Author Topic: Guests and Alcohol...or, Am I a Bad Host?  (Read 11274 times)

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mrkitty

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Guests and Alcohol...or, Am I a Bad Host?
« on: January 14, 2013, 07:05:18 PM »
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
« Last Edit: January 14, 2013, 07:24:18 PM by mrkitty »
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LazyDaisy

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Re: Guests and Alcohol...or, Am I a Bad Host?
« Reply #1 on: January 14, 2013, 07:26:12 PM »
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.
"A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools." Douglas Adams

doodlemor

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Re: Guests and Alcohol...or, Am I a Bad Host?
« Reply #2 on: January 14, 2013, 07:32:40 PM »
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

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Re: Guests and Alcohol...or, Am I a Bad Host?
« Reply #3 on: January 14, 2013, 07:35:13 PM »
"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.

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MOM21SON

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Re: Guests and Alcohol...or, Am I a Bad Host?
« Reply #4 on: January 14, 2013, 07:39:27 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

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.

MummySweet

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Re: Guests and Alcohol...or, Am I a Bad Host?
« Reply #5 on: January 14, 2013, 07:56:49 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.

No, you didn't do anything wrong.  In fact, I believe you went out of your way to be a delightful and accommodating host.  Your BIL and sister were unspeakably rude.    I don't believe that you were under any obligation to provide alcohol for him.   If you maintain an alcohol-free home, you would have certainly been within your rights to refuse your BIL bringing it into your home.  (He should have asked, unless he knew without a doubt that alcohol was permitted in your home.  Even then, a good guest partakes in moderation.) 

Given their actions, I think you would have been completely within your rights to ask them to adjust their behavior, or leave.    Then you could have outlined behavior; e.g., Meals will be served at specific times, alcohol is permitted only in moderation (obvious signs of intoxication will result in guest being asked to leave), guests will not be left in the house alone... then provide them with your itinerary, which they are welcome to participate in or make other plans outside the house, etc. 

I wouldn't hesitate to tell your sister that future visits won't be possible.   If asked why, I would respond, "The last visit didn't work out well."  Rinse, lather, repeat.   

OP, I do have to ask, did your sister seem to realize what a boor her husband is?  Your post seems to indicate that she is as much a problem as he is. 

Lindee

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Re: Guests and Alcohol...or, Am I a Bad Host?
« Reply #6 on: January 14, 2013, 08:05:56 PM »
They can indicate they are coming all they want but they wouldn't be staying at my place again. You do not need to put yourself through that kind of behaviour again.  Make it clear they are not staying with you.

ladyknight1

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Re: Guests and Alcohol...or, Am I a Bad Host?
« Reply #7 on: January 14, 2013, 08:17:43 PM »
I would have asked them to leave after the first night. I would never allow them to stay again, and I think your sister displayed a lack of manners in this incident.

Venus193

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Re: Guests and Alcohol...or, Am I a Bad Host?
« Reply #8 on: January 14, 2013, 08:35:13 PM »
Egad.  You are not a bad hostess but your sister and BIL were bad guests.

You do not have to permit them to invade your home again.  "That will not be possible" should be your response to them.

Piratelvr1121

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Re: Guests and Alcohol...or, Am I a Bad Host?
« Reply #9 on: January 14, 2013, 08:48:22 PM »
Wow my jaw dropped after reading only the first half, by the end it was on the floor! No, you do NOT owe them another chance at all, after the last time!
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ladiedeathe

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Re: Guests and Alcohol...or, Am I a Bad Host?
« Reply #10 on: January 14, 2013, 09:07:34 PM »
Do you really think, after this kind of behavior, that they "deserve" anything? The behavior is self-evidently ghastly, beastly, and rude- so self-evidently rude that I struggle to understand the question here.

Just say no.
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lisat

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Re: Guests and Alcohol...or, Am I a Bad Host?
« Reply #11 on: January 14, 2013, 09:08:02 PM »
You and your husband were not bad hosts. Your sister and her husband were unacceptably rude. I wouldn't let them back, at all. In fact since it is your sister I whould have a "come to momma" talk with her about their behaviour and why they aren't welcome. No way

snowdragon

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Re: Guests and Alcohol...or, Am I a Bad Host?
« Reply #12 on: January 14, 2013, 09:16:55 PM »
They would have been kicked out after bringing back the beer.  And never allowed to return

diesel_darlin

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Re: Guests and Alcohol...or, Am I a Bad Host?
« Reply #13 on: January 14, 2013, 09:25:18 PM »
"Im afraid that will not be possible, because the cat is scheduled to catch fire that weekend"

 ;D

sammycat

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Re: Guests and Alcohol...or, Am I a Bad Host?
« Reply #14 on: January 14, 2013, 09:32:12 PM »
Wow!  :o

The only thing you did wrong was not kicking them out after the first night; other than that, no, you didn't do anything wrong. Your BIL and sister were unspeakably rude.

Seeing as this is your sister, I wouldn't have any hesitation in telling her straight up that they are not welcome in your home, ever again, and that no, they won't be staying with you.

Have you had any contact with your sister since then? How has she behaved in general?