Etiquette School is in session! > "I'm afraid that won't be possible."

One of my first and favorite no's (long)


DH and I were living about 750 miles away from his sister.  We were both in demanding professional  programs with NO spare time.  We were also very private people.   

One day, DH told me in amazement that sil called and said she'd given our phone number to her neighbors whose daughter was considering attending college in our city. Sil  had told the neighbors they should get together with us for dinner when the three of them  were in town visiting the college!   DH was upset.   He didn't want to do it but couldn't see a way out of it.  I was pretty outraged.  We didn't have the time or the inclination to spend an evening with strangers and knew nothing about the college in question so we wouldn't be helpful there. (I suspected we were being set up as a local adult presence upon  whom the prospective student could rely should she run onto a problem.  We were not interested in accepting that role.)  The worst part of it was that sil had gone ahead and set this up this w/o even asking us beforehand.     

Sil projected the image of a  sweet, submissive, fragile  person to  whom  no one ever said no lest they look like a beast.  It just didn't occur to DH that we didn't have to do this. I told DH that I would take care of it.

I called sil and told her that we were not  going out with these people and requested that she ask them not to call us.  I could tell that she was stunned that we wouldn't go along with her plan.  She said, "Can't you just not answer the phone?"  [DH was frequently on call, in the days before cell phones were commonplace - we certainly didn't have one. Exactly how long we would have to go w/o answering the phone was unclear. I also thought it was a good idea for sil to have to deal with it herself so that  she would think twice before giving out our phone number again.   I said, "No." 

She never gave out our phone number again. 

Good for you for making her deal with it.

Just not answer the phone?

Wow! :o

I am glad you put that problem right back in her lap!


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