View Full Version : Houseguest issues
11-10-2008, 12:04 PM
My aunt came down for a visit this past summer, for a week. To keep it short, it was tedious and frustrating having her. Plans kept changing at last minute, plans she promised me were set in stone, so I made plans around that, which I then had to cancel. I told her I'd be working all week and wouldn't be able to entertain her too much, and she promised she was fine with that. She wasn't. She spent most of the 'vacation' depressed and drowning her sorrows in wine, over her life and guy problems. She got offended at little things I'd say and complain to her mother about it, rather than talk to me directly. She even used my loofah all week and never bothered to tell me!
I just don't want to deal with it again. She didn't ask if it was alright to visit, just assumed as family she'd be more than welcome. And she is, but a week was just too much.
I spoke to her yesterday on the phone, where she mentioned she'd be coming down to Florida in March for another week. Once again, she invited herself to stay at my place, joking she wouldn't bring any guy troubles with her like last time. I didn't say anything cause I didn't want to get into it, but I can't go through another week with her. Part of me is saying it's not that bad, she's family, she'll be hurt if I tell her I can't do it...and part of me is saying it's my place and my time and I didn't invite her.
We're a small family, and my grandmother (her mother) knows how frustrated I was with her. Her view is that family is family and you sacrifice for them. She'll say it's not right of Aunt to invite herself, but that I should suck it up anyway, it's only a week.
What do I do?
11-10-2008, 12:39 PM
No one can take advantage of you without your permission, so don't give it to them.
If your aunt insists on visiting again, make reservations for her at a local motel. If you can afford to pay for that, then do so. But make it crystal clear that she is to stay at the motel and there will be no discussion about it. Your aunt wore out her welcome last time, so she's not welcome back.
Another thing. Don't schedule yourself around her. If you can't take a lot of time off from work, you may offer to plan a few things that you think she'd enjoy. If she chooses not to do them, that's fine, but you're not going to make a special effort to keep her entertained. She's imposing herself on you, so as I see it, you are not required to make special accommodations for her.
And for you: Grow a spine. Blood may be thicker than water, but it's OK to say no. What are your aunt, mother and grandmother going to do to you from all that distance? Call you pisher?
Robin, who is damn glad she lives 1200 miles from her family.
Why is she coming back in March?
If it's business, then she's probably able to bill the hotel to her company.
If it's to see someone in your city, then let her stay with them.
If it's just to see you, then let her know that it's really a bad time and you'll let her know when you're free.
11-10-2008, 05:10 PM
You can tell her it's not a good time, or that you'd love to have lunch with her but she'll have to stay at a hotel, etc.
11-10-2008, 05:15 PM
She was a lousy guest, and you (understandably) don't want her back. Now you need to tell her that. Being family isn't a free pass to be a jerk, and it isn't a free pass to stay at someone's house when they don't particularly want you there (especially if you've proven that you're a lousy guest).
You live in Florida, she wants to visit in March; she's using you for a nice winter getaway, right? Make it on your terms so that it isn't a repeat of all the crap from her last visit.
11-10-2008, 06:47 PM
If you're happy to have her for a couple of days, but not a whole week, one way to placate both her and other family who could get bent out of shape over it, is to tell her you've looked at your calendar and that week is going to be so overloaded for you that you just can't host her for the whole time, but if she needs a place to stay for a couple of days on the weekend, you're more than happy to spend that time with her. Just tell her you'll be so tied up that you'll barely be home yourself, but Saturday and Sunday work great!
Good luck, whatever you decide to do!
11-10-2008, 07:07 PM
...and part of me is saying it's my place and my time and I didn't invite her.
11-10-2008, 07:57 PM
She really irritated you, and has, again, invited herself to stay at your place?
As I understand it, you didn't really appreciate that she changed some plans, at the last minute, that meant you had to change yours.
Book her a room at a local inexpensive motel, and then change your plans, at the very last minute. I am certain she'll understand that things happen, right? Maybe point it out, when you break it to her.
That, "She's family, just suck it up!", thing, works both ways.
It's your turn to be on the other end, for a change. Let her suck it up.
I'm not known for being a doormat, but . . .
I[d probably let her stay. If you have a small family and you know she'd be hurt and grandma says suck it up, I'd probably suck it up. Of course, it's a weighing of how hurt she'd be; how much family drama it would cause; how the other family members would view your actions (heartless? justifiable?); and how long it would take to blow over. None of us can make that evaluation for you.
Can you say "no" with justice and every defensible reason? Sure. But she didn't trash your home, insult you, get drunk and moon the neighbors, or do anything else truly unforgivable in a houseguest. She was just a drag. So I guess I'd probably put up with her for a week again this year and see if the situation isn't any better. If not, then next year you can lay the groundwork for having her for a shorter time, if at all.
ETA: Yes, the "suck it up" thing works both ways, obviously. But people telling you to just say "Oh, hell no!" don't know what impact, if any, that will have on the rest of your small, apparently rather close family. I could have cut my brother dead for certain of his behaviors years ago, and no one could have said I didn't have the right. But it would have broken my mother's heart, and you can bet they'd have said that too. It's a balance, and "just tell her 'no'" is the easy answer. It may be the right answer too, but only the OP'er can decide that.
11-10-2008, 08:16 PM
You could invite her over and then be a giant pain. Like, use the bathroom with the door open. Refuse to turn on the AC. Spread some roaches around, especially in her bed. Masterbate like a motherfuck in the middle of the night, with plenty of sound effects.
After a couple of nights of that, she'll check herself into a hotel.
11-10-2008, 08:38 PM
Fine plan, monstro, fine plan...except I can't stand roaches. :)
Jodi has it right when she says we're a small family, and close. And Aunt didn't do anything truly horrendous. She apologized for being such a downer and messing with plans, but that's how she is all the time. I just don't have to deal with her for most of the year.
featherlou, yes, she's using my place as a winter getaway. Can't blame her for that..I just wish she'd ask me, rather than assume it's OK.
I'm going to have a talk with my uncle, her brother. He lives down here too, maybe he can give me some insight into how to approach her. And maybe I can convince him to take her for a couple days!
11-11-2008, 12:54 AM
That sounds like a good plan. If you really feel like putting up with her is worth the family harmony, I would suggest you figure out what it was that really bothered you about her next visit and try to avoid those things this time.
1. She assumes she's welcome any time. Time to disabuse her of this notion. If the time she wants to come in March is okay, tell her that March will work for you (implying that there is the possibility that some times don't work). If it doesn't work, tell her that and ask her what other time she might like to come so you can see if it would work for you.
2. Making plans and cancelling, leaving you holding the bag for *your* plans. Don't change any plans for her, don't make any plans that depend on her. You've mentioned that she is always unreliable; don't rely on her.
3. She isn't okay with being left on her own, even though she was warned of it. This one is a big, fat, her problem, not yours. I wouldn't spend much time listening to someone complaining about something they were warned about.
4. Complaining to family about you instead of telling you. Again, a big, fat her problem. If I were her family hearing this, I'd pointedly mention to her that she's getting a sweet free holiday, and maybe she should shut her ungrateful trap.
5. Using personal items of your without telling you. First, EWWWW! That is not only ridiculous, it is also unsafe. You can get diseases from sharing personal items. You need to make this really clear to her that your personal stuff is in no way free for her use. If she won't get it or you don't want to have that conversation, lock your personal stuff up while she's there. Seriously, this is a health issue. You're not a hotel, for God's sake, no matter how much she seems to think you are.
Ugh, been there, done that for too long, finally set my foot down.
You need to speak up. Actually, let me rephrase, you need to
Mods, can I borrow a bigger size? I'll put it back on the shelf!
I'd rant about it for a couple pages, but other people are already going into details. Suffice it to say that my mother used to do that shit to me until I
And no, I didn't yell. But I made it very clear that, unless she respected my boundaries and the fact that my house is NOT her house, she wouldn't be welcome. And when I'm in her house, she needs to respect my boundaries: I don't ask her to cook the way I would in either location, but by all that's holy she is not allowed to come wake me up at ungodly hours because she can't sleep.
11-11-2008, 04:32 AM
I think you know as well as everbody else that the real problem is with you and your inability to speak up.
If it helps, You could just tell your Aunt not just No! But "HELL FUCKING NO. YOUR LAST STAY WAS A NIGHTMARE!!" and I could hardly see anyone thinking any less of you.
Of course you're not going to put it to her like that because you're a class act.
So for the love of Og! Speak up! No need to feel guilty!
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