Dear Amy: My husband and I have been living in our area for about 10 years. We are friendly and neighbors.
One house has always been the home of “trouble.” Hearing noisy arguments, a SWAT team showed up to arrest an adult son (yikes), neighbors accuse the children of stealing tools from their shed, and recently the police were there again with reports of shots fired.
We had a backyard party last summer and set up a bar in our basement.
The mother from that house came uninvited. Not wanting to be rude, we greeted her. Then she brought her son and his girlfriend who hid in our bar.
Everyone seemed friendly enough but when the guests were leaving they asked to stay. I said, “Last call.” They wanted to stay longer, offered to help with cleaning, asked to visit the house and use the bathroom (they live a block away!). Eventually I got them to leave by sending them drinks to go.
Once, in passing, they asked me if we would be hosting again (they could look into our yard from their place).
I have no feeling about them in our house.
Should I be the host and if they show up say it’s a private party? I don’t want to be friends, but we are neighbors. Help!
Hospitality has limits
Expensive borders: If these neighbors come up to you and ask if you are planning to have a party – any party – you should say, “No. No plans.”
And then you should organize every party you want to organize.
If these people show up, say hello to them at the entrance, say friendly “Hi, I can’t talk right now because I have some guests here.”
If they try to invite each other you will have to be friendly but firm and tell them that this is a private party and that you will meet them another time.
Dear Amy: About six months ago, I had to put my husband, age 64, into an assisted life due to a mental and physical disability.
He adapted very well. I visit him every day.
I also adapted to my new life on my own, with the help of our children and grandchildren who visit him every week. I am lucky to have caring and friendly neighbors and friends.
However, there is one problem that worries and worries me greatly. Of our married friends (very few couples left), very few even called from the beginning of it all.
My best friend, whom I have known for over 50 years, has never visited me, calls rarely and only invited me over for a coffee once.
I feel like I have been abandoned by my closest friends at a time when I need them the most.
What happened? What have I done? Am I a threat to them? If so why?
I heard from my widowed friends that the same thing happened to them.
I realize I need to make new friends and I do. I am active in church and community activities, but I am disappointed with my “true and old friends forever.”
Any ideas about what is happening – and why?
Ladies and Gentlemen: You seem to have adapted very well to this huge change in life. It’s a pity you have to do this without the company of your closest friends.
You did nothing wrong. Nor do I believe that you are a “threat” to your friends. However, your situation is dangerous. For some, it is a tender reminder of the possibility of difficult times ahead.
The geometry of your life has changed, and this shift has upset the balance with your friends who are couples.
You can try to be a little more proactive with these friends. You can ask if they would visit your husband with you and then have lunch together.
Talk honestly with your “best”. Tell her that you miss her and that you hope your friendship will survive this adjustment.
Dear Amy: Grrrrr. That letter from “Stepmother Inside” regarding her stepson’s use of condoms and the fact that his girlfriend was not using contraception! I underestimated that birth control seemed to be her responsibility.
If a condom isn’t enough, and if this guy doesn’t want children, maybe he should get a vasectomy ?!
Dear scared: Honestly, the position of this family was that birth control should be the responsibility of both partners. I appreciate they discussed it, but I agree that ultimately it is not their choice.
You can email Amy Dickinson at email@example.com or send a letter to Ask Amy, PO Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068. You can also follow her on Twitter @askingamy or Facebook.
#entered #party #uninvited #house #bar