may live rural/small town, but I know almost all my law enforcement (except a few highway patrol that rotate on being posted here) and I would not have the issues you did. Someone breaks my window, I could always call a FRIEND if I needed to round up some law enforcement; and we do have 911 though I’d probably call the ‘long number’ and tell my friend the dispatcher why I needed some of the Finest dispatched post haste. And would see some shortly. I live in a Make My Day state. You break my window and stick a body part in, I can shoot you dead. I no longer have to be cornered with no retreat before I can shoot you.

    I hope Pen2 you also have a restraining order on that relative….

  • PM June 27, 2013, 6:05 pm

    @Fizgig, I totally sympathize. My sister and I (and my daughter for that matter) seem to attract that sort of personality. Which is weird because I have become pretty hard-nosed when it comes to needy personalities. But when I was in college, my roommate and I attracted the “friendship” of a needy girl in our group of friends. “Allie” always had some outlandish, dramatic story that was leading to enormous personal stress and a near “break down” for her. And if Allie didn’t get our immediate and total attention, she was sure she would just fall apart, drop out of school and her life would be ruined. And then she wold probably do something drastic to herself. But no pressure or anything.

    And it usually meant our cancelling any plans that we had and staying home to let Allie talk things out. (Read: Hours of listening to her cry about the crisis of the week, which culiminated in her demanding to sleep in our room.) This always seemed to happened on Thursday and Friday nights, which were the big socializing nights on our campus. And if we managed to “sneak out” on dates, we started getting calls on our phones/pagers, demanding that we come home to help Allie deal with whatever crisis she was having. And then, she started hinting that she was having crises over the weekend, when my roommate and I went home to visit our parent, so maybe we shouldn’t leave campus, because who knew what could happen while we were gone?

    Roommate and I tried to be sneaky and avoiding her and it wasn’t working. Because our avoidance because another one of her crises and she just didn’t knoooooow what she would dooooo without our support. So Roommate and I sat down and talked about these crises and the pattern they were forming.

    A) Always on “socializing” nights when Allie was lonliest because she didn’t have any other friends.

    B) Pulling us away from our significant others (dates) and family (weekend visits), because she didn’t like us having outside interests.

    C) The crisis stories were becoming more and more unbelievable. It started with believable stories – her mother had a life-threatening infection, her father was having substance abuse issues, and the progressed to more outlandish things like her sister being on a mission trip in a foreign country and kidnapped by a local militant group. But mysteriously, these crises never seemed to have a final outcome. Her mother never recovered or passed away. Her father never went to rehab. Her sister was never rescued from the militant group. And if you asked her about those situations later, she would say, “Oh, mom/dad/sis is fine.” and drop the subject.

    So we decided that our door was no longer open to Allie. If she came by, we either pretended not to be home or told her we were on our way out or studying. If she called or page, the call went unanswered. She escalated and said she was probably going to drop out of school or hurt herself because no one loved her. We told her that if she really felt that way, she needed to go to student counseling services. And we offered to go to the RA with her to discuss these issues. She made a sour face and walked away. She tried to re-establish the pattern a few more times before she figured out that we weren’t having it.

    It was deeply unpleasant, but it taught me a lot about user and how to get rid of them.

  • crella June 28, 2013, 9:14 am

    “I can’t believe so many people will knock for so long.”

    This type of person probably has this happen to them pretty often, or they caught someone hiding from them once, and they assume everyone is. I’d think they’d get the hint…

  • PM June 28, 2013, 3:26 pm

    crella, I think it eventually becomes more about winning and less about getting it. If the unwanted guest gets the person to open the door, he or she wins. If not, they lose. And these personalities don’t like to lose.

  • NostalgicGal November 25, 2013, 1:20 am

    I had one … friend in a club I’d belonged to and hadn’t seen in a few years… happened to be in town. I did not know this. I suffered with crippling headaches (and was getting treatment and PT to fix what was wrong; but there were times I would have to take the painkillers (which they would never give me enough of so they were hoarded for as long as I could stand it) and literally crawl under a rock and pass out. At least the pain would go away for awhile, I would sleep finally for awhile, and feel better for a short time.

    Landlord had remodeling work being done on my apartment as well so I can barely use the toilet and sleep in there at night (middle of 3 weeks during summer, I did get reduced rent). It was after a long day; workmen were gone and I’d JUST taken the painkillers and she shows up at the landing, WITH her 3 year old son. Unannounced. My eyes are crossed, her friend she was seeing had dropped her off and zoomed away before I made it down those stairs (I’m surprised I didn’t go down the stairs on my face, and this is before cellphones everywhere.) I vaguely remember leaning on the door; I couldn’t even get enough coherency to take her a few blocks down the street to a coffeeshop at least; I was in a pain and drug coma and couldn’t pass out because. She realized that she was stuck in a bad place and so was I; and finally the friend showed up and collected her again. Her son was totally solid gold and behaved, he was the best kid.

    My friend said her friend apologized profusely for having larked off, she apparently never again took off on anyone until she knew things were okay OR the person had gotten in without problems. My friend also knew how bad off I was, that my place was torn up (roof and ceiling repair and window replacement, you could see some from outside) and if she’d had any other recourse she would have left me to pass out as I badly needed.

  • NostalgicGal January 10, 2016, 6:44 pm

    One I did recently and might be a 180 to this thread. We have southern black widows, brown widows and brown recluse here. Every fall comes the night (and I’ve been prepping for a few weeks usually) to bring in the plants for the winter. I start early afternoon and am usually done around dark. No matter how I try I will probably get one fat mature black widow in hiding under pot rim or tray edge. This pass no exception, and I caught her in a 6 oz babyfood jar. If you smush a spider it’s much harder to identify. I had just lidded jar in one hand, picked up the can of raid to give a few pre-emptive squirts; and some people with tambourines from a local evangelical church had come to the front porch to recruit. I come barreling out the door and they parted for me, and they are curious about the raid and the jar, so I held up the jar. “I’m just bringing in the plants because it’s going to freeze. She was in the plants. Want to come in and help me look for any more (shaking up the raid can). My porch deck was suddenly EMPTY. They have not been by since. (yes I did find two more still cold and slow and sprayed them to a short demise) I had caught the one because the local high school had wanted one for vo-ag bug ID contest they were preparing for. Poor teacher, I presented her with a still live one.