Hostesses With The Mostest > Entertaining and Hospitality

Guests and Alcohol...or, Am I a Bad Host?

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mrkitty:
I'm still pretty new to entertaining. I haven't had much experience,  so I'm still quite in the learning stages.

This incident happened quite a few years ago when we moved into our new house.

My sister, who at the time live in the mountain west (we live in the southeast - in what some neighbors affectionately call "the buckle of the Bible belt") informed me that her and her new husband were going to be in our area in a week, because he had to come out this way for a business trip and he was bringing her along for sight seeing. They were planning to stay with us from Friday night to Sunday afternoon. This was going to fall on Easter weekend that year. Because they were going to arrive on Good Friday, I thought I might serve a nice poached salmon or fish entree. I mentioned this to DS, who informed me that BIL doesn't eat fish and is a "meat and potatoes" person; she suggested a roast beef instead. Okay, I thought - I'll fix something without meat in it for DH and myself and make the roast for BIL and we can have non-meat side dishes that we can share.

I was so excited. I purchased new bed linens, a comforter/blanket set, put up matching curtains and bought coordinating bath towels for their private bath. I also stocked it with shampoo/conditioner, soap, lotion, toothpaste and other little odds and ends that people sometimes need. Can you tell I was excited and went a little overboard preparing for my very first houseguests EVER? (Well, aside from college, when no forethought whatsoever was given to "preparing" for guests, YKWIM.)

Well, Friday late afternoon, DS and BIL arrived from other nearby city (where BIL had his business trip) in their rental car. DH and I helped them bring in their luggage and set them up in their room and while they were settling in I set up some snacks/hors 'd oerves to serve them, thinking they must be hungry after their 2 hr drive. They arrived late, around 5:30 - they told me they would be there about 4.

I put out a light spread of brie cheese and water crackers, toasted sourdough bread slices and bruschetta,  and made some appetizers using sliced sour dough bread as a base, smeared with a mayonnaise/sour cream/dill sauce topped with thinly sliced gravlax and lemon and sprinkled with dill. I thought that would be enough.

DH and I set up the appetizers and waited. And waited. And waited. We thought they would be down in about a half hour because I told them I had some appetizers waiting for them when they arrived and let them know dinner was going to be ready at about 7:30. We could hear a loud Scrabble game being played upstairs and DH and I were wondering what to do...finally, around 7 we decided we should check to see if they still wanted dinner...but fortunately, they came down a few minutes later.

BIL proceeded to eat the appetizers, but didn't like them. He said he hated fish, so he asked if I had anything else. I said there was the bruschetta and brie and crackers, and dinner would be ready in a few minutes anyway.

He said that's ok, I have to run to the store anyway. He jumped in the car, went to our local grocery store with DS, and came back an hour later with two cases of beer, two sacks of McDonald's (one for him, one for DS) and sat down in front of the TV in the family room eating his fast food and drinking the beer.

I was at a loss for what to do. The roast was starting to dry out. DH and I were very hungry, so we decided to serve dinner (our fish entree) and we asked BIL if he and DS wanted to eat or were they full?

He said "yeah, we'll be there in a minute."

So DH and I sat at the table and waited for them. Finally, we checked in the living room to see if they were still going to eat and BIL was nowhere in sight. I asked DS if we should continue to wait or if we should eat, and she said go ahead and eat.

We ate dinner quickly and DH helped me clean up and put away the leftovers. While we were cleaning up, BIL came stumbling into the kitchen and started taking out the leftovers, ate the roast beef at the kitchen table...and then went into the bathroom and got sick. A lot.

The rest of the weekend involved him polishing off the rest of the beer and being....intoxicated.

Easter Sunday rolled around and normally DH would have gone to church...but DS and BIL didn't want to come with. They just wanted to stay at our house while we went. To be honest with you, DH and I really weren't comfortable with the idea at that point. So we skipped church and offered to take them to Easter brunch at the Hilton. They declined, because BIL wanted to buy a new handgun. Instead, we drove around our city looking for a pawn shop or  sporting goods store that would be open on Easter Sunday. In the buckle of the Bible belt.

Just so you know, in our city, at that time (things have been changing since then), the only places open on any given Sunday (much less Easter!) are churches and Cracker Barrel or IHOP.

We wound up at the local Bass Pro Shop so he could peruse their firearms until they closed their doors at noon. Then, we went back home so they could pack and go to the airport.

My questions are: did I do something wrong? Did I not do something I should have? Should I have taken away his beer? Should I have provided beer so he didn't feel the need to supply his own? Should I have kicked them out of our house? DH wanted to. Towards the end I wanted to. I don't even know what to say or think about this. DH and I started to feel more and more uncomfortable throughout the visit. Is there a point where we could have/should have put our foot down about some of the behaviors? Is there a polite way to handle this situation? After they left I felt...gross. I don't even know what to think.

The worst part is DS indicated they are coming out again this way next month. For a romantic Valentine's Day weekend after his next business trip.

Would it be rude of me to schedule emergency dental surgery for that Friday?  :o

LazyDaisy:
wow! I think this is the time for "I'm afraid it's not possible." lather rinse repeat and don't bother with excuses as they will only argue with you as to why they can. Guests do not dictate when they are invited to stay -- that's completely up to the host.

To the other questions about what you should have done differently. I don't know that I would have kicked them out, but for me I would not have been so accommodating in the first place and let them feel uncomfortable enough to not want to come back.

doodlemor:
It's understandable that you don't want them back in your home, even if they are family.  I wouldn't want them back, either.  The fact that this is your sister makes the situation more difficult.

Depending on how close you are to DS, could you say something like "That just won't work for us."  When she asks why, you would have to say,  "I'm surprised that you have asked, because it didn't seem like your DH had a very good time here we you visited before, and he didn't seem to get on very well with my DH."

At this point you might have to mention some of the irritating things that your DH didn't like.  The BIL and DS  must be clueless, because even though you and DH were trying to be good hosts you surely must have revealed some of your dismay through your expressions or body language.

I agree with LazyDaisy not to lie or give excuses, as that will just prolong the situation.



SamiHami:
"Oh, you're coming out again? Great! Let us know where you'll be staying and maybe we can have lunch together or something." No way would they be allowed in my house again after that appalling behavior. If they try to convince you to let them stay at your place, "Oh, I'm afraid that won't be possible. But we hope you have a great trip!" is perfectly appropriate.

MOM21SON:

--- Quote from: mrkitty on January 14, 2013, 07:05:18 PM ---My questions are: did I do something wrong? Did I not do something I should have? Should I have taken away his beer? Should I have provided beer so he didn't feel the need to supply his own? Should I have kicked them out of our house? DH wanted to. Towards the end I wanted to. I don't even know what to say or think about this. DH and I started to feel more and more uncomfortable throughout the visit. Is there a point where we could have/should have put our foot down about some of the behaviors? Is there a polite way to handle this situation? After they left I felt...gross. I don't even know what to think.

The worst part is DS indicated they are coming out again this way next month. For a romantic Valentine's Day weekend after his next business trip.

Would it be rude of me to schedule emergency dental surgery for that Friday?  :o

--- End quote ---

IMO, the only thing you did wrong was not kicking his bacon-fed knave out the door and offering to help your DS find a divorce attorney.  What A JERK!  No way in ehell would he ever be coming back to my house!

I wouldn't make an excuse either.  Just flat say why he is not welcome.

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