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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…Why did you put up with her? x.x
Exactly. At some point, the OP and her husband should have put their foot down.
Sometimes, in the thick of things, you get a sort of shock. Things keep happening, and happening so fast, that reality itself seems warped. You don’t have time to react, you don’t know how to react because you don’t have any frames of reference. Then you think that if you go along with this thing, then SURELY it’ll be over? Right? Of course we know that it won’t be, but in the throes of that sort of situation it’s easy to tell yourself that as you accommodate yet another crazy request.
I agree that there are lots of things she could have done to help her own situation, lots of ways to show a polite spine. But with a house guest that has come so far, you’re pretty much stuck with that person until they leave unless you’re willing to kick her out of the house in a foreign nation.
Exactly! Especially after she did not hold up her end of the bargain. OP should’ve told her, “We agreed upon a weekend, and your time is up. Goodbye and good luck!”
No one can take advantage of you without your permission. I am amazed at how people will just invite themselves to stay with you…it’s happened to me twice in the last few months. If either of these people ever tries to make firm plans, I’ll be sure to point out that I didn’t issue an invitation.
I would NEVER assume that just because I was coming to someone’s city, that means I can stay with them. I always make sure that they issue an invitation, and then bring a host gift, cook and clean and make sure I’m on my P’s and Q’s as a guest. OP needs to grow a spine before the move, because you know this girl has already started researching flights to Europe!
OP is seriously in need of a polite spine. The minute Jen said she planned to spend the entire trip at the OP’s house, the proper response would be “No – we agreed on two days. My husband and I both work and we cannot take time off on such short notice to entertain you.”
What really horrifies me is the amount of trouble and expense OP went to for someone who isn’t even a close friend! Once my first purchase of food had been snubbed, I would have told Jen I would take her to the market and she could buy her own food.
I agree. I would have held firm at 2 days and if she didn’t leave, I would have put her and her stuff outside on day 3. I cannot believe that OP put up with all of this for SO long.
Yeah, no is a word.
“No, you need to cook your own meals if you’re so allergic to everything, I’ll just get the ingredients.”
“No, you can’t come with us.”
“Yes, you need to shut up.”
“No, I won’t be talking to you.”
“NO you will NOT be staying with us when we move and I KNOW you don’t mean it as a joke!”
OP, I’m sorry you had to go through this, but you really really REALLY need to work on your polite spine. You should have put your foot down at the start of this ordeal, at the latest when she left for the resort. Don’t be a doormat for a complete and total boor.
That’s all I can say.
She is the worst houseguest ever, but why on earth did you put yourself out for her the way you did? You gave her your bedroom? Why? And you really let her walk all over you, you were way too nice and let her get away with murder. Her behavior the whole way through was ridiculously childish and unacceptable, and I would have shut that down fast. At some point I would have just kicked her out.
Yes, after the first two days, which the OP did agree to, she should have opened the front door and said get out. End of story.
I can’t find the slightest bit of sympathy for this woman or her husband. If you’re going to act like a doormat, expect to be walked on. All of this agony was self inflicted because they were too spineless to say no. The world is full of boors. The people who enable them are worse.
I’m gobsmacked by this. Not actually so much by Jen – I have met people as bad as that myself, at least one whom was, a friend assures me, quite a sensible pleasant person once – but by OP and her husband. What on earth would it take to make these people grow some spine? I totally understand how long it takes to take in and really believe how outrageously someone is behaving and to muster one’s forces to deal with them: but OP doesn’t at any point seem to grasp that they could or should have done anything but meekly pander to and enable Jen’s behaviour. And even afterwards, their reaction to Jen’s announcement that she will come to visit them in Europe is not “Oh no she won’t” but “We’ll run away, or at least pretend to”. What if she just showed up on their doorstep? On this showing, it sounds as though they would just let her in and minister to her every whim as before.
(Talking of ministering to her every whim: right from the start I found it weird that they cleared themselves and even some of their furniture out of their own bedroom so she could sleep in it rather than giving her their spare bedroom. I was brought up to take the duties of a host very seriously, but to me that goes beyond hospitality to self-abasement. Perhaps that was the problem?)
Also, I would say that OP and husband were rude and inconsiderate to all their other friends. Once Jen had insulted Lily, hassled her boss (incidentally, why on earth had she let Jen have his number?) and sexually harassed Tyler, she should have avoided inflicting her on them again. It was surely unforgivable to take her to Steve’s dinner party. Saying she had cleared it with Steve “weeks ago” is no excuse – at that time she had presumably described Jen as “an old friend of mine, a funny and sweet person”, so of course he was fine with that. Now that they knew Jen was a rude, attention-seeking, freeloading, sexually-molesting weirdo, they should either have left Jen in their apartment with a cold supper or, if they couldn’t find the spine to do that, stayed away from the party themselves.
“Now that they knew Jen was a rude, attention-seeking, freeloading, sexually-molesting weirdo, they should either have left Jen in their apartment with a cold supper or, if they couldn’t find the spine to do that, stayed away from the party themselves.”
My favorite sentence of the day 🙂
“(Talking of ministering to her every whim: right from the start I found it weird that they cleared themselves and even some of their furniture out of their own bedroom so she could sleep in it rather than giving her their spare bedroom. I was brought up to take the duties of a host very seriously, but to me that goes beyond hospitality to self-abasement. Perhaps that was the problem?)”
This makes me wonder if OP and husband are from a culture where a lot more is expected of the host and might be the reason they put up with far more than I would have put up with.
“Talking of ministering to her every whim: right from the start I found it weird that they cleared themselves and even some of their furniture out of their own bedroom so she could sleep in it rather than giving her their spare bedroom. I was brought up to take the duties of a host very seriously, but to me that goes beyond hospitality to self-abasement. Perhaps that was the problem?”
Yeah…isn’t that the point of having a spare (or “guest”) room? I actually missed that the first time and had to go back. I assumed they were sleeping in their living room or something in order to give her a little privacy.
Mistake number one was not sticking to your guns about only having her for the weekend, and then possibly the day before her return flight. Mistake number two was buying anything special for her “needs”–let her get these things herself. Mistake number three was not kicking her out and referring her to the nearest hotel from the moment she insulted your home! Obviously, if it’s not good enough for her, she can leave it and not come back. I’m sorry to hear how badly Jen treated their hospitality, but I’m afraid they made doormats of themselves. As far as Jen inviting herself to their European home, there is no need for the ruse of being “out of town.” For heaven’s sake, man up and actually tell her she is not welcome!
Years ago, we hosted a friend from Germany at our home in the US, and there was some miscommunication about how long he was staying. We had understood he would stay with us for a week and then do some traveling; he had taken our invitation as a blanket one to stay as long as needed. After nearly a week and no indication of his moving on, we sat down and discussed it, and he understood that it would be a hardship for us to have him stay another two weeks. Fortunately we stayed friends, and he later hosted us in his apartment in Berlin. And we were very clear about the three nights we were staying.
Forgive my bluntness, but she did all that because you were a doormat. Why did you keep driving her places? Why did you keep buying her snack food? Why did she even have Tyler’s phone number?
Unfortunately I have seen not dissimilar at a convention I attended, I’ll call her Moochina and after everyone compared notes we didn’t understand why she didn’t get hoofed and a restraining order from at least six sides slapped on her. Moochina was very very plainly informed she better not ever get near the event again (held annually) and the one main enabler, it cracked his marriage right into a divorce and informed if he wanted to ever show face around there again, no more even HINT of Moochina. (his missus is one of the restraining orders.) Oh yes, this kind of crud can happen.
Oh my. You let Jen walk all over you, when no amount of politeness or embarrassment required you to put up with any of that.
Yiu should have told her to make her own plans and spend her own money no later than day 2!
“Jen and her mother seemed to do everything together. They lived together, usually vacationed together, and worked together.”
I think we know the origin of Jen’s complete lack of boundaries…
LW is a saint, I’ve never thrown someone out of my house but in this case I would have.
Then I would have blocked her on all social media and maybe even warned common friends about her.
“I think we know the origin of Jen’s complete lack of boundaries…”
Conversely, if she had some kind of crisis or breakdown that changed her personality – I say changed, because OP says she was once a sweet funny person -it’s possible her mother felt she had no alternative but to take her back into her home and under her wing.
My DH and I, both historical re-enactors, once found ourselves hosting an American guy we had never met before; he wanted to go to a big re-enactment event in Belgium that we were going to with out group, a a friend of ours who had recently been very kindly hosted and helped by this guy and his wife on a visit to the USA asked us if we would take him along. We were happy to, as payback for their hospitality to our friend. In emails to us before he came over, this guy mentioned several times that his wife didn’t want him to go, implying she was possessive and over-anxious about his health after a recent illness.
When he arrived, we completely understood why the unfortunate woman hadn’t wanted him to cross the Atlantic without her and inflict himself on strangers! Whatever his health crisis had been, he had ballooned in size (he was unrecognisable from the photographs our friend had shown us) – he looked like the then-popular TV character Mr Blobby (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mr_Blobby). And his personality was what I suppose you might describe as “disinhibited”; he made unfunny cracks about Britain and things like my “funny little car” (a perfectly ordinary Skoda Fabia); he when he got thirsty during the reenactment he simply went through the packs of other members of the group and drank their water; he actually opened items of my mail that he felt looked interesting (only mail order catalogues, but even so…) The friend who had lumbered us with him was appalled, and said he was totally different to what he had been.
Mercifully he was only with us for a couple of days either side of the event, so it didn’t have to come to a showdown. As he was packing up he said how much he liked a Napoleonic souvenir we had on our wall, and a book. Would we sell them to him? Sorry, no, we said. But when we left we found he had taken the book. We just weren’t having that, and emailed him a couple of times, not actually accusing him of theft but asking him nicely to post it back now he had read it. No reply. Finally we sent him a picture postcard asking him to return it, on the grounds that his wife would get to read that … and it was returned.
Saints don’t throw their friends under the bus and let them get molested just so they can have a moment of peace…
I could not make it through the entire saga. I skimmed some of it and all I could think of is: “OP you are acting like a doormat”. Painful to read.
Sorry I have nothing else constructive to add.
Wow. I’m stuck on Jen insulting your boss and your company’s driver. Please tell me you didn’t get in trouble at work over that.
If I was her Boss, I would say that she had just made a career limiting move at the least, and grounds for dismissal by sharing company resources with non-clients/non-coworkers
My first rule of thumb on house guests is that people who ask to stay with me are not welcome. Why? Because the level of self-involvedness that would engender such a request is more than likely to manifest in other unfortunate ways. Witness the travails of OP, her husband, Travis, Lily, and Jen.
OP, since you did accede to her request, you should have, at a minimum, told her that the initial three day stay was all that was on offer and stuck with it.
You consider it highly self-involved for anyone to ask a friend if you can stay with them? That seems excessively harsh. I’ve asked to stay with friends, and been asked by friends to stay with me, many times without incident and would not remotely consider such a request indicative of a high level of self-involvement.
My experience has been that people who don’t seem to have much use for me until they need a place to stay are the ones to ask. Decent people make arrangements for themselves and wait to be invited.
I have gotten such requests from people who I have ongoing friendships with.
If someone I’d barely spoken to in years said “Vicki, can I stay at your place when I’m in town?” the answer would be no; when my mother asked the same thing, I said yes. The policy, if you want to call it that, is that the only people who are invited to stay here (unless there’s an emergency) are my friends, not “anyone who went to my high school.”
No snark, I am seriously sorry that your experiences have led you to this conclusion. I’ve lived in a couple of different tourist areas and have often had friends and family ask to stay; but they have also been gracious about returning the favour when I’ve been in their neck of the woods.
So basically you just don’t host people ever, right? If someone mentions they are thinking of visiting your city/town/patch of woods do they have to just twiddle their thumbs and hope you extend an invitation? Or do you expect that a visitor spend all of their time with you and consider it rude if someone takes a trip to see both you and your area?
I live in NYC and have happily hosted people many times who are coming to see the sites, need somewhere to crash and want to visit. I have never had a bad experience and have made some great memories this way.
If I was going to visit New York, I would book a hotel room rather than put you in the position of having to turn my self-invite down. If you wanted me to stay with you, then awesome – I’ll cancel the hotel. Meanwhile, you haven’t had a moment of discomfort regarding the whole situation. I consider that to be the height of etiquette.
Hotels here in NYC are usually $400 a night and up. It’s great that you can afford that, but not everyone can. Most of my houseguests would not be able to afford the trip without staying with us.
I have had dozens of friends stay here, and regret not one. I have never had an acquaintance ask, but my close friends know they are welcome.
Most of the time I visit friends they extend the invitation, but once I have hosted someone in my home I see no problem with directly asking.
That is a social group thing. In my circle we offer both hosting and visiting. Some people get insulted if you are in their city and don’t visit.
I agree. It’s not a ‘right or wrong’ issues, it is about the norms within a family or social group, and about how well you know the person concerned.
If you don’t know them well enough to know whether they would be OK saying ‘no’ if you ask to stay, then it’s best not to ask.
If you know them well enough to know they’ll be OK with you asking, and would be comfortable saying ‘no’ if it wasn’t convenient for them, then it’s OK to ask. (and conversely, of course, it’s fine to decide that you would prefer to stay in a hotel or other accommodation, and to choose not to ask, even if you know that you could!)
This was my mom’s side of the family. The big family reunion was a week every summer and us locals got inundated but it was all part of the reunion. Go near the other relatives and you were going to be totally in the doghouse complete with fleas if you didn’t come stay. One year we went to a really big city that had more than one living there and with scheduling my parents weren’t going to be able to stay at one place, so 13 year old me announced >I< would be going over to that aunt's (if they came and got me). They did, I went and stayed over, minded my manners, and helped fix the family rift by at least one of us went there to be paid back for our summerly hospitality especially of the year before when they brought the toy poodle girl in heat and caused a lot of issues… that is how it was though.
It’s a saga. I feel badly for OP, but the whole thing could have been solved/ improved/ prevented with reasonable and judicious use of the word “no”. “No” isn’t a word that you employ and then wait around for the other party to come to grips with. It’s a word that follows a decision you make that a particular behavior or context will not work for you. Your mistake was in tolerating what you had resolved not to accept by failing to follow up on your decision. Sometimes you have to say “no” and have an unpleasant conversation. Or NOT allow a guest to visit. Or NOT drive her on long trips repeatedly. Or NOT solve problems that are within her purview. Your ongoing attempts to pacify her failed. Maybe you won’t allow yourself to be taken advantage of again. (Oh, and tears, drama and fussing? You won’t die if you decline to compensate for her emotional disequilibrium and interestingly, neither will she.)
“No” isn’t a word that you employ and then wait around for the other party to come to grips with. It’s a word that follows a decision you make…”
I want to cross-stitch and frame this, and I don’t even know how to cross-stitch.
I can’t beleive that both OP and her husband put up with this.
I can accept that they didn’t get rid of her when she didn’t manage to find another place to stay….at first.
But on the morning of day two, I would have packed all her things, taken her to the lobby and gave her the info for the nearest hotel. She wasn’t invited, she was told she could not stay for more than the weekend and the couple of days before her flight, so if she wanted to return in 5 days then ok.
Why did they keep buying food for her? She wasn’t invited and she wasn’t grateful.
Why did she invite this monster to her friends party? Why was she shocked that this woman didn’t thank her friend for dinner? Why did she involve the company that employed her?
The OP let a basic stranger into her home and continually fed her, heard her, catered to her, spent money on her, let her antagonize her friends twice, engaged her company car at great risk, and her husband didn’t start considering asking her to leave until the end?
I can’t get my head around it. I want to be more sympathetic to the OP and her husband but I just can’t.
Had they put up with her for a few days and then packed her stuff and kicked her out, I would have been very sympathetic about the money they had spent on her, the hours they had to listen to her and the inevitable backlash that would have resulted from removing her.
For the first couple of days, the OP and her husband were victims. After that they were volunteers. (To paraphrase from the book “The Gift of Fear”
Why are you still Facebook friends after all that?
Why on Earth did you continue to put up this?? I would have literally thrown her out. She insulted and sexually harassed your friends, insulted & used you & your husband, and called your BOSS to complain about a free car & driver ? What would it have taken for you to tell her to leave?
Ha ha – I cannot believe you’re still friends with her on FB!
This was quite a read! I am in sympathy with OP and her spouse, but I have to agree with other commenters — why did she let Jen stay that much time, and why did she ever let her return? I would have called up a hotel or three, seen if a room was available at one of them, and driven Jen to it and left her there. I would have had to tell her we could no longer accommodate her, but this hotel has a room available, best of luck on your trip, etc. And be done with her.
I read the whole thing. I know the discussion is based on the above and beyond horrible behavior of Jen. But all I can think about is how awful it must be to be Jen. How horrible it is to wake up in that life every day, to be so clueless about yourself and the world around you.
For heaven’s sake, at least block her on Facebook.
I cannot imagine why the OP turned herself inside out for this person…what kind of hold does Jen have over her that she would put up with all these OTT shenanigans? A firm NO, an unanswered phone, and a locked door would have gone a long way here. Wow.
I think everyone has said what I’m thinking. And why oh WHY did you not immediately block her on EVERY social media format the minute she left??? Yep…grow a shiny spine, LW!
WHY would anyone put up with that, LOOK you can stay for the weekend NOT 2 weeks…No you let her walk all over you and your husband.
In fairness to the OP, it seems that she didn’t know until Jen already arrived that she had only planned 3 days away, and it’s difficult when you’re in a foreign country. But that means that her first mistake was in not getting exact dates from her after she tried to say she would stay the whole time with her. She should have settled it crystal clear before Jen ever gone on the plane, and if she tried to take it back once she got there, taken her to a hotel.
I also agree that there’s no reason she should have given her her room, or that she should have continued to buy food for her. Take her to the store and let her buy her own food. If she doesn’t want to do that, she can eat what you’ve got. Even assuming that Jen absolutely refuses to leave (to a hotel), and you don’t want to call the police over it, you still don’t have to cater to her. Don’t buy her special food. Don’t agree to take her places on the days she wasn’t supposed to be at your house anyway. You have jobs, remember? You told her you couldn’t accommodate her. Don’t give her taxi money–that’s her responsibility! If you go out to eat, well, you could just leave her behind, but if you do take her, tell the waitress you have separate checks, and just refuse to pay for hers. If she can’t pay it, then she’s the one who has to deal with that. Yes, make sure she has your contact information in case she actually does get into a true emergency situation, but, seriously, let her deal with the consequences of her own actions and choices. It was not your responsibility to baby her and cater to all her whims, because you never invited her in the first place.
And how did she get so many people’s phone numbers? Your BOSS’s number?? Tyler’s number? Your other friends’ numbers? Why would you give them to her?
Definitely, if she asks to visit, tell her that no, you won’t be able to accommodate her. Don’t say you’ll be out of town, or whatever, because then she’ll keep asking. Just say that no, sorry, you can’t host her. If she demands to know why, then you have every right to say that she abused your hospitality last time, and so is not welcome any more. And if she throws a fit, so what?
This is not the first time I’ve read a story on here where someone talks about buying special foods for a guest who never offers any money. Until I saw this site I’ve never heard of someone doing such a thing. I’ve both hosted people and been hosted by people where a trip to the grocery store was done the first day and the guest just bought whatever they required. I really don’t see how a host is obligated to provide expensive specialty foods (especially when its a matter of preference and not some serious allergy). If anything a guest should offer to cover the cost of groceries as a thank you to their host!
If I had a Jen visit me I would probably just send her to the cash register alone, it wouldn’t even occur to me that I was responsible for covering her snack foods.
I have food and diet issues and I plan on feeding myself, and yes, please, let’s stop the X store on the way and I will get myself what I need (or can find). I got stuck late last fall ‘adrift’ and assumed I would be self feeding and self entertaining. I did end up in a barnacle bed for two of the nights and yes, I made my own stuff and fed myself, washed my dishes, squeegeed the shower and made my bed. They went out to do stuff and it was a large urban where you lock your doors all the time, so I told them to go ahead and lock me in (I could leave if I wished) the house and do what they needed to. I spoiled the resident cat and otherwise stayed out of their way… the rest of the time I stayed in a hostel bed, had a place to lock my stuff, and availed myself of local public transportation and made do. I am not too proud to ride the bus or lightrail, to find out where the stops are, the fares, and get my own keyster around. Looking at it as a challenge and part of the adventure is some of it. My plans had been totally trashed but I tried to make the best of it anyways. Jen was just off the scale, totally and completely.
The only thing I can think that makes sense is that Jen “borrowed” OP’s phone and copied the numbers. Based on the description, I wouldn’t put it past her.
Dear gods! You commitment to hospitality is incredible.
I would have broken and tossed her out with a “I don’t care where you go, but you can’t stay here” by day two.
No. Just no. No to all of that. The constant talking, the expectation of being treated like a princess, no paying for her food or anything, it’s an epic disaster.
This can’t be real. It sounds like the basis for a chick-lit novel or comedy movie.
Sometimes you have to put your foot down. I don’t care that some call being firm to be rude, if they were not rude they would not create a situation where you have to be firm.
When she said she was going to stay longer than agreed, “I’m sorry, I cannot accommodate that request. Here is a list if local motels.”
When you ask her to be gone for a few hours and she refuses, “then I’m sorry but you’ll have to find somewhere else to stay because we can no longer accommodate you.”
When she hates the food, “I’m sorry it is not to your liking, I’ll take you to the store and you can buy what you will eat.”
And so many times, “I’m sorry you don’t like x, you are free to go make your own plans, find your own transportation, buy your own food, take care if yourself like every other adult.”
At some point you put your foot down. Don’t buy any more food, until you’ve been paid back for example.
This is what you get for offering to host someone who you literally haven’t spent any time with in 10 years. Someone who was obviously using you as a free place to stay while they were travelling. Sorry but I would have kicked her ass out the first time she called my residence a ‘ghetto’. 😉
Obviously Jen has many serious issues beyond simple rudeness, and they are the sort that would not likely show up in a casual social media acquaintance. But why would anyone put up with this sort of nonsense more than a day?
“I’m sorrry, Jen. This isn’t going to work after all. Here are some nearby hotels I recommend.” Door. Out. Locked.
An offer to host does not mean putting up with egregious behavior. The rules of consent apply to every aspect of social relationships. Consent may always be withdrawn.
Anyone who is capable of booking and navigating travel to an international destination is perfectly capable of finding somewhere else to stay.
Oh, and unfriend her on all social media immediately! You don’t need this adult baby in your life anymore. She should have no idea where you are. And if by some chance she finds out and invites herself over, man up and say NO.
I find posts like this very frustrating. Assuming this is not an exaggeration, you allowed the abusive behavior, not only toward yourself, but toward your husband, your boss, and your friends. After she insulted your friend by making a crack about ordering dog, you should not have taken her to your other friend’s dinner party. Ordinarily I wouldn’t like cancelling on a dinner party invitation, but bringing someone like this to the party is worse.
Woozers. I can’t even imagine being put in this situation; it’s crazy to think that a 30 year old woman would be so entitled, self-centered, and needy. I don’t think I’d even be comfortable hosting someone I hadn’t seen or talked to much within 10 years. The OP was entirely too kind providing food and money for someone who took total advantage of it – I certainly would have snapped much sooner. I allow company to stay with me when they are in town and I try to account for dietary limitations, but I would definitely not buy more than one round of groceries.
I also think while it’s handy to have a polite spine, and I’m willing to bet these folks exited this experience with more of it, it does not come easily to people who have conflict aversion personalities. I’m sure this was an eye-opening experience on boundaries for the OP. Jen was an adult who was pretending to be a child and it really caught the two other adults in the home totally unprepared.
I only got a few paragraphs in because I knew that it was going to be a long list of “Can you believe Jen did X while I stood there and did nothing to stop it?”
I agree with the posters who skimmed this post and wondered why the OP put up with it as long as she did. You did well, OP, in the beginning, explaining that she couldn’t stay past the weekend, and that you would not be able to entertain her, but then you gave in every time she demanded something after that.
I think the first time someone called my house “ghetto” I would ask if I could give them a lift over to the nearest hotel, followed by a cold stare.
And certainly I would not have stocked my house with a bunch of foods I couldn’t eat. I’d maybe offer to drive her to a grocery store and wait while she picked out (and paid for) her own food.
I bet next time when Jen comes to visit, she will bring her mom to tag along.
So easy for folks commenting to “victim blame.” I guess they feel that everyone should be as steel-spined as they are.
It’s also easy to use buzz phrases like “victim blame” to shame people on a forum where they talk about good hospitality and bad hospitality and graciousness as opposed to a forum dedicated to abuse victims of various kinds.
Op was a victim for a few days. No one is blaming her for that. She is being called out on continuing to “enable her abuser”, since we are using victimhood terminology.
She is also being called out on bringing her friends into a situation where her abuser can abuse them. Which the abuser did.
Following the racist comment and the inappropriate and unwanted touching, the “victim” then decided it would be ok to bring the abuser to a dinner party, which included the friend who was subjected to the unwanted touching.
The victim became an accomplice to abuse. Can she be held responsible for that? Or is that further victim blaming? What if Jen had previously suffered abuse similar that which she hands out? Then she is just a victim and shouldn’t be held responsible for her actions either.
Actually, thanks for your post because now that I think of it I think they are all victims, including Jen, except the OP.
They weren’t victims. Not after the first couple of days anyway. They were volunteers.
I’m not sure that they DO feel that everyone should be “steel-spined”, as you express it. Perhaps it’s just that they are really shocked that one or two days of that behavior wouldn’t cause a host to find that they are booked fully for time and quite unable to accommodate their guest, after all. I know that I would be immensely busy and unavailable, commencing immediately after making a booking on behalf of said “guest” with a reputable cab company on a cash payment basis to the nearest hotel with a vacancy, for which I would again pay one night, cash, if necessary (and if accepted by the vendor) to transfer this social nemesis to another environment. Failing that, she’d be strictly on her own after her choice of Any Destination with a 100 mile radius, cash payment plus tip and “no returns” instructions to the driver.
OP is not a victim. She went out of her way to cater to her guest, without any prompt or request.
Jen, of course, took full advantage.
Reading back, OP you are not a good hostess, and you’re not a very good friend, you sat down no boundaries, went out of your way to heap money on her , martyring yourself to LOOK like a good hostess, yet yet you accosted her upon your friends, and coworkers, and even your boss.
You are a BAD FRIEND because you were relieved to throw all of your other friends under the bus to handle her for a moment instead of yourself, you introduced her to a cute guy after she blathered on and on about the sex, let her molest, cling and harass him, brought her to a party with OTHER FRIENDS so she could keep trying to do so, and let her ruin your good friend’s party.
You dragged your boss into dealing with her, you dragged your coworkers into dealing with her.
You are a terribly guilty party in this, and should really try to be a better friend, because honestly you and your houseguest deserve each other :/
Okay, I was wrong. THIS is a bit more blame than is merited, in my view. The hostess shouldn’t have to have a list of rules whose equivalent translates to “please do not molest, accost, socially terrorize or otherwise stalk/ shock/ harm anyone in my social or professional network”. OP is responsible for the failure to say “no” and follow through. To my mind, however, the other “stunts” fall more on the side of the Nightmare Guest’s responsibility than OP’s. She might not have advanced in the Hostessing Guild to the rank of Ninja Goddess of Chaos Prevention. (But I’m willing to bet that she’s well on her way after this debacle.)
When her male friend got molested by this woman the first time, the OP shoulda made sure she 1: DID NOT HAVE HIS NUMBER and 2: KEPT HER AWAY FROM HIM!
This woman made racist and nasty comments to each of her friends, friends OP dragged into this, they did not ask to hang with Jen, OP brought her along or asked for invites, OP deserves all the blame.
She stole my phone. Can you get a life? Wow!
I agree. This is too much. It is perfectly normal to expect adult people to behave like adults. On the other hand, it is not reasonable to expect people to be able to police the said adults like unruly toddlers and read their minds.
“Oh, it turns out my friend talks about sex a lot. I better check the guest list for a meeting I have already arranged and disinvite all the cute guys in case she attempts to molest them.” Seriously is that how we should expect anyone to operate?
If Jen simply talked a lot about sex that would be one thing. But when Jen met Tyler she wouldn’t stop flirting with him and kept touching him even though Tyler made it very clear that he wasn’t interested. Then that fact that Jen somehow got a hold of Tyler’s number and continued to pretty much harassed him is terrible. OP should have kept Jen away from Tyler so that he wouldn’t have to go through that again.
It’s the same thing with Lily too. It’s bad enough that Jen was a racist towards the locals but then to be racist to OP’s friend is crossing another line and again OP should’ve kept Jen away from Lily.
I’m going to be honest I can’t say what I would have done if I was in OP’s place but considering how horrible Jen acted if I didn’t have a steel enough spine to kick her out I would have done what I can to keep her away from Tyler and Lily (especially Tyler) with the way Jen treated them. OP and her husband were victims for the first couple of days but then they became doormats and didn’t do enough to correct Jen’s behavior and kept buying her food, giving her money and just not putting their foot down in general.
And considering how awful Jen was to Tyler and Lily (and how rude in general she is to everyone else) I wouldn’t have taken her to that dinner party. I either would have gone without her or called Steve up and told him I couldn’t come to the dinner party and explained why.
No but we certainly don’t ask for invitations for someone we already know molested someone who is going to be there, and made many racist comments to other people that will also be there.
We tell Jen we’ll be back, but we have a event we’ve been invited to and we’ll see her in a few hours.
But Steve’s party was planned weeks ahead – when (presumably) OP knew Jen will be staying with her, but prior to any molestation or racist remarks.
“But Steve’s party was planned weeks ahead – when (presumably) OP knew Jen will be staying with her, but prior to any molestation or racist remarks.”
Yes OP did ask Steve if she could bring Jen to the party weeks in advance which by itself is fine and this was before OP knew the type if person Jen was really like. But after OP saw Jen’s true colors and the way she treated both Tyler and Lily then OP never should have brought Jen to the party. I don’t know when OP told Jen about the party though base on the story it sounds like it wasn’t mention until well after most the events occurred. So in that case OP shouldn’t have mention the party to Jen or rather never mention that Jen was invited to the party and kept her away.
Or OP could have not gone to the party and explained to Steve she’s not able to come and why. Either way after everything that Jen did to Tyler and Lily bringing her to the party was just a very bad idea overall.
Oh and for some reason I didn’t see the reply button to your response (The one I quoted above) so I just replied to this comment again. Sorry about that.
Ummm….and you’re Facebook friends (or any kind of acquaintance) with this person because…..?
I would not pretend to be out of town, I would simply tell her she needs to make other arrangements, she is not welcome, otherwise she is just show up some other time.
Well, it already looks like a large chunk of the posts are going to be getting onto the OP.
To be fair, the circumstances should be taken into account. Had this all happened in OP and Jen’s country of origin I would jump on and say ‘toss her bags out the front door and lock t behind her’. Especially considering she didn’t know Jen intended to stay with her almost the whole time until the woman was there. There’s a certain point where politeness and kindness go out the door and you have to be a witch to get through someone’s head.
But considering that Jen doesn’t seem all that bright, didn’t speak the local language, and it was an area that could be dangerous, doing so would have probably result in a breaking report on the evening news. And its obvious that Jen is so self-involved that it would require a point blank “Look you brat, you’re annoying the hell out of everyone. I can’t stand one more vapid story or you acting like a cat in heat. Figure out how to fake being an adult in the next 20 minutes or call mommy and get her to arrange your trip home now.” And most people are going to balk at being that blunt and mean, even if that’s the only way to get through to someone.
I agree. It’s easy to say “toss her out”, but I must say I would be afraid to unceremoniously kick out someone who doesn’t speak the local language, is not at all familiar with the local culture and clearly isn’t willing to make much effort to communicate, in a quite remote area with no foreigners. I would be too afraid that I will have the consulate calling me next day about IDing the body. I might try to persuade guest to find alternate accomodation, but some people don’t really respond to hints.
On the other hand, inflicting her on friends and bosses seems definitely too much. And while I could see Tyler giving her his number in a moment of weakness, or Jen just copying it out of a notebook if the OP has one, why did she have the number of the OP’s boss?
Are you forgetting that Jen *chose* to go to a country where she didn’t speak the language, wasn’t particularly safe for solitary women, and made no effort to understand the local customs? Choose the behavior, choose the consequences.
Anyone with an ounce of self respect would have tossed her out on her ear after 2 days at most.
I still don’t think it should be an offence punishable by death or serious physical harm.
And I honestly must say that while I agree on principle, I am not sure if I could bring myself to toss someone out of my house, particularly in a foreign country. But all my house-guests have been very pleasant so far.
On the other hand, if I got it correctly, Jen has been living in a foreign country for a while – assuming she’s not Middle-Eastern. In that case she’s displaying amazing lack of cultural awareness. I have travelled to various countries, including those with culture very different from my own. It’s amazing how far you can get with learning a few basic words, some information about local customs (especially about what is considered polite/rude), a smile and clear willingness to comunicate. It takes a special kind of person not to know that.
I’m inclined to agree but there’s a lot between “toss her out” and “accommodate her every whim”. She didn’t need to give her the boot but she certainly didn’t have to keep shelling out money and catering to her demands.
I would have told her “We agreed on two days, we absolutely cannot let you stay longer than that because we have previous commitments.”
You set yourself up to become a doormat.
Obviously Jen doesn’t get a free pass, but oh my gosh, the plan started with two days. It should have STAYED two days. It’s not your problem if she doesn’t plan well, or at least it shouldn’t be.
Hahaha, I find it impossible to believe that anyone, after being told how “ghetto” their place was, continued to cook, clean, give money to, (etc etc )said houseguest.. OP got exactly what they deserved (if any of this is actually true).
Poor OP! Everyone is jumping down your throat. I’m a slowly improving ex-doormat myself. That’s what the “polite spine” is: learning that we *don’t* have to be nice to everybody – though we should be polite.
That was a real revelation for me. It’s rude to say “eff off and die;” it is NOT rude to say “no.”
I highly recommend that you join the forum, and then spend a lot of time in the “Etiquette School Is Now In Session” section. That’s where I began to transform myself from a doormat for everyone to walk on into the owner of a door that can be open and/or closed at my own will.
(in cheesy TV announcement voice) “Choose not to be a doormat, today!”
With sympathy and solidarity,
OP let one of her friends get molested by this woman, and gave him her phone number, OP doesn’t get any sympathy from me.
I love your comment, Roo Roo!
I felt like a hypocrite right after posting mine because there’s a distinct possibility I would have acted the same way, at least for a few of those horrible days – especially had the person been a relative. I’ve been growing my spine quite well when it comes to friends and acquaintances but I’m still a sucker for the “but they’re FAMILY” shtick.
At some point, you became a willing volunteer to her abuse, and you subjected your husband and friends to that abuse too. And you don’t have the gumption to tell her “no you will never be visiting us in Europe” after all you went through. Sorry, but you have to be doormat-iest doormat of all Doormatland.
I’m now wincing in sympathy for OP. Notwithstanding her duty to contain/ prevent the craziness that is this friend, perhaps we could remove the Dunce Cap of Doormat-iest Doormat of all Doormatland and replace it with Hostess Goddess (Trainee, Intern Level 1).
OP, you are a saint… but maybe that’s not a good thing? I would have punt-kicked Jen into the fourth dimension within the first hour.
Do take care of yourself.
OP-RESTRAINING ORDER. And block Jen on everything period.
This was so bad and I could understand about possibly not getting enough spine just to punt her into the street and leave her to her own doings, but. At this point I’d make sure Jen never ever got within me being able to see or hear her ever again.
our house :: morning of day 2,, get her to hotel even if we pay first night . all is blocked bye !!!
couple and their sanitty restored. no regrets
Is this even real? If it is, surely by Day 2 I would have said, “This isn’t working for me – you will have to make other arrangements. “