Knowing that my fellow Dopers will help me to behave graciously, I present you all with this situation:
I still keep in touch with my old college roommate “Jennifer” (we graduated in 1980), although she is not much of a correspondant and we have seen each other all of 4 times since then. Consequently, we are not overly familiar with each others’ life situations.
My husband and I live and work abroad, but after our son was born decided we needed a home in the US, so purchased a modest home on Hawaii’s Big Island, where my son and I spend summers (my job is telecommuting, so I can do that). I’ve always told Jennifer she is welcome to visit me. She is a successful physician married to a successful physician and owns a multi-million dollar home on the mainland, plus she inherited a lot of money from both sides of her family.
Tonight, Jennifer is arriving to visit for 9 nights with three of her children (whom I’ve never met) and her friend and two of her friend’s children. (Except for a 6 year old, all the kids are teenagers). That’s 7 people. I don’t know anything at all about the friend except that the friend recently bought a hybrid and she works with Jennifer, so it is probably pretty safe to assume she is not exactly poor either.
It is going to be a real strain for me, logistically and – because I am something of a hermit – emotionally to have 7 people for 9 nights when I have only ever even met one of them and we are going to be extremely crowded. When Jennifer proposed a visit, I explained to her that my house is too small to fit that many people comfortably, and that it is very hot and mosquito-y, geckos poop everywhere so the house has to be cleaned constantly, we lack amenities such as air con and a dishwasher, etc. I tactfully (apparently TOO tactfully) suggested that they might be more comfortable at the lovely bed-and-breakfast right down the street from us. I also added that 9 days is a long time to spend on the Big Island and they might think about spending part of their vacation on Oahu, Maui, or elsewhere, just for the variety.
Of course, while I couched everything in terms of THEIR comfort, what I really meant is “you guys are gonna drive me friggin’ nuts.” I did not, however, put my foot down and tell Jennifer no. (In defense of my wimpiness, I did not know how many people were involved until after I’d said yes to the visit – the numbers started growing afterward and there was no one moment where I really felt I could back out.)
Instead of getting my hint, Jennifer said “oh, don’t worry … my friend is very easy-going, she won’t mind!”
So, they arrive tonight. Frankly, I’m appalled that they’d even consider doing this. (I would NEVER visit a friend of a friend for 9 nights with two of my kids when I knew the house was small and people would be sleeping in the living room and storage area). It would be one thing if money were an issue, but it isn’t. I am pretty sure Jennifer and her friend could easily afford accommodations.
My son will be sleeping on the porch so guests can have his room. I’ll be tiptoeing around trying to figure out where exactly I can work, since my office is set up in the guest bedroom and the living room will have 3 people sacked out there. I have no idea how many meals they will expect to eat at my house or how good they will be about helping with preparation/clean-up.
But, I agreed to this, so I shouldn’t take it out on Jennifer’s friend – or Jennifer, for that matter. However, I am feeling REALLY grumpy. I keep fantasizing back-handed comments that would make it clear these guests are putting me out.
It would be wrong of me to say anything at this point, I know.
Say anything you want in response to this thread, but what I’m looking for is a combination of (a) sympathy and (b) reminders to be gracious – it is not appropriate to show my displeasure.
This may be my last thread, because I expect to be reduced to a quivering, incoherent madwoman by the time they leave.