Uninvited Guests With Entitlement Mentality

by admin on May 15, 2018

Years ago, my husband and I lived in a different state from his old roommate, “Lorne.” Lorne and his wife, “Karen,” had a toddler son (“Andy”) at this time. We corresponded from time to time via phone and letter (this was in the days before cell phones and the Internet). Of course, sprinkled into our correspondence was the occasional “we really must get together sometime.” We meant it, of course, but we also wanted to plan for it. They had other ideas. We had visited them at their home once, and had discussed inviting them to see us but hadn’t actually done it yet, as we were both working new jobs and had just moved into our apartment and weren’t completely unpacked.

So along comes Memorial Day weekend. We made plans to go out on a neighbor’s boat on Memorial Day; the rest of the weekend was to be pretty much devoted to just sort of hanging out together (we were newlyweds at the time). We didn’t have anything really planned except for the boat trip, but we were also not prepared for Lorne’s phone call on the Thursday before that weekend, announcing that he and Karen and Andy were coming to see us for Memorial Day weekend! We tried to tell them that we weren’t prepared for company, but they actually got offended that we didn’t express delight at their impending visit. So—they came.

First thing that happened was Andy met our cat, “Milly.” Milly had never seen a small child, and Andy had never seen a cat, so for a moment they just stared at one another, and then suddenly Andy started screaming. Milly ran and hid and we didn’t see her for the rest of the weekend. Lorne was angry at us for failing to tell them we had a cat—how dare we let our baby frighten his child!

Because we didn’t have a lot of advance notice of their coming, we hadn’t really planned meals or activities or anything, but we did the best we could. Lorne complained about everything—he didn’t like that we didn’t have a guest room (we lived in a two-bedroom apartment, and one bedroom was basically an office). We didn’t have the kind of soda he liked to drink. On and on. Karen was paranoid about Andy—if he wasn’t directly in her line of sight, she panicked. Of course, Andy being a two-year-old, he was all over the map, and nothing untoward happened to him, but Karen just worried constantly. Oh, and lest I forget, our home was not child-proofed, so we got to hear about that as well.

We went out to dinner the night they arrived. When we entered the restaurant, the hostess smiled at us and said what hostesses have been saying forever: “Four and a half?” (referring to Andy). Karen snapped, “He’s not half a person, he’s a whole person! I hate when people do that!” The hostess, embarrassed, apologized and led us to a table. Karen felt the need to continue her rant about “half.” I get it, but seriously!

Karen and I did a little grocery shopping together the next day while the guys hung out and caught up. Naturally, Andy went with us, which was an experience for me as I didn’t have kids yet. I was not prepared for having to corral a toddler in the supermarket, but Karen refused to put him in the cart (“they’re dirty”) and she wouldn’t carry him because he was too big. I’m thinking she probably could have held his hand, but what did I know?

Anyway, we made the best of the weekend, and actually had a good time because we do like Lorne and Karen; we just weren’t prepared for a drop-in visit. We played some games and spent some time at the pool, etc. On Sunday, I suggested that we get some burgers and hot dogs, and go to the lake and cook out. That’s when it all went south. Lorne’s response to my suggestion? “Hot dogs. You guys got steak.”

True. When we went to visit them, at their invitation, we did eat steak that Lorne cooked on the grill. So what? How is that relevant? So I said to him, “First of all, we can’t afford steak. I’m sorry, but we can’t. Second of all, we were invited to your house. You guys just called and announced that you were coming. So, no, we don’t have steak. If you don’t want to eat burgers and dogs, just say so and we’ll find something else to do.” Or words to that effect. That irritated him, but we went ahead with the picnic and had a good time.

They left early on Monday morning, and we were still able to go to the lake with our friends. We still exchange Christmas cards with Lorne and Karen, but we haven’t actually laid eyes on them in ages. And have I mentioned that not once did they thank us for having them? Maybe that was because of my own rudeness about the steak, but who does stuff like this??? 0108-14

{ 46 comments… read them below or add one }

Dyan May 15, 2018 at 10:46 am

sorry I had a friend that did that to me once OH I will be in town I am coming to stay and see you…NO sorry I have plans, YOU can not come at this time..end of story ..

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Sarah May 15, 2018 at 10:53 am

When they called to announce they were coming I would have said “Oh, I’m sorry, but we have other plans for this weekend (even if the plans were just you and your husband hanging out together eating potato chips on the couch). “We’ll have to make PLANS to get together another time.”

I mean, seriously, what would they have done if you were working, not home, out of town, sick, etc? They would manage and in my opinion you should have left them to do so.

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DGS May 16, 2018 at 10:07 am

This. This, this. this.

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clairedelune May 16, 2018 at 12:42 pm

100% this.

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Lara May 16, 2018 at 11:31 pm

The problem is that people like this tend to say, “Oh, that’s okay, we’ll just tag along with whatever you’re doing!” And if you try to just go with a polite “That will not be possible,” they demand to know why. And they’ll promise not to be any trouble, and say that they’ve already made all the arrangements and have their bags packed, and generally make it extremely hard to say no to them without coming out and saying “We don’t want to see you!” And that could lead to the end of the friendship. Since OP and her husband obviously valued their friendship, they weren’t willing to do that. Some people are just really hard to say no to.

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Adelaide May 15, 2018 at 11:05 am

This is one of those “Your problems after a certain point are your fault” posts for the OP. You should have either drawn a more firm line in the sand during your initial phone call, or not have opened up your house and weekend to uninvited guests when they showed up. They were rude, but you enabled them all weekend by acting as if it was your responsibility to treat them like invited guests. I’ve actually stood outside of my own closed apartment door talking to a friend (after previously telling her it wasn’t a good time to come over) until she actually left. We’re still friends, but she (and all my other friends) know that sort of “We’re already here, we might as well come in” behavior doesn’t fly with me.

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NostalgicGal May 15, 2018 at 8:19 pm

I was under treatment for old whiplash issues and could get killer headaches that they would never give enough medication for, so it would be hoarded until I was almost dead, take a dose, and crawl under a rock and get some sleep maybe… I had just taken a dose and get a knock… almost fall down the 17 step flight of stairs to the landing to find a friend, out of the blue, and her 2 1/2 year old son. I had my unit ripped up from building repair and could barely sleep in it at night at the time… and the ones that had brought her had merrily zoomed off. Didn’t call me or anything. She realized something was seriously wrong. I sort of remember standing outside the building with her-we couldn’t go anywhere because of her friend supposed to pick her up. Her son was totally solid gold though, he behaved very well. The friend finally came to pick her up, and I vaguely remember crawling up the stairs. I woke up on the floor inside my door the next morning… days before cellphones really happened so this was a disconnect on so many levels. We met again about a year later and she said her other friend was mortified and swore never again to drive off on someone like that EVER again. I showed her pictures of my basically gutted place and agreed that was not any place to bring company for any reason (I should have been given a motel for that week, I did get a rent reduction–but she would have been left to stand in front of the building then for those two or so hours-the other gal basically drove off as soon as the car door closed) Tragedy of errors. Leaving a sign on the door, was beyond my ability and she didn’t think of it either… to relocate a bit down the ways. And I seriously doubted I could have walked the two blocks. [moral, call ahead, please call ahead and if you’re giving a lift WAIT and find out if there’s an issue, always!]

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Anonymous May 16, 2018 at 1:24 pm

I wouldn’t go that far, but I definitely see this as an Assertiveness Heck story. Lorne and Karen were rude (Andy gets a pass because he’s a toddler and didn’t know better), but the OP never actually said “no” to them visiting. I think this whole thing could have been avoided by telling Lorne and Karen what they DID want; not what they didn’t. So, something like, “Oh, what a shame; I wish you’d asked sooner. We can’t have company this weekend, because we’re going on a boat trip with Meryl and Murgatroid,” rather than, “We don’t want you visiting unannounced.” The first statement could have been followed up with, “But we’d love to meet up with you for dinner the next time you’re in town.” Then, they could have followed through and gone on the boat trip, and Lorne and Karen would have arrived to an empty, locked house, and they would have had no one to blame but themselves. I don’t blame the OP and her husband, because I can see them not wanting to upset their friends, but having plans for Memorial Day weekend, the Thursday before the weekend, isn’t something that reasonable people should get upset over.

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MelEtiquette May 15, 2018 at 11:17 am

Lorne and Karen do not sound like pleasant people, but I wonder if you were hyperfocused on all the bad behavior because you felt so put out by their imposition. Which is completely justified, by the way, but I can’t imagine that they were as unpleasant as you have made them out to be or you would not have been friends with them in the first place. Although, annual Christmas card exchange aside, it sounds like you are no longer friends.

Lorne was obviously rude with the steak comment, but so were you OP, and you know that. Your reaction probably would have been my reaction as well, but perhaps a “you’re welcome to bring steak to the cookout if that is what you prefer” and then a bean dip to a different topic may have avoided sore feelings. I assume, from the information about the grocery shopping trip, that you prepared several meals for them during their stay, and while you do have a certain obligation to honor dietary restrictions, you should feel in no way bullied into serving a meal that is beyond your financial means.

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Dee May 15, 2018 at 6:39 pm

MelEtiquette – OP had NO obligation to honour any dietary restrictions, let alone cook any of their meals. She never invited these people to her home and she never offered to accommodate them, in any way, shape or form. They simply demanded it of her. That she did as much as she did is more than anyone should be expected to do. But she was never obligated to serve these people, and had they shown any character they would have prepared all the meals and treated OP and her hubby to at least one meal out.

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Kheldarson May 15, 2018 at 11:25 am

OP, you were not rude about the steak. Do not feel bad for telling him no on the steak. You handlee yourself well for having uninvited guests raid your home. They shouldve been on their best behavior for surprising you!

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AS May 15, 2018 at 11:28 am

I am glad that you gave a piece of your mind – as long as you were not terribly rude about it. They did need to hear it from someone, and who better than a good friend?

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Michelle May 15, 2018 at 11:30 am

Wow. I think you did the best you could with no advance notice that they were coming. I probably would not have been able to hold my patience as long as you did. All the complaining and unnecessary drama at the restaurant would have driven me mad.

The only other thing you could have done was pretty much refuse their visit with one of the phrases I learned from this site “I cannot accommodate your request” or “That will not be possible”, repeated as many times as necessary, even if they get offended. I mean really, you decide to visit someone without proper notice on a holiday weekend expecting accommodations, food and activities, complain the whole time because they don’t have what you like, are not getting steak and kick up a fuss over a innocent remark by a server in a restaurant and you have the gall to be offended? Good riddance I say.

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mark132 May 15, 2018 at 11:35 am

Any more when I visit people I stay in a hotel. This includes family most of the time. I need some separation. It’s just too exhausting otherwise.

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lakey May 15, 2018 at 11:49 am

I understand your frustration at people coming for a weekend visit with only 1 or 2 days notice. I’ve had to put a stop to that kind of thing with a couple of relatives. I solved the problem with both people by putting up with the visit, then dealing with it later when I wasn’t seething. In both cases I waited for a time when we were having a nice, relaxed conversation, and told them that I needed a certain amount of warning before a visit. In this way I was able to keep up a good relationship. It would be nice if you could mend fences with these people with some well thought out communication.

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Dee May 15, 2018 at 11:50 am

It’s difficult to be young and know how to deal with these kinds of boors the first time it happens, but there is nothing wrong with refusing surprise visits. You can just say that you already have plans that cannot be broken, and that you regret you didn’t know in advance because you’d have loved to visit, and maybe it could be scheduled for a later date when you are prepared and available. And then wait for the response, it will tell you all you need to know about whether the relationship will work out in the future.

It was a standard, a generation ago, that drop-in company be welcomed with open arms and all previous plans cancelled. That generation, while having ample means to communicate the desire to make a visit, didn’t yet see that as a necessity. And others were quite flexible, too, when their friends had drop-ins visiting. Many people made long-lasting acquaintances and friendships when they extended an invitation to their guests’ unexpected drop-in visitors. And so planned quiet dinner parties became impromptu larger gatherings of people the hosts had never met before. Weddings were attended by strangers unknown to the bride and groom and their families. And so on.

But I’ve been married for 30+ years and I’ve never encouraged drop-ins and mostly turned them away, as I abhor surprises. We all grew up watching our mothers scramble to be good hosts on the fly and we vowed not to live like that, knowing our home was open season for vacationers for months at a time, or having to throw impromptu dinner parties on busy work nights.

To each his own, but there is no excuse for imposing on others without prior communication and the receipt of an invitation, issued without duress. The days when people still remember Sunday visiting after church, traveling by horse and buggy, with no one owning a phone? Those people just don’t exist anymore, at least not in numbers of any consequence. Courtesy is easy to convey, so there’s no reason to accept the lack of it.

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pennywit May 15, 2018 at 2:47 pm

I think that it’s fine for immediate family in the area, or neighbors (provided I know them fairly well) to drop by for a visit. It’s quite another for a whole bustling family to come from out of town and expect me to put them up (unless they had an unexpected death in the family or similar, in which case I will let them stay in my home).

As for antiquity versus now, I wonder if changes in labor have anything to do with the modern custom. Once upon a time, a housewife might be at home and expect to play hostess; in today’s two-income families, this is more difficult, making drop-in visits less convenient.

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Dee May 16, 2018 at 1:42 am

I don’t think those old mindsets were influenced by SAHMs, since it’s a myth that most women didn’t work outside of the home in the “olden” days. All my female ancestors were farmers and had many, many children each, so they were busier than most “working” women are nowadays. And my mom worked full time, as did most moms. So unexpected company could very well drop-in when no one was home, but that didn’t deter them. It was the idea that you just packed up and went visiting, and if your intended hosts weren’t home then you tried again later or went to someone else’s home.

I don’t think it’s fine at all for anyone to drop in without an invitation, unless the host likes that sort of thing (my mom did). I don’t care if you’re my next-door neighbour or immediate family, I don’t want drop-ins. Whether the drop-ins are local or not doesn’t change the fact that my day is already scheduled, and I’m a SAHM who doesn’t work outside the home. To each her own but unless you know the person well, and that they really do enjoy spur-of-the-moment company, don’t do it. It’s rude and disruptive.

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pennywit May 18, 2018 at 8:46 am

It was one thought.

I do recall that when I was in college (in the 90s), people would drop by each others’ dorms a lot w/o calling ahead, especially if folks lived on the same floor. But, IMO, a dorm hall is a different situation from full-on “I live in my own space” adulthood.

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EchoGirl May 16, 2018 at 11:51 pm

I wonder if it just had more to do with the way people related to each other in centuries past. Consider that for much of history, the means for communicating over long distances were rudimentary (and the latest technology of the time was often cost-prohibitive), and there was no such thing as quick travel over long distances. As such, most people’s social circles would be made up of those who lived within 10-20 miles at the absolute most, and those people would have no reason to need to stay the night. Certainly no one would come visiting from across the country; if someone did happen to be passing through, the absolute lack of contact in the preceding years would probably make up for any inconvenience (and said visitor would be a fool not to have some kind of backup plan). Nowadays you can call pretty much anyone on a whim and you can cross the entire globe in less time than it used to take to cross the country, so we’re more likely to meet people who don’t live anywhere near us and to be able to keep in contact with them.

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Anonymous May 16, 2018 at 8:35 pm

It’s easier in this case, because the OP really did have plans–she and her husband had plans to go on a boat trip with another couple (I obviously don’t know their real names, but called them Meryl and Murgatroid in my previous post). So, presumably, Meryl and Murgatroid would be expecting OP and Mr. OP, and looking forward to seeing them, and if the boat trip was going to be for a full day, or longer (houseboat, camping trip, whatever), then they would have had to arrange food and beverages and other provisions for the OP and her husband, along with themselves. So, OP and Mr. OP already had a very good reason not to let Lorne and Karen invite themselves over–because that would have been rude to Meryl and Murgatroid, who’d originally made plans with them.

On the flip side, I can just imagine Meryl and Murgatroid writing in to E-Hell, saying, “We invited our friends OP and Mr. OP on a picnic/camping trip/whatever in our new boat, they cancelled at the last minute because some other friends of theirs showed up unannounced, and we ended up having twice as much food as we needed, and it went to waste! We like OP and Mr. OP, but we’re afraid to invite them to anything that requires planning, because what if they just ditch us at the last minute all over again?” A lot of us would probably agree with that, and then Meryl and Murgatroid would take that advice, and only invite OP and her husband to things where their presence or absence wouldn’t matter–large gatherings, or to tag along for something they were going to do anyway (like, say, Saturday morning yoga class), and if that’s how they socialized henceforth, their friendship would become sort of downgraded, from “weekend boat trip friends” to “casual hangout friends,” even if nobody was actively angry. Making and keeping friends as an adult (outside of a context where you see your friends ALL the time, like university) can be really difficult, without making it even more difficult by doing something rude like flaking on plans for a non-emergency reason.

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staceyizme May 15, 2018 at 11:57 am

You had a hard time and were put on the spot. But all that you had to do in order to prevent it was to say (and MEAN!) a firm “no, you cannot come this weekend”. Most parents would hesitate to drop in on their single children for a weekend without an invitation and clear plans. This was so far over the top/ off course that you really haven’t lost anything through the incidental no-contact. How can you really like someone who would override your agency to such an extent and then complain his way through his time with you? This couple is high-maintenance, self-centered and rude. They do not sound at all like the sort of people that you would want to build long term relationships with.

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NostalgicGal May 15, 2018 at 12:04 pm

At least they weren’t my great aunt and family… A few years running they found out when everyone’s vacations were, and showed up 1-2 weeks beforehand. Station wagon full of 7 kids. They’d move in, eat you out of house and home, and the kids were living terrors. Your vacation was shot because the money was spent on hosting them, and yes, they expected steak. Third year dad announced our vacation was a week later than we planned and we left 8 days early. The next morning they showed up and tried to break into our house-the neighbors finally booted them. They went after the next one, who was going to Disney, and they’d left early too… that year they missed everyone and decided we were beneath them and we didn’t see them again.

I’d say you were pretty decent and accommodating considering they called you with a day warning that they were showing and you already had your plans. Not everybody can trot out steak on short notice either…. at least you could feed them. You also can’t just flick a switch and make a place toddler proof, toddlers live to un-proof stuff. I’d say it was civil enough.

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mark132 May 15, 2018 at 2:45 pm

Wow, that sounds awful. Did anyone ever tell them get lost? I mean I can see it work one or two years, but I would hope someone would have told them, don’t show up again.

One year my uncle and his wife came out and visited us, I learned later my mom was furious about the rather awful things my uncle’s wife said about the kids from the first marriage. It’s over 30 years ago and both my Uncle and his wife are long buried, and it still angers her.

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NostalgicGal May 16, 2018 at 5:52 am

This was their third year of trying to be a descending horde of locusts. Hence this year everyone announced their vacations to be 1-2 weeks later than they were actually going to take them. If we weren’t there they couldn’t spend us into the poorhouse and have the kids break everything. We were the ‘first’ of the vacationers that year… and the ones going to Disney left shortly after we did or almost two weeks early. They’d saved for that vacation for a few years, no way were they going to have that one aborted… in all, there were three in a row they missed and too far in time to the next set of vacations so they went home and ‘disowned the lot of us’ and nobody was upset, trust me.

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Tan May 17, 2018 at 9:40 am

Sound like Uncle Frank in home alone… did this family ever try to join you going on vacation?

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Queen of Putrescence May 15, 2018 at 4:24 pm

I remember you telling that story before! What absolutely horrible people! So glad your Dad and relatives finally played them.

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ladyv21454 May 15, 2018 at 4:56 pm

“Tried to break into our house”? If I was one of your neighbors, I would have been calling 911 immediately!

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NostalgicGal May 16, 2018 at 5:46 am

It was the 60’s, it was in a small town, we didn’t have a city cop anymore. The neighbors finally did chase them off. We had left the day before and weren’t going to be back, so pack it up and keep going. Since you usually had to fill their tank to get rid of them, I wonder where they found the money to zig and zag about missing everyone that ‘left early’ for their vacations that year.

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Outdoor Girl May 15, 2018 at 12:14 pm

I’d have told them, ‘Sorry but we already have other plans that mean we will not be home. Please do not make the trip. What weekends later in the summer will work for you and we’ll set something up?’

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pennywit May 15, 2018 at 2:43 pm

When uninvited guests attempt to cross the moat into Pennywit Manor, I term them “invaders” and I treat them as such. If they have brought an army or guards with them, then they must contend with my archers and ballista. If these invaders did not bring their army, then I brand them, cast them out from my gates, and order my houndmaster and huntsmen to harry them as they depart my lands.

Of course, if they bring proper and sufficient tribute, then such guests are welcome as long as their retainers and guards leave their swords, bows, and spears in the gatehouse.

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ladyv21454 May 16, 2018 at 4:46 pm

pennywit, I don’t even know you, but I love you!

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Anonymous May 16, 2018 at 9:23 pm

Same here. What an awesome sense of humour. :’D

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Wild Irish Rose May 17, 2018 at 8:04 am

Pennywit, you don’t mind if I borrow this, do you?

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pennywit May 18, 2018 at 8:46 am

Go for it.

Ginger G May 15, 2018 at 2:57 pm

Sounds like Milly had the best idea of all, hiding until they left!

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Shannon May 15, 2018 at 3:05 pm

I can see being flummoxed when they invited themselves on zero notice. Like, who does that? Huh? In fact, they were probably counting on you being flummoxed and off kilter, so you wouldn’t say no. Some people genuinely believe that it’s better to ask forgiveness than permission because it lets them bulldoze through life.

But once the initial shock passes, it’s time to start speaking up. “We aren’t child-proofed, so if there’s stuff you want to do to make the place safer have at it.” “I understand you prefer steak, but that’s not in our budget.” Otherwise, you’ll hit a limit and go ballistic.

My dad would do something similar when he was alive – call me from a rest stop an hour away, announce he was visiting, and then show up to crash in my tiny studio apartment for an indeterminate amount of time. He would spend the visit assigning me chores, talking over me, and criticizing my housekeeping. It took years and some practice, but I was finally able to say things like, “It’s good to see you, but I need you gone by Wednesday,” or, “Of course the place is a mess, I didn’t know you were coming.”

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ladyv21454 May 16, 2018 at 4:48 pm

Unfortunately, his response to “Of course the place is a mess” would probably have been, “Your apartment should ALWAYS be clean and neat.”

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Shannon May 17, 2018 at 8:16 am

He tried that, sure, and I was like, “Well, if you don’t like the way I keep house you’re welcome to look for a hotel.”

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Bea May 15, 2018 at 3:17 pm

I don’t know why people want to put this on you for going ahead and accepting them as spur of the moment guests. If they had only dropped in without much notice this wouldn’t be a story at all.

Instead you were gracious and accepted them into your home and from the first time they arrived they started nitpicking and chastising you in your own home! It’s a weekend, tossing them out is an option of course but just standing up for yourself is just fine as well.

They acted like your cat attacked their toddler instead of just startling him for purely existing. I would know at that point the weekend was going to be a ride but would buckle up for a lot of “Sorry you feel that way, you’re welcome to hangout or leave whichever.”

The steak comment was tacky and you responded properly. Nobody gets to say “you owe me a meal of my choosing, priced up to whatever will fit my tastes!”. You have a hot dog and burger budget, that’s normal and not offensive to anyone who respects their friends. You didn’t feed them bread and water the entire time, they’re so entitled to lash out like that!

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JD May 16, 2018 at 8:35 am

I’ve accepted a few last minute “Guess who’s coming to dinner” visitors, but I have often regretted it. I don’t blame OP for gulping but saying okay — I’ve done it myself. I’ve learned to be very choosy about saying okay to anyone.
We had one old high school buddy of my husband’s call and say he was driving a truck through our town (he was a long-distance independent trucker) and could he stop by in a couple of hours? We said yes, and we had a delightful time. He ate a meal with us and left that evening, with good feelings all around. On the other hand, a relative of my husband’s called and asked if he could stop by for an evening meal, as he was near our town for a “hot shot” delivery he was making. We said yes and regretted it mightily. We thought he’d never leave, he was terrible company, and we had already told him we were going to an out-of-town service early the next morning and had to be up at 6 a.m. He had insisted he wasn’t going to stay the night, but hung around until 10 p.m., then said he guessed he could sleep in his truck at a rest stop. We let him do that.

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Goldie May 16, 2018 at 12:03 pm

I was one of the hosts from Hell in my last-minute-guest story. My ex-husband and I had met in college, were college sweethearts, and got married right after we both graduated. This happened a few months after I’d separated from him after 20 years together, I was living in an apartment with the kids, he stayed in the house and we were going through the (very amicable and peaceful) divorce. One day I checked my email and there was a message from STBX’s college roommate, who had also been a friend of mine in college. He was in a city 4ish hours from our area, on a long business trip from overseas, and had already bought the plane tickets to visit us the following weekend! He had no idea we were getting divorced. We hadn’t told any of the out-of-town friends yet. I let him know that in my response to his email, but he already had the tickets, and we decided he’d come anyway. I also had to tell the STBX, because Friend had only emailed me, on the assumption that he was messaging both of us as a couple. STBX and I were experienced hosts and did the best we could, STBX picked him up and dropped him off, he stayed with STBX, I cooked the food in my apartment and brought it over for every meal, etc. But it was so so awkward. STBX had too much to drink at dinner and said all the things you’d expect a guy to say when he’s in the middle of getting a divorce he never wanted. Then went upstairs and passed out at nine PM on a Saturday night. Friend and I sat there for a couple more hours talking, because I didn’t want to leave him alone at 9 PM. But eventually I had to go, because it wasn’t my house anymore and I felt odd being there. On top of everything else, it rained all weekend, so we couldn’t even take Friend sight-seeing or out to eat, or anywhere that would’ve been a distraction. All we could do is sit in STBX’s house and be awkward. Friend never visited again. We parted on good terms, but I never heard from him again. It’s been eight years and I still feel terrible. It was just the worst possible timing. And to be honest, had he not decided to pay us a surprise visit, we would’ve worked something out that would’ve made his visit better; or rescheduled the visit.

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dippy May 16, 2018 at 9:09 am

This whole thing could have been avoided if you had said “Oh, I’m sorry, we already have plans for the weekend! “

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Wild Irish Rose May 17, 2018 at 8:02 am

Really? Did you miss the part where OP said they tried to tell these boors that they weren’t prepared for company? I doubt this could have been avoided at all.

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Anonymous May 17, 2018 at 6:07 pm

I agree with both of you. Dippy is right that the OP did tell Lorne and Karen that they weren’t able to have visitors that weekend (apartment still being unpacked, and previous engagement for Memorial Day weekend), but Lorne and Karen wouldn’t take no for an answer, so that’s not the OP or her husband’s fault. The only thing they could have done differently, I think, would have been to just, leave anyway on the boating trip, as if Lorne and Karen hadn’t called. Then, if they complained about arriving to find the OP and her husband not home, they could have just said, “Oh, did you forget? We told you that we were going boating with Meryl and Murgatroid.” Then they could have added something about how excited Meryl and Murgatroid were to have them come along on the boating trip, and how rude it would have been for them to change their plans, and force Meryl and Murgatroid to adjust their plans at the last minute. Maybe Lorne and Karen would have “gotten” it, and realized that they were rude to throw a last-minute wrench in the OP and her husband’s plans, or maybe they would have just taken them at face value; that they didn’t want to be rude to their other friends who’d originally made plans with them. Either way, it might have helped the situation, and if it didn’t, well, I’m not sure I’d want to have friends who think they can just drop in for a weekend visit after I’ve already told them I’m going to be out.

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Anonymous May 16, 2018 at 2:25 pm

The other thing about the burgers and hot dogs versus steak is, I’m surprised that it didn’t occur to Lorne and Karen that steak for a cookout, with a TODDLER in tow, would have been a lot harder to manage logistically. Steak needs plates and cutlery (and usually the disposable kind isn’t strong enough), whereas hot dogs and hamburgers don’t really, and Andy, at two years old, probably would have turned his nose up at steak, so they probably would have had to get him hot dogs or something, which, of course, you can’t buy individually (remember the movie Father Of The Bride, with Steve Martin?) So, with that in mind, even if the OP and her husband did have a steak budget, I can see them wanting to go with hot dogs or hamburgers to take to the lake for a cookout, just because it’d be easier…..not that it’s any of Lorne and Karen’s business, but like I said, I’m surprised that they didn’t see that too, because they’re the ones who have to feed a toddler three times a day, and cart all of their toddler’s stuff with them whenever they take him anywhere, so I’m surprised that THEY didn’t suggest a toddler-friendly, picnic-friendly meal for a picnic with a toddler. A steak dinner in a house is a completely different animal (no pun intended) than a steak dinner on a portable grill at the lake.

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