Is it unreasonable to want to know the duration of your house guest’s visit?
posted by synapse2512 to human relations (24 answers total)
To place things in the right cultural context, my husband and I are both Indians. Our families are different from each other’s, in that, my family is liberal while at the same time, a little more “formal”, especially with respect to time. For instance, my father’s schedule is often minute-by-minute, both my parents are very particular about being on time, they both like to plan ahead, and stay on schedule. Never in a million years can I imagine either of my parents visiting someone for an “indefinite” period of time, (in terms of days) without them letting the host know their exact time of arrival and departure. This was the kind of environment I grew up in, and some of the habits that I picked up from them. For instance, with regard to visitors I like to know their exact time of arrival, so that I can plan ahead.(for example, cleaning, preparation for meals if any, taking them out for a meal, or sighseeing etc)
My husband’s family, on the other hand, is more conventional Indian, more traditional, and they are more “go with the flow” kind of people. In his family, it is perfectly normal to visit a relative or a friend for days and only decide on the spur of the moment what their plans for the day are. For instance, its perfectly acceptable that you plan your visit for a week, and end up staying for a couple of weeks more . Also, it would be considered rude to ask the guest how long their visit is for.
This attitude drives me crazy. I really REALLY would like to know, for chrissake, how long the guest will visit? By and large, I don’t mind having people over, and try to be a good hostess, but have to admit, that I get a bit thrown by the “I’m here till Monday” and then on Monday “a few more days” and so on. For me, its not so much as much actual work, I don’t mind some extra work, and anyway, the guest themselves are not very demanding. In fact, they do help out a lot in the household work, and volunteer to cook….for me, it’s more of a matter of being mentally prepared. I have to point out here that I am an introvert, and though I can be friendly and chatty and socialise with people, I still have the desperate need to have my own “quiet” time, where there is no one else in the house, when I don’t have to socialise, I can do my own thing, if its only sitting quietly in a corner and enjoying the view from my balcony. Which is why I’d like to know how long someone will visit, so that I can be both physically and mentally prepared.(Is the house clean? is there extra linen? Are there extra groceries to be done?….to….I can’t bum around the house this Sunday in my underwear, maybe next weekend)
I’ve tried talking to my husband about it, but he says that 1) My family is different and that this is perfectly normal in India.2) In reality, I don’t want to have any guests over and that I should tell everyone not to visit (This makes me very sad because, I do genuinely don’t mind having people over, and I do put in quite an effort to make my home comfortable for everyone, so I feel that’s not appreciated. He also extrapolates it to make me sound like some sort of b^^&$( for not enjoying having people around. His POV is that if he was to visit them, they wouldn’t mind his indefinite stay…and also, that since I am at work anyways, I don’t interact with them all that much. Plus since they do most of their work, I shouldn’t really have any issues.
So, please resolve this argument for us, Mefites.Is it unreasonable to want to know how long your visitor will visit???Is it unreasonable to want to know?
Also, is there actually any way to ask a guest, how long their visit is for, WITHOUT sounding rude?
Last but not the least, we stay in a 2 bedroom apartment, and we’re having 4 garrulous aunts visiting this week(and maybe the next?)
Thanks a lot!