I recently received a phone call from a very casual acquaintance who we haven’t seen in years. She heard “through the grapevine” that my husband and I had moved to Bucerias and are loving it (which is true!) She told me that, as she had to make a quick decision on an inexpensive airline flight, she is coming to visit for two weeks! As I was stammering for a response, she then proceeded to tell me about her special vegan diet and her sensitivity to too much heat and sun!
In hindsight, perhaps I could have lied to her, said something like we’d be away or had other visitors during the time of her visit, but I didn’t think fast enough. Now she calls me almost daily with more “wants” and “needs.”
My husband and I aren’t hermits by any means, but we do enjoy our times alone. We view even relatives and close friends as too much company after just a few days. What do I do now?
In a Bind
Dear In a Bind,
Like many of us living in paradise, you’re susceptible to the occasional uninvited guest. However, this person sounds unusually pushy. So far, in your natural response of being kind and reasonable, you’ve played the patsy to her assumption that you’d have no problem with her visit. It’s time now to make a firm stand.
I suggest you sit down and compose a letter explaining your concerns with any visitor, including family members, for such an extended stay. Having done that, you could offer her several options. For example, you might be willing, even “happy,” to welcome her in your home for a few days and then you could offer to help her find a comfortable hotel for the remainder of her visit. You’ll probably consider other options that make sense to you as well. Ideally, you could email the letter to her. If email isn’t an option, at least you’ll have a “script” to guide you in your communication by phone. I would urge you to do this as soon as possible, before she further solidifies her plans.
If you are clear and helpful, you will create a proper boundary for your relationship, one in which you can each enjoy your privacy, while quite possibly enjoying each other’s company. Whatever your visitor’s response, you are welcoming her on your terms, not hers.