Thank Og! SIL not coming to visit after all!

My Sister-in-law (my wife’s sister) just called and sadly told my wife that she, her husband, and her two stepchildren would not be making the trip up from Mississippi Sunday. They’d been planning to stay with us for a few days while driving back and forth to Munice, IN to visit my in-laws.

Now, my SIL (my wife’s sister) is a very nice person and I like her a lot, but let me explain why this was a really bad idea at this time:

(1) My wife and I just moved back to the Indianapolis area from Seattle. We just got in ourselves two weeks ago this coming Sunday, and our furniture and other goods didn’t arrive until Saturday morning (the 21st). Both of us are telecommuting to our jobs back in Seattle, and had to be back at work this past Monday morning (the 23rd). As a result, we’re far from being completely settled in. There are heaps of boxes in the basement, piles of kitchen items stacked high in the kitchen, etc. We’re making progress, but we’re far from ‘guest-ready’, even if it’s family.

(2) This is the first time telecommuting for both of us, and we’re trying to readjust to this new form of working. Having houseguests during this time isn’t a good plan - we need to work during the day, not play host.

(3) We have five cats who are still dealing with the stresses from the move, which included being loaded into cages and driven cross-country for 4 days. In fact, one of the cats was so stressed the day the moving van was being loaded that he freaked out; biting and clawing my wife and I badly enough to draw blood in multiple places. In fact, he bit me so badly that he broke two fangs off in my forearm. He’s now sulking in our guest bathroom on a regimen of painkillers and antibiotics that our Indianapolis vet prescribed. So since they’re still unstressing from the move, having guests would just re-stress them.

(4) My SIL wanted to bring one of their dogs, said dog requiring medication twice a day. She wanted/expected to be able to bring this dog - a very large dog, some sort of labrador mix - INTO A HOUSE WITH FIVE CATS!!.

“It’s no problem”, she said. “The cats can just run away from the dog”. Um, no. Not only do we have five cats still dealing with a cross-country move, one of these cats is still recovering from having a leg amputated in March and doesn’t run well, and another (see point #3) is recovering from breaking teeth off in me. Besides, this dog apparently managed to destroy one of their couches, so he isn’t the best-behaved dog in the world. Our yard doesn’t have any fences, so he can’t stay outside.

I must say, it takes a certain amount of self-centeredness to expect to bring your dog to someone else’s house where you’re going to be a guest - especially in this situation. My wife and I had decided that if they absolutely had to bring the dog, then they’d have to bring a cage and he’d be staying in the garage the whole time. He wan’t coming into our house, that was certain.

So when she called this morning and said they wouldn’t be able to make the trip after all (her husband is a plant manager and is currently putting in 14 hour days due to short staffing), neither my wife or I were terrible upset. In fact, both of us whispered “YES!” and did a happy dance.


Whew - dodged *that * bullet! It sounds to me like you’ll need some pretty clear ground rules for future visits.

Have no qualms whatsoever about refusing family houseguests.

I had to retrain my mother. One visit down [they always stay in hotels as we rarely have any spare space for any guests other than a sofa bed] so I told her that [as we just had a roommate in teh process of moving in and the living room was full of boxes, and stuff was sort of dropped all over. Not guest ready either!] she insited on coming to the house instead of us meeting them at their hotel. I refused to let her into teh house, she pushed her way in so I got my carkeys, my bailout bag from the front closet and left - I checked into the Navy Lodge until they left and refused to tell them where I was staying. After that, if I said I would meet them somewhere, they would accept that and not insist on pushing me around.

The other time I refused a guest was my father in law. He had just ridden up from Fort Lauderdale on a tiger cruise with MrAru. I had just been diagnosed with a tumor, and was going to be in radiology for all sorts of wonderfully invasive diagnostic proceedures pre-op, and I was not going to deal with any sort of guest in my house as it was going to involve 2 different days of liquiprep and enemas. He actually was very understanding and stayed in the hotel I had already arranged and few back to Yucaipa the next day.

It is YOUR house, you can tell someone not to bring a dog - and FIVE CATS is reason enough. You can tell someone that you have just moved and you have no ability to have a guest, you can ev en tell them NOpe, I have to work all week and it would not be a vacation for either of us to enjoy. Hell, it is YOUR HOURS, just tell them NO. No reason required other than you say NO.

AS you can tell I got really tired of being treated like a kid, and being pushed around. Not every time is good for me to have guests. After having had several really thrashed experiencec with house guests, I actually have anxiety issues about people in my house that I did not directly and specifically invite. It is bad enough that if something in the house needs servicing, I would let mrAru or AruRoomie handle it and I would leave the house so I wouldnt see or hear people in my house.

And FWIW, I will actually sit in the house and ignore someone pounding on the door [unless it is a cop car in teh drive, or the mail human, I do not answer the door unless I have invited someone over.