Help me keep my damn fool mouth shut (long whine)

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.

If you survive this intact you should look into being Canonized. Or shot from a cannon. Which ever you feel like.

You have my heartfelt sympathies. I try myself to never impose like that because I HATED being made to shift out of my bedroom to make way for guests. I mean it is one thing if there is a guest bedroom and all to offer. My siblings have incorporated guests rooms in their homes and we are working to do the same at my house. But the last time I stayed at a relative’s home we ended up decamping to a hotel for everyone’s sanity after the first night.

I’m pretty appalled that she even considered this. Coming to see a distant friend is a bit of a stretch, but not crazy (though Hawaii is a little far). Bringing kids, more so. Bringing a friend with kids is a huge deal. NINE FREAKING DAYS is something even family has a problem with.

You have my sympathy, believe me. Maybe you all will have a great time. Who knows? Or your friend will realize the bind she’s put you in after two days and check them all into a hotel. My guess is she doesn’t quite realize how small your place is, and wants a less tourist-y Hawaiian experience. Or you were waaay too nice with your initial offer.

There’s no excuse for the nine days.

Any chance you and your son could stay at a hotel for a week and a half and leave them to your house?


This coming weekend I have 5 houseguests, staying for between 3 and 5 days each. Mr. Athena and I both work from home, but we also have a really big house. Everyone will have their own bedrooms (some without beds, but they’re bringing air matresses) and neither of us are giving up our offices. In short, more space, fewer people, less time. We’re freaking out.

I can’t imagine allowing houseguests to sleep in my office, or expecting anyone in my family to give up a bedroom. Especially for people I don’t even know!

If I were in that situation, I would seriously consider what my friendship with Jennifer was worth to me, and probably tell them “sorry for the late notice, but this just won’t work.”

My advice is do your best to live your life the way you normally would, and if that’s inconvenient for them, I’m sure Hawaii’s massive tourist industry can scare up a few beds for them. Don’t tiptoe around your own house – your house, your rules. Everybody is up and dressed in time for you to go to work, bathroom usage is limited to seven minutes per person per morning, meals are when you say they are, and lights go out at whatever time you set. And prominently post an Aloha flight schedule with departure times for Honolulu highlighted.

Just a suggestion.

Sorry, I have little sympathy for people who make their own bad situation. Of course they’re taking advantage of you; you’re letting them. They shouldn’t be taking advantage, but some people think everything’s fine until someone tells them flatly that it isn’t.

What I would do:
Go to the b and b down the way. Book appropriate accomodations starting tonight under Jennifer’s name. Tell them when they get there that you are terribly sorry, but this just isn’t going to work for you, and send them on to their reservations.

So she’s a very dear friend of yours and 1)You’re not going to enjoy her visit and 2)You don’t have that close of a relationship that you can tell her the truth?

Look, you’re going to have to say something, or on day 7 of the visit you’re going to stub your toe on one of the kid’s toys and completely blow up, all out of proportion, and start screaming about lineage and impossible bodily functions until the cat runs and hides.

If she truly is a very dear friend of yours, you need to call her NOW and tell her you’re in no position to host them for nine days, but you’ll be pleased as punch to put them up somewhere and show them the sights. If she’s a true friend she’ll say :smack: Of course, CairoCarol, how could I be so insensitive! If she’s a bitch about it, then she wasn’t a very dear friend.

Upon review, I see they arrive tonight. I think you’re screwed. Suck it up and let this be a lesson to you.

I vote for this. It would save your sanity and be a gleefully backhanded way of pointing out the inconvenience she’s putting you to. :mad:

I’m passive/aggressive like that. :smiley:

I’d sabotage my own plumbing to get them out. Seriously…find a way to force them to a hotel. You’ll thank yourself later.

Yup, that’s probably what I will do. And believe me, I have learned my lesson. I now have a list of “recommendations if you plan to visit the Big Island” which I will send immediately to all friends and family in the future should they even start making noises about a visit. It prominently features, in paragraph one, an explanation of the limits I am setting on the number of days and guests.

I think it is a little late in the game to force them into a hotel now (not sure they could get a booking at a decent place at this late date anyway) and also just because they are incredibly rude doesn’t mean I have to respond in kind by changing the rules after agreeing to the visit. But yes, I screwed up big time by allowing this to happen – no arguments there.

I like the idea of plumbing sabotage. Stay tuned; our hot water heater may mysteriously stop working in the next few hours. (They’d never know where to look for the switch under the house, heh-heh.)

I’m with Featherlou completely.

Have some lovely tea, drinks and snacks ready for their arrival.

Sit them down and be honest.

Take the blame;

" my enthusiasm to see you, my old friend, my desire to be accommodating, blah, blah…But, and I truly hope you can understand where I’m coming from on this, 7 people, nine days, I really can’t imagine what I was thinking.

I hope you can find it in your hearts to forgive me. At the time I was certain there was some way to make it work, but on reflection, with me working from home, it’s clear I have overstepped myself on this one.

However I have taken it upon myself to find you some charming and affordable digs at the near by B&B. And I insist you all come for a big BBQ tomorrow night, it’s the least I can do to make up for your inconvenience. Again, all I can say is I’m very sorry, but I’m sure you can understand, 7 people, nine days, it’s too much for my small home/family."

I’m big on honesty. They’d have to be complete boors to not be understanding and gracious about the whole thing. (Not to say they won’t exchange some words about you back at the B&B).

…frankly, I think they must be complete boors to impose on me this way to begin with. So I doubt I can count on a gracious response.

Pay the local Pest Control people $50 to park their trucks in front of your house tonite so the arriving troupe can see them in plane sight. Then rush out to meet them before they can get inside and direct them to the nearest hotel all the while dancing on your toes and swatting at things in your hair.

No, sweetie, you can’t blame them for your lack of a backbone. You hinted, but you didn’t come out and tell them it wasn’t going to work. You told her whenever she was in town she was welcome to visit you. She’s probably thinking she’s going to get to spend quality time with you rather than across town in a hotel.

She may be a boor. But you let her get away with it. I’m still hoping it won’t be that bad and that your friendship will survive.

Actually, I kind of wonder at the type of person who probably earns, at the least, 150K, married to another physician, with a combined minimum income of 300K (not to mention how much money they must have piled up during the old fee-for-service years), who would actually try to save money on hotel accomodations by shacking up with someone she’s only seen 4 times, for a vacation like Hawaii, which IMO is not all that expensive. (damn that’s a lot of clauses!)

Yes, CairoCarol facilitated it but I’m sitting here laughing. Dude, either she and her husband burn through their v. large income and have no savings or that is the cheapest chick alive.

Can i visit you too? I only live in Waikiki. :stuck_out_tongue:

Look at the bright side. 7 people for 9 days is really only 63 people-days. That’s just over two months.

What I don’t understand is since when do you invite yourself to stay at someone’s home? Like…NEVER. You can accept an offer, but you never ask to stay with them unless your house has just gone over the cliffs and into the ocean or something. It’s just not done!