This submission is a NOVEL! It is a looong read but you will get sucked into the drama and won’t be able to tear your eyes away.
I live and work in Asia. Last autumn, I was contacted by an old friend from high school, who I’ll call Jen. This woman and I have not spoken in over a decade, except for casual Facebook interactions, but she was always a funny and sweet person, so when she asked if I would be willing to house her for a weekend before she traveled around the country, I readily agreed.
As her departure date grew closer, I became a bit uneasy: she seemed a little needy and nervous. But hey, first time to this country, I understand. I have anxiety problems, myself, especially when traveling.
Then she sent me her reservation. Arrival and departure, from out local airport, were two weeks apart. Hmmm…
“Oh, it’s much too expensive to travel in that country. I’m just going to stay at your place the whole time.”
I balked at this, reminding her that my husband and I work full-time and, frankly there isn’t 10+ days worth of stuff to do in our area. After I reiterated that she was welcome to come for a weekend and even return for a day or two before flying out, but that we would be busy and so would our friends, she agreed to go elsewhere for part of the trip. I cleared out my own bedroom, set out a basket of toiletries, bought new towels, and stocked the pantry with snacks and drinks.
I didn’t find out until she arrived that she meant she would be traveling for only three days. Three days out of ten. The rest would be spent at my house. Also, she couldn’t eat a positive litany of common foods, most of which are considered staples of the local diet and are difficult to avoid even in our home country. All right, I would cook. I bought a new round of snack foods. Please note that I have IBS and also have to eat a modified diet, which relies heavily on foods that she claimed not to eat, so most of the snacks and food I purchased for her were inedible for my husband and myself.
After her first night, my husband and I were left with a deep feeling of unease and anger:
1. She constantly referred to my apartment as “ghetto.” It isn’t a palace, but it’s a nice two-bedroom that is much more luxurious than most of the local population can afford. Moreover, who denigrates a free, clean, comfortable place to sleep with a double bed and a private room? Especially to their host. Also, I don’t appreciate racially-biased colloquialisms.
2. After adding a few more foods she simply cannot eat to her list, and a prolonged period in which she moaned about being terribly hungry and shot down all my suggestions, my husband went out at 11:30 PM to find a few more staple goods for her to eat.
3. She never stopped talking. She literally did not stop talking for a full minute. It wasn’t a conversation, since I could not finish a single sentence. If I did manage to ask her a question, she answered in a sarcastic, incredulous tone, as if I could not possibly have said anything stupider.
She talked so much my ears hurt afterwards, and not once did she ask me or my husband anything about ourselves, our lives…anything, really. What did she talk about?
Almost entirely sex.
I’m not a prude, but surely there is a limit to how often ANY single subject comes up?
Jen was insatiable. She talked about every man she had ever slept with, and in detail. She talked about all the people she wanted to have sex with. She talked about all the people our mutual acquaintances had ever had sex with. I became very upset when she told me one of these friends had had an affair with a former teacher of ours, and asked her to stop talking about it; she responded with derisive laughter and half-screamed details of the affair. To be “funny.” She finally stopped when my husband, an education professional, asked her to stop because he would have to file a report if he heard any more details.
I took her downtown the next day and it became immediately obvious that I had made a huge mistake in allowing her to visit. The endless chatter did not dry up- if anything, it became more pronounced- and she continued to dismiss everything I said. Jen lives in a Middle Eastern city that my parents had also lived in for more than a decade, so I tried to express an interest in how the city was developing, what new attractions there were, and similar queries. Jen scoffed at everything I told her, insisting that my own experiences were wrong or made up (this city was a lot different before she moved there two years ago!), and spoke condescendingly about how things worked as if I hadn’t spent most of my adult life with that city as my “home base.”
During this second day, it became obvious to me that Jen had an odd relationship with her mother. When I woke up that morning, the first thing she did was say “Look!” and thrust a hand-written list into my face. It was a list of every man she had ever slept with, including their country of origin. Okay, well, interesting. Then she showed me a similar list- her mother’s. SHE HAD A LIST OF ALL HER MOTHER’S SEXUAL PARTNERS. And she brought it on vacation. I just…I still don’t understand.
Jen and her mother seemed to do everything together. They lived together, usually vacationed together, and worked together. Jen especially delighted in telling me random anecdotes about minor occurrences in her mother’s life. No incident, no topic, was ever too small or inconsequential for a detailed retelling. At this point, I used all the skills I’ve garnered over years of being forced in sit in meetings and was on robotic nod-and-smile mode.
I would also like to note that I had warned Jen before she arrived of two important things:
1. I live between 60 and 120 minutes from the nearest city, depending on traffic, necessitating a long time on public transportation. (She did not speak any of the local language and women aren’t particularly safe traveling alone in taxis here.)
2. People in my area are not accustomed to foreigners and often stare, point, laugh, and shout things when they see a foreign person. It’s not hostile and it’s usually just a minor annoyance, but it can be wearing.
She insisted that she didn’t care about point 1 and that she was used to point 2 because “the same thing happens where I live!” (It doesn’t.)
Naturally, she became frequently and loudly angry about both points over the course of the trip.
That night, as a gesture of welcome, I had arranged for my friends to meet at a local restaurant and meet Jen. That’s how she met my friend Tyler.
After flirting with the owner of the restaurant didn’t work, Jen set her cap for Tyler. And by “cap,” I mean certain areas of her body. She was hell-bent on seducing Tyler and nothing anyone did could dissuade her from it. Between whining at my friends to do various things for her, Jen was flirting with Tyler in a huge way. I was a bad friend, too, because I was so relieved at the buffer my other friends provided that I didn’t pay attention to what was happening until I realized that Jen was snuggling him and he was literally picking her hands off him and dropping them back on her body.
By the way, those dietary needs that I spent so much money on trying to accommodate? Yeah…not real.
I was not feeling well the next day- I don’t drink often and was hungover- but Jen was not sympathetic and got angry at me. I asked her what she would like to do and offered to write her a little manual to get around and see the sights she was interested in, but she refused to leave the house without me. My husband asked her nicely to give me some time to recover before making me get on public transportation (I get bus-sick on the best of days) but she apparently heard “climb into bed with my wife even though she asked you to stay out of our bedroom,” because that’s what she did. (I suppose that’s odd, but it was really cluttered and I was embarrassed about its appearance!)
So here I am- nauseous, bleary, headachey, in the spare bedroom with all of the personal items we had moved out of our regular bedroom in order to make her more comfortable- and suddenly there is this small, shrieking demon insisting we watch Jimmy Fallon videos in bed together. I hate Jimmy Fallon. We ordered food; she complained about the food. And refused to pay us back for it because “it doesn’t fit with my diet plan.”
She went off on her own the next day when we were at work, but since she wasn’t leaving until the evening, I still had to come home and deal with her. There was no “How was your day?” when I walked through the door. She retold her own day in excruciating details, griping about everything from the rudeness and stupidity of the locals to how dirty and ugly everything was, and on and on…I became hopeful that she would decide to stay at her next destination for a longer time, but no luck. My husband went out to buy us dinner. She complained about the food and did not offer to pay us back, even after my husband nicely said, “Jen, it was [amount] for your food.” She just ignored him.
I shoved her into the car (I had arranged for a private car and driver through my company’s transportation department) and went into my apartment to finally have my first moment alone since she arrived.
Jen took it upon herself to decide that the driver I’d hired was too stupid to understand which terminal to she was departing from. This led to a series of her making angry calls to my boss, on the driver’s phone, insisting that the driver had no idea what he was doing. MY BOSS! She could have easily called me; she had my number. Finally, my boss agreed to tell the driver to take her to the other terminal.
It turns out…the driver was right the first time.
I had not one hour of peace before I started getting panicked, angry text messages from her, insulting the driver and my boss for their stupidity, etc. She claimed to have had to walk over a kilometer between terminals, on the road, dragging her suitcase “because I keep missing the bus!” Why do you KEEP missing the bus? Why didn’t you just wait at the bus stop? The bus between terminals arrives every twenty minutes and she had arrived at the airport with over three hours of time!
Then she couldn’t figure out the lines. “I keep standing in the group check-in!” How do you “keep” standing in a line? Move lines or use the check-in machines, woman!
Hoping to disengage, I sent a few reassuring texts, but largely did not look at my phone. A woman in her thirties who lives abroad can certainly navigate a small airport where people speak English. Right?
Around 11 PM (please remember this is a work night for me), she starting sending me texts saying things like “I’m not going to make my plane.” Fed up, I told her to show her ticket to a security officer. Guess what, this worked! She got on her plane and went off to her tropical resort; I finally managed to get to sleep around 1 AM once I knew her flight had left and I could sleep without missing an emergency call from her.
She arrived back the next Friday morning. I had the day off, but could not sleep in because of her early arrival. She had asked me to be awake and ready to go to one of the main tourist sites in town, so I was up, dressed, and caffeinated.
Of course, she came in, whined that no one had been available to seduce at the resort, and then went to sleep. Well…fine. I did some work, since I couldn’t go back to bed, and waited for her awaken.
It is here that I would like to mention that Jen did not pay for anything besides souvenirs for herself, not even her saintly mother. I gave her some leeway on things like group dinners, and lent her a transit pass, knowing that she had outstanding student loans and made little money. She greedily seized on this small concession as “I’m getting a free ride!” It became almost impossible to get her to pay her share of anything. She wouldn’t even recharge the transit pass before she left, draining it completely. She didn’t pay for any of the special food we purchased for her, nor did she offer. Also, she had an annoying habit of saying things like, “Oh, I almost bought you [such and such.]” Well, why are you telling me this? I don’t expect a hostess gift, but I’d prefer not to hear about all the nice things you “almost” bought me and then didn’t in favor of buying yourself gifts! She even refused to reimburse me for a souvenir she wanted at a place that didn’t accept her credit card, which I purchased (although she didn’t stick to that after I then calmly asked her to reimburse me for the various other things I’d bought for her. Just the one souvenir, though.)
She wanted to go to the mall (why?) so we did, and then she asked me, “Why didn’t you send Tyler to pick me up at the airport?”
“Why didn’t I tell my friend to leave his office on a work morning and travel two hours from his workplace to the airport to pick you up?”
“Jen, what did I just say?”
“Yeah, I know, but…I like him soooo much!”
“You’re welcome for the car and driver I arranged, Jen.”
“Oh, that reminds me! One time my mom hired a driver and…”
I think my brain turned itself off at this point.
At the mall, she spent an enormous sum on things like makeup, jewelry, stationery, and clothes. None of which she desperately needed or which were unavailable in her city of residence. She also refused to eat at any of the restaurants I suggested, rejecting everything derisively and acting like I had slapped her with every suggestion I made, then whining that she was so unbelievably hungry. At one point I suggested a Japanese restaurant, pointing out the pictures on the menu, and she gave me a disgusted look and said, “Um, I don’t know what Japanese food IS.”
It’s food. From Japan. There are pictures and English on the menu explaining what it is. Also, she spent several years in a city with a large Japanese population and had regaled me with tales of visiting Japantown with Japanese friends, so I’m pretty sure she had an inkling.
At this point, my consciousness had basically shut down. I just smiled every time she insulted me or did something rude, and except for the occasional nasty response to one of my comments or questions- when I could make one- the evening passed peacefully enough. She did make several comments about how my weight- every time I didn’t buy an article of clothing I tried on, she asked in a sugary voice, “Awwww, is it too small?” However, anyone with eyes could have compared my body with hers, so I just chalked it up to insecurity and rudeness (and was somewhat vindicated when people kept trying to give her their seats on the bus while asking if she was pregnant! I didn’t translate this; I didn’t want her to blow up.)
Oh, and I did I mention she was racist? She did charming impressions of the local accent and pronunciation and, immediately upon meeting a local friend of mine, Lily, at another restaurant, Jen asked her, “You’re not going to order DOG, are you?” My friend graciously ignored this.
Pretty bad, right? Hang in there, it gets worse. A lot worse.
As I mentioned before, Jen didn’t really want to travel around by herself. It is a long journey into town and not very easy if you don’t speak the local language, but she had made the trip several times and knew how to do it just fine. I asked her that night if she would do us the small favor of leaving the house for the next afternoon, at the time of her choice, so that I could work on a very important project my boss had recently moved the deadline on. I explained to her that I knew it was a silly request, but I have issues with concentration and needed a very quiet environment. What I didn’t tell her is that my husband was becoming increasingly furious with her rudeness and was considering asking her to leave after violating our generosity too many times, and that he also needed a few hours of quiet. She only stopped talking when she was asleep. I can’t stress that enough; I am not exaggerating in the slightest. I couldn’t even get her to stop talking when I was using the bathroom! She would shout through the door at me!
Absolutely, baldly refused.
I was asking for three or four hours to work on my project and do some light cleaning (she never even offered to do the dishes, not that I would have accepted) and to let everyone have a breather and some time to recuperate. I wasn’t asking her to go downtown- there’s a nice mall near us with a Starbucks and a lovely park nearby- I just needed her out of my house. But she wouldn’t go. Who goes to visit someone and then refuses a simple request like that? I would never expect my hosts to constantly entertain me, nor would I want to hang around all day!
She then decided that she would just sit in the bedroom all day and wait for me to finish. This worked for about ten minutes before she came out and started talking to me again. I put on my headphones. Then she burst into my bedroom, even though the door was closed, and started yammering to my husband, who was trying to study.
After losing a coin toss for who had to do it, I ended up taking her downtown.
Here we come to the final chapter of this saga:
My friend Steve had planned a dinner party for the night before Jen left. Steve’s dinner parties are a delight; he plans a huge menu and we all leave stuffed full of delicious food. I had checked with him weeks before to make sure it was okay to bring Jen, and he was fine with it. (This is de rigeur at his parties; I would never invite people otherwise.) However, Tyler was going to be there, and although I had apologized to him many times for the awkward encounter, I was still worried about what Jen would do at the party.
The day of the party, Jen wanted to go back to the mall and eat the Japanese food she had been so dreadfully offended by previously. I could not go with her because I had to do the work I was unable to complete the previous day. I warned her that Steve’s apartment could be difficult to find without cell service, offering to lend her my phone for the day, but she said she didn’t need it. Okay. Steve sent her detailed directions. I also offered to meet her at the subway at a pre-determined time, but she again refused.
She was two hours late by the time Steve served dinner. I had been checking my phone every few minutes for an update from Jen, but put it down in order to eat and chat with my friends.
Well, my timing could not have been worse.
While walking to Steve’s place, Jen tripped and fell on the sidewalk. She managed to make it to a Starbucks, where a kind woman let her use her phone, and during the twenty or thirty minutes in which we were eating, she called and texted several of us multiple times.
Steve, who was still cooking, was the first to notice and told me Jen was at Starbucks and needed to be picked up. My husband offered to go.
They arrived twenty minutes later, and things got REALLY crazy.
Jen was crying. No, Jen was sobbing. She had skinned her knees and cracked her phone screen. Okay, that sucks, we’ve all been there! But she was sobbing, sobbing, sobbing, refusing to speak to anyone except me. She stood in Steve’s entryway and cried pitifully.
I dragged her into the bathroom, cleaned out her wounds FOR HER (she wouldn’t pause in her retelling of the events long enough to do it herself, and I needed it to stop) and put on Neosporin. She started crying harder because the Neosporin hurt. She’s 30 years old. Even though I reassured her that we’d all done it, and both Steve and I told her stories about times we’d fallen down in the city and hurt ourselves- Steve broke a rib!- she refused to listen or be consoled. Just crying, crying, crying. I understand how embarrassing a public wipeout is, but come on, there has to be a limit. But, no, Jen needed to be made much of.
Finally, I couldn’t do it anymore. I simply said, “Jen, I am very sorry that this happened and I will help you if you feel you need to visit a doctor, but I am going to return to the party now. I prepared a plate of food for you and it’s waiting for you in the oven. When you feel you are able, I hope you can join us,” and left.
Jen got angry.
She was angry at me because I wasn’t sympathetic enough.
She was angry at my husband because he didn’t make enough of a big deal about her injuries when he arrived to pick her up.
She was angry at Steve for not telling everyone she was hurt (he didn’t think falling down and skinning one’s knees was that significant of an occasion.)
She was angry at Lily for sitting next to Tyler, even though Lily nicely greeted her and asked if she needed any help.
She was angry at Tyler because he didn’t fuss over her or sit next to her when she did deign to join the party.
The entire party was Jen sitting on the couch, refusing to speak to anyone, looking at Tyler with big, wet Bambi eyes (yes, she cried for HOURS) and giving terse, rude responses to anyone who did try to engage her in conversation. At one point, a friend of mine (who is a professional dancer) tried asking Jen about her own amateur interest in dance, and Jen ended up insulting her knowledge. After that, everyone ignored her unless she approached them first.
Not once during this ordeal did Jen compliment the host, thank him for his time and effort, or say anything nice about the huge amount of food she ate.
We took a taxi home. Jen whined and sniffled the whole time. She did pay for the taxi- with money I had given her JUST IN CASE SHE RAN OUT AND NEEDED TO TAKE A TAXI. At no point did I tell her that was a gift; I specifically said, “I’m giving you this in case of an emergency, so please give it back to me or pay me back later if you use it.” At this point, I didn’t even care about the money anymore, and just laughed at her rudeness.
She then yelled at me because I didn’t have any Band-Aids (she had some! She showed me! She showed me every item in her suitcase including her underwear!) and then SLAMMED the bedroom door. My husband and I went to bed.
Unbeknownst to me, she sent a slew of nasty text messages to Tyler over the next few hours, castigating him for not paying attention to her at the party and for sitting next to Lily. She told me about this proudly when she woke up the next day…at 4 PM.
My husband was so drained at this point that I told Jen he was ill and not to bother him. She shouted a few inanities at him through the bedroom door; I made her stop. Three hours. I only needed to get through three more hours.
Finally, finally, finally the driver came and took her to the airport, leaving us with a still-made bed and her detritus everywhere. My husband and I lay on the floor and literally laughed until we cried.
Yesterday, I announced on Facebook that my husband and I were moving to Europe. Jen commented, “Yay! Guess who’s coming to visit?”
I think we’ll be out of town when she comes. 0414-17
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OP, I am assuming that your FB relationship with Jen led you to believe that she was still the sweet and funny person that you remembered from high school. I am also assuming that once she returned home, she resumed her sweet and funny FB personna with you.
You now know that her FB personna bears no relationship to her actual, in-person, personality. Her FB personna is an illusion.
I’m not going to blame you for letting her continue to take advantage when she visited you. You’ve probably never been in a situation like that before, and all you were focused on was powering through it and getting to the glorious hour when her plane would take off. I think that’s what most people would have done when confronted with such a rude and demanding person.
But here’s the thing. You didn’t stand up then, but you must take steps now. Block her on all social media. Don’t reply to any messages that she manages to get through to you. End this acquaintanceship right now.
If you don’t, she’s going to show up on your doorstep in Europe, and it will probably be worse this time. As a PP commented, next time she’s going to bring her mother with her. You already know she does everything with her mother; after Jen told her mother what a wonderful trip she had when she visited you (and she DID have a wonderful trip), there’s no way Mama is going to miss out on your “hospitality” when Jen flies to Europe.
You need to face the fact that the sweet and funny girl you knew in high school has grown into a selfish, demanding adult. And you don’t have to keep that kind of person in your life.
Very well said, now that the OP has some space to calmly set boundaries she should.
OP – you failed to realize what a powerful tool you had in your hands.
“I’m sorry, we can’t afford to pay for you again. If we order out again, we expect you to cover your bill in advance.”
“Jen, you can leave for 3 to 4 hours tomorrow afternoon, or you can leave permanently right now and find a hotel close to the airport until you’re ready to go.”
“Jen, if you can’t stop leave me/husband alone right now, we need to ask you to leave as it is apparent that this isn’t working out and is becoming a problem for us.”
“Hmmmm, I’m sorry there’s nothing that’s good enough for you here. I hope you figure something out, but I’m out of options and I need to eat so I’m going to have X…”
Leave Jen’s problems in Jen’s hands. Including where Jen will house herself if she can’t work with her hosts’ needs.
You are only required to *try* to meet your guests needs. You are not required to succeed at all costs. I swear.
Cat2, did you read the OP’s post, her nor her husband have anything resembling a spine or self esteem, yo cannot expect them to be able to stand up for themselves
I think it is a bit much to say they didn’t have a spine OR self esteem. I’m not sure any of us would have been prepared to deal with such an eHellion. The OP and her husband tried to set polite boundaries, and tried some variation of the suggestions other commenters made. But Jen sounds like a persistent one, and didn’t act within the normal parameters of how we expect a fully functioning adult to behave.
Given the details, nothing short of kicking Jen out of their home would have stopped the childish, mooching behavior. And, kicking someone out may sound simple in theory, but it never is in practice.
I hope you learnt your lesson OP. I had a similar situation with someone I travelled with for the first time recently. She seemed very sweet until I saw her true colors. She turned out to be comically self centered, photo obsessed, willfully ignorant, refused to do anything for herself, and a bit of a user. While traveling I had no choice but to suck it up and deal, but when I got home I all but ghosted her…. Sounds like you need to ghost Jen.
Many are asking why Jen had OP’s boss’s phone number, but I don’t think she did – OP says she called the boss on the driver’s phone. Since the car was arranged through OP’s company, boss’ number was likely the number on the account. Or, if it was a smallish company, it might have been the main line and the boss was the only one still in the office. Anyway, it was probably the contact number the driver had, not a number Jen had – OP was even confused why Jen didn’t just call her directly.
Obviously there are still so many questions – why in the world would anyone give her Tyler’s number?! – so I am latching onto the one thing I think I can answer.
Seriously, I think you have to cut all contact with this person.
I…can’t…the words…they won’t come…
The majority of the comments here include brave “I would have done XYZ statements” but OP did the best she could in an incredibly uncomfortable situation. I would say that if it is not safe for a young woman to take a taxi alone in the area, most people would not have put their guest’s stuff on the doorstep and locked the door.
Though after suffering through this, I would not just ignore Jen’s self-invitation to visit in Europe. I would possibly send a private message saying something like
“I regret to inform you that because your last visit became a financial burden and a time commitment that I was not prepared for, I will be unable to host in my new home. I would also like send a reminder about $X that you borrowed for X,Y,and Z, and I hope that you will be able to repay it before my move. Best of luck in your future travels.”
And unfriend/block her. Though I might skip the message and just block her if I was not in the mood to deal with her dramatic responses.
I think a lot of people treat various situations as if they were happening in a kind of a vacuum, where doing the “correct” thing would not couse any ripples or have any repercussions.
In reality taking a firm stand on something among relatives may lead to all sorts of family upheavals, “establishing firm boundaries” in a small community when you are new and the offender is a local can make your situation very difficult, and so on. I’m not saying one should never do those things, just that it is not always as clear as easy as people seem to think. And many of those advocating firm steps, if they ended up in similar situations would have a long list of reasons why in this particular case it is just not possible.
The more I think about it, the more I think I would feel forced to put up with Jen too. Not because I aspire to be glorified as a martyr, but because I would feel some responsibility for her. I would be afraid that being the kind of person she is, she might have serious problems managing nad come to actual physical harm. Of course, she is an adult and responsible for her own actions, but if something happened to her, I would feel terrible – I would have been the only person she knew in this country. And I’m pretty sure I would not be the only one who felt that way.
I kind of agree with you. There were some things the OP could have done differently, like put her in the guest room, not allowing her to mooch money off of them, locking the bedroom door/s when privacy was needed/wanted, not taking her to the dinner since the OP had ample examples of what the evening would be like, and frankly since this woman didn’t take hints well, telling her just shut up, esp. when the OP was trying to work. In a country or area of the country where it is not perfectly safe to put a single woman in a taxi, just kicking her out would be problematic. However, the OP should make it perfectly clear, in as blunt a way as possible, that the woman is not welcome to stay with them again. Ever. In any country they live in. If OP/hubby is from a culture where hospitality is sacred, this will take a spine of titanium and probably not a particularly polite spine either. It will be tough, but it can be done. Also unfriend her on Facebook and any other social media and don’t put where you and hubby live on public feed but on friends only. Good luck to OP. This will all take a 180 degree change of attitude.
Letting her continue to stay in the house because the area isn’t safe for a woman alone does not require the OP to keep buying snacks, or keep driving her around, or take her to parties, or give her someone else’s phone number.
Also, it’s not clear if the nearest city (1-2 hours away) has any hotels she could have been dropped off at, and if the city is inside or outside the area where it’s not safe.
I definitely agree, it’s easy to be hard nosed in the abstract, but when faced with the situation it is a lot harder. I think the phrase “fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me” applies here.
Very well said. I can’t believe the number of people who are overly critical of the OP. As you said, she was doing the best she could in a difficult situation. Hindsight is 20/20, after all. At the conclusion of the saga, the OP definitely has recognized the need for more of a spine, so I wish her all the luck dealing with Jen in the future.
We had a similar, but not nearly as drastic, situation with a relative. This person outright lied and deceived us in order to stay overnight. Then end up being insulting, and rude the next day in public. It’s hard to figure out how to deal with someone like that as they are doing the things – they come at you so fast that sometimes your brain can’t work correctly to figure out things. And when you come up with a definite plan and the person shoots it down (Jen refused to leave), sometimes you just can’t recover as well as you would like.
OP, if you are reading this, definitely head her off at the pass with a private message, as suggested by eddie. And have contingency plans if she still shows up on your doorstep.
Right. I’m not impressed with the pile-up on the OP, either. “I would’ve kicked her out on day two”, um, no, I doubt that you would. I have never heard of anyone kicking a houseguest to the curb. Let’s admit it that most of us would’ve stuck it out for the remainder of Jen’s visit, from any combination of shock, feeling of obligation, not knowing how to react in a completely new situation, and so on. One thing I agree that I would’ve done was not unleash her on any of my friends after the first disastrous get-together.
I agree with your suggestions on what to do next. Do NOT let this slide, OP. If you don’t reply to “guess who’s coming?”, Jen will read your silence as an invitation to come. Then unfriend and block.
I would. I know it’s seems unbelievably harsh. But she wasn’t a house guest. She was supposed to stay for two days and she refused to leave.
Plus Jen was unbelievably harsh. My home is where my sanity lives. It would be safer for everyone if Jen went to a hotel like she said she would.
I stand by asking her to leave and telling her she will leave if she refuses.
Well, next time you know!
“What days will you be here? Yes,Saturday the third till Tuesday the sixth works for us too”
“Oh I am so sorry to hear about your allergies! I will walk you to the shop and show you where it is so you can pick up what you need”
“Sorry, I won’t be able to go woth you. Here is a map and a bus pass. I recommend the giant local bit of architecture and The historical palace”
Did she and Tyler sleep together or make out? If so that would explain her later behavior, some of it
I would hope not and considering Tyler kept pushing Jen away when she was touching him I doubt that Tyler would make out with her let alone have sex. Jen just wouldn’t take no for an answer and kept trying to get Tyler’s attention/affection but when that didn’t work she got angry.
Believe it or not I had a guest who was worse. She had an active case of scabies (extremely contagious!) which she didn’t bother to tell me about. I heard about it from a mutual friend. She – the guest with the scabies – didn’t want to stay home because she was bored!
I haven’t finished reading the whole thing yet (I’m savouring), but this comment caught my eye: “Also, she had an annoying habit of saying things like, “Oh, I almost bought you [such and such.]” Well, why are you telling me this? I don’t expect a hostess gift, but I’d prefer not to hear about all the nice things you “almost” bought me and then didn’t in favor of buying yourself gifts!”
My MIL used to do this when my daughters were small, and it drove me nuts. She’d say “I saw the cutest outfit that would have looked so nice on (Daughter), and I almost bought it, but then I told myself ‘No’.” I never knew how to respond. “Thank you for the gift you DIDN’T buy”?
I eventually came to the conclusion that MIL is a narcissist that wants to be praised and thanked for THINKING of doing something – the fact that she didn’t actually do it is immaterial. Jen is probably the same way.
Yes, this ploy lets you get the ‘oh, you were thinking about the children’ kudo without actually spending any money.
The only time it’s not a ploy is when they say; “I saw the cutest thing for X, but I wasn’t sure of her size/wanted to make sure she didn’t already have one/wanted to check with you first before I get it for her.”
How did she manage to see your Facebook post announcing your move to Europe? Surely you aren’t still Facebook friends with her! I would have “unfriended” her the minute she left my place! For your own peace of mind and for the sake of your marriage to your obviously very patient and long-suffering husband, do yourself a favor and cut this cretin out of your life for good. She is NOT the girl you knew in high school.
It’s very easy to say, “If she did this, I would immediately do that” but if you don’t have foreknowledge that she is the kind of person who will take a couple of miles when given half an inch, you’re blindsided. You’re still trying to figure out how to respond to the last demand when she hits you with the next demand. If you have dealt with this kind of person before, it’s easier to get your feet under you to say, “No, that’s not possible”, but if you haven’t, it takes time to work out how to respond.
When I host someone, I try to have things they like to eat on-hand. When my sister comes, it’s tea and gluten-free foods; if she were suddenly demanding Kevita and Brie, I would probably try to get some for her because that’s part of good hostessing. My sister wouldn’t do that, so if I prepared for someone else to come who began making these demands, it would take me by surprise. I would probably try to satisfy those demands, and it would take a while before I could disengage from the situation well enough to say, “Wait a minute!”
I can understand how OP got trapped in the situation, but totally agree with PP’s that she shouldn’t pretend to be out of town, but she should firmly tell this “friend” that she cannot stay with them.
Jen is exceptionally dense. She has no idea that her visit was miserable for her host. Or she knows but doesn’t care. Either way a subtle refusal to another visit will not work.
At some point the OP is going to have to tell Jen that she is not welcome in her home. It might be by private message, by mail, by phone, or any other method she can find, but it has to be said. “You will not be visiting us again.” She might include “Your visit, as much as you enjoyed it, was not at all pleasant for us.” I think any further explanation would be counterproductive.
I presume the OP and Jen still have some friends in common. Those friends need to know that the visit was not at all pleasant for the OP. Jen is not welcome in the OP’s home. No one is to give Jen the OP’s new address.
Moving from one continent to another probably means changing your phone number and possibly your email address. In that case this conversation should happen shortly before the move to make it more difficult for Jen to contact the OP to appeal the decision. None of the OP’s new contact information should be shared with Jen.
Wow! That was amazing! I really think there is a movie script in there, I’m not sure of the genre though, either comedy or horror! My sympathies OP, I’m not sure what I would have done in your situation.
I had to quit reading this half way through because I simply cannot stand how accommodating the OP was. At some point you really have to grow a spine and say “Alright dear, out you go!” and send her on to a hotel. Yikes…
Hi, I am the person who originally sent in this story. I had no idea it had even been posted.
I want to say that this was a vicious and ugly response. I am horrified at the level of nastiness commenters have displayed here; isn’t this an etiquette website? Remember that you are not witnessing anything, and you are no better than anyone else.
Let me clarify a few things:
1. In my former country of residence, it is ILLEGAL for a foreigner to switch where they are staying. They must register with the police before even leaving their town, let alone moving from a private residence with travel/guest permissions granted. To move her to a hotel would have involved paying a bribe, to say nothing of the ensuing drama and arguments.
2. She STOLE MY PHONE to find Trevor’s number. STOLE IT. And, yes, I didn’t notice right away that she was hitting on him. Let me clear things up for you: Trevor is an adult who makes their own decisions and has good judgment. If he had felt threatened, I am quite sure he would have spoken up. He seemed more bemused than anything.
3. Again, it was not a safe country for a woman alone. My life and safety were threatened many times living there. I didn’t want the same for her. And, no, I didn’t accommodate these intrusions, just to head you off at the pass.
What a disgusting display. So many people here should be ashamed of themselves.
I don’t notify people when submissions are published, if ever, but one can expect it can be published anytime. Reading back on the comments, Idon’t see a lot of angst and drama. I am curious as to what country you reside in since what you are describing sounds like a very totalitarian country.