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Author Topic: Always having other plans hasn't given the needed hint- what to do now?  (Read 11810 times)

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zyrs

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A number of years back I was volunteering occasionally.  During those times I met an elderly couple who also volunteered in the same place.  We would see each other a few times a year during the volunteering.  Let's call them Richard and Elizabeth.  While the wife was ok I found the husband to be inappropriate and a control freak.   

The problem only crops up a few times a year, which is that we get a call from them asking if my wife and I would like to do something - go out to dinner, etc.  We are always unavailable, because I will not subject my wife to Richard.

To give you an idea, I went out to lunch with them once.  The entire meal Richard explained to me how I was eating the food incorrectly and I should use other utensils and start with a different food on the plate.  When his wife tries to interject anything into the conversation, he would make PA comments about how she didn't know enough to talk about that subject.  He used to work at the company my wife does and told me at that lunch that he had contacted friends of his at the company so he could check up on my wife and what stuff she worked on so he could grill her about it when we all went out to dinner.  He said this with a huge grin on his face like he was incredibly clever.  I did a bean-dip as I was still bemused that someone felt they needed to tell a 50 something year old man how to use eating utensils.

Unfortunately it's that time of year again and the invitations to dinner have started.  We've been unavailable now for 5 years.  Is there a point where I should be more blunt?






Giggity

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Re: Always having other plans hasn't given the needed hint- what to do now?
« Reply #1 on: October 11, 2011, 11:17:40 AM »
Why are y'all still taking their calls? Caller ID, my man!
Words mean things.

DaDancingPsych

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Re: Always having other plans hasn't given the needed hint- what to do now?
« Reply #2 on: October 11, 2011, 11:21:39 AM »
I think the "Sorry, we're busy" is to save their face. Not yours. I think that you are welcome to continue it for another five years (or more.) However, I think that you can always be more blunt, too (especially if questioned why you are busy... again.) "Honestly, I don't think that we are compatible dinner couples."

gramma dishes

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Re: Always having other plans hasn't given the needed hint- what to do now?
« Reply #3 on: October 11, 2011, 11:29:51 AM »
If you really don't want to ever see this couple again then it really doesn't matter whether you continue to be "busy" or whether you just go more along the lines of what DaDancingPsych suggested "You know, to be honest, I just don't think we make very compatible dining companions."

What bothers me far more than the dinner invitations themselves is that he is calling your wife's place of employment to dig out information about her there!  If his friends there were/are actually providing him with information about her, she needs to know who they are and put a stop to that nonsense right now (if she hasn't already).

IDriveADodgeStratus

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Re: Always having other plans hasn't given the needed hint- what to do now?
« Reply #4 on: October 11, 2011, 11:39:11 AM »
One of my faves: "I wish I could, but I don't want to."

And I think "Richard" was a good choice as a pseudonym.  ;)

heathert

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Re: Always having other plans hasn't given the needed hint- what to do now?
« Reply #5 on: October 11, 2011, 08:20:19 PM »
Wow, I didn't know some people could be that thick about someone being "busy." I agree with whomever said "We're not compatible," or even just "We're not interested," if they are asking you in person. Otherwise, just don't answer the phone when they call.

SamiHami

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Re: Always having other plans hasn't given the needed hint- what to do now?
« Reply #6 on: October 11, 2011, 08:23:33 PM »
And of course there is always the complete sentence, "No." or even "No, thank you." Both of which can be supplemented with "That won't be possible" when pressed for a reason.

What have you got? Is it food? Is it for me? I want it whatever it is!

Lisbeth

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Re: Always having other plans hasn't given the needed hint- what to do now?
« Reply #7 on: October 11, 2011, 08:32:23 PM »
"I'm sorry but it isn't possible for us to get together."
I'm away from sanity right now...please leave a message after the beep.
NYC

TeamBhakta

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Re: Always having other plans hasn't given the needed hint- what to do now?
« Reply #8 on: October 11, 2011, 08:47:32 PM »
"We're unable to attend, but thanks anyway. Why ? Oh,  we've got a charm school class that day. Can't miss Proper Utensil Use 101 *crumples paper ball* RICHARD ? RICHARD ? I THINK WE'RE BREAKING UP, GOTTA GO, BYE"

still in va

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Re: Always having other plans hasn't given the needed hint- what to do now?
« Reply #9 on: October 11, 2011, 08:59:53 PM »
"We're unable to attend, but thanks anyway. Why ? Oh,  we've got a charm school class that day. Can't miss Proper Utensil Use 101 *crumples paper ball* RICHARD ? RICHARD ? I THINK WE'RE BREAKING UP, GOTTA GO, BYE"

many years ago, the equivalent to the bolded was to disconnect the phone while you were in the middle of a sentence, making it appear that you had been cut off since no one would hang up on themselves.  it was actually pretty effective.

to the question, being busy isn't working.  it's time for what a PP posted.  we just aren't compatible.  if Richard refuses to accept that and wants a more thorough explanation, i'd really just say "Dude, you've been prying into my wife's business life for the express purpose of grilling her.  I have no intention of subjecting my wife to any grilling you might chose to deliver.  please don't call again, as the answer will always be no."

shhh its me

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Re: Always having other plans hasn't given the needed hint- what to do now?
« Reply #10 on: October 11, 2011, 09:20:55 PM »
Sorry , the only answer is "we already have plans". They annoying but being asking to dinner 2-3 times a year isn't a romantic  suitor situation that's "I'm busy" is being HARMFULLY misunderstood as "ask again", it's  not an acquaintance asking 3 times a week for months. It's a minnor annoyance , you can get them off the phone quickly and you can give a preemptive blanket answer " we're booked for the foreseeable future" there is no reason to tell them "we're not compatible"

Master_Edward

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Re: Always having other plans hasn't given the needed hint- what to do now?
« Reply #11 on: October 11, 2011, 09:35:27 PM »
Yes I think it's about time to be blunt with this jerk, uh, I mean man. Exactly how blunt you want to be is entirely up to you. Personally, I'd be very blunt.

Ed.

still in va

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Re: Always having other plans hasn't given the needed hint- what to do now?
« Reply #12 on: October 11, 2011, 09:40:37 PM »
Sorry , the only answer is "we already have plans". They annoying but being asking to dinner 2-3 times a year isn't a romantic  suitor situation that's "I'm busy" is being HARMFULLY misunderstood as "ask again", it's  not an acquaintance asking 3 times a week for months. It's a minnor annoyance , you can get them off the phone quickly and you can give a preemptive blanket answer " we're booked for the foreseeable future" there is no reason to tell them "we're not compatible"

so the OP should just be "busy" for the next 5 years as he has been for the last 5 years?  this all would have been over years ago if he had simply said "i don't think we're a good fit" or whatever version of we're not compatible you'd like. 

Richard trampled over so many lines it's not funny, including checking the OP's wife's work colleagues.  serious overstepping.

Danika

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Re: Always having other plans hasn't given the needed hint- what to do now?
« Reply #13 on: October 11, 2011, 09:40:50 PM »
Yes I think it's about time to be blunt with this jerk, uh, I mean man. Exactly how blunt you want to be is entirely up to you. Personally, I'd be very blunt.

Ed.

My vote is for this. But with enough diplomacy that the man can't then go back and get your wife in trouble at work by spreading lies about her. Chances are, the coworkers wouldn't believe him anyway.

I, personally, would word it something like "I felt like Richard crossed a line by asking my wife's coworkers about her. I don't feel that it's cute or funny. It seems boundary-crossing to me and I'm not comfortable with it. Thanks for the dinner suggestions but we're not comfortable with it. Based on previous incidents where Richard was always correcting me and Elizabeth, MyWife and I just don't think we'd enjoy the meal. Thanks anyway."

shhh its me

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Re: Always having other plans hasn't given the needed hint- what to do now?
« Reply #14 on: October 12, 2011, 01:57:10 AM »
Sorry , the only answer is "we already have plans". They annoying but being asking to dinner 2-3 times a year isn't a romantic  suitor situation that's "I'm busy" is being HARMFULLY misunderstood as "ask again", it's  not an acquaintance asking 3 times a week for months. It's a minnor annoyance , you can get them off the phone quickly and you can give a preemptive blanket answer " we're booked for the foreseeable future" there is no reason to tell them "we're not compatible"

so the OP should just be "busy" for the next 5 years as he has been for the last 5 years?  this all would have been over years ago if he had simply said "i don't think we're a good fit" or whatever version of we're not compatible you'd like. 

Richard trampled over so many lines it's not funny, including checking the OP's wife's work colleagues.  serious overstepping.

Yes , OP should just be busy for 5 more years. They ask a FEW times a year not a few times a month.