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Old 07-24-2007, 11:50 PM   #21
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Get a very very uncomfortable top mattress for the guest bed (springs poking out would be ideal). When desirable guests come, switch mattresses.

Or, bite the bullet and book a hotel for them at least once. Turn the tables a bit by saying "I felt badly that you haven't been comfortable here, so we put a little aside and we think we can swing a room for you guys for x days.." Maybe they will feel guilty, refuse the offer, and behave better.

If not, next time you can just say "gee, a hotel for you just isn't in our budget this year.."

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Old 07-25-2007, 05:52 AM   #22
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Unfortunately this is not a black or white situation. The blood relative is a really nice easy-going guy who would always be welcome in our home. The problem is his spouse. I hate to alienate both of them because of her behavior.

Your responses were delightfully wicked and made me laugh about the whole situation. I think I'll first try Sarah's suggestion of smiling and saying "we are very happy with our liviing situation". Maybe if I say it over and over again it will penetrate into her thick head.

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Old 07-25-2007, 07:10 AM   #23
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Maybe take a page from the RV handbook: Seats six, sleeps two...
Have Funds, Will Retire

...not doing anything of true substance...
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Old 07-25-2007, 08:04 AM   #24
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Sounds like if you want future visits from the guy, you're stuck. There isn't any silver bullet. You might as well just say nothing and smile. Accept that his spouse has a limited concept of good manners and try to picture her in your mind as doing the best she can.

Aside: Many people feel they are obligated to answer every question asked, no matter how impertinent, intrusive, thoughtless or ill mannered. It's like a conditioned reflex - some idiot asks - they answer.

But at some point it really IS ok to say, "That's none of your business."
Can eat with either hand.
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Old 07-25-2007, 08:44 AM   #25
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And I thought I was the only one with obnoxious asinine relatives...
When I was working all the time it was easy to deal with as I told them I was working all the time and the third bedroom was my office, hence, no room in the inn...heh, heh, heh... Just putting up with the put-downs for a week was like a third job. Who needs it?
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Old 07-25-2007, 11:42 AM   #26
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Sue, my relatives don't say anything to me directly but I know that they miss cable and now even just a basic TV itself when they come to stay overnight. It's also pretty tight quarters in our spare bedroom and we don't necessarily turn on the A/C when it's not very hot. If we had a bigger house and spare bedroom, I think I'd invite relatives over more.

Anyway, I agree with FinanceDude (keep your answers light), Sarah (try to be gracious even if it's hard), and Joss (you don't have to reveal anything you don't want to and allow that your cousin's wife might be doing the best she can.) My addition would be to change the topic and start talking about something else. (BF is very adept at this: changing the topic when anything becomes uncomfortable.)

A short, stock answer like you are thinking of ("We're happy with our living situation") delivered with a smile followed by a change of topic might help. Internally, this presents a challenge at the saintly attempt to forgive her each time.
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Old 07-25-2007, 04:24 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by Sue View Post
When you live a LBYM lifestyle, there are always people who make derogatory comments on your lifestyle.
1. It's not them, it's you. You are leading a well-thought-out, reasonable life in terms of finances, for a specific goals, and you're succeeding at it. If someone doesn't recognize, or care to recognize this and applaud it, why do you care? Good for you I say.

2. By succeeding like this you are NOT the norm, and the human instinct to drive others to their idea of norm is powerful stuff, it's a building block of all human cultures (!) they/we do it almost without thinking. Be aware that it's lonely at the top, so choose, be on top and lonely, or be normal.

- Explain it to them once, then zing them if they continue.

- Ignore the comment and just given them a genuine, knowing smile since you know #1/2 above.

I wussed out and chose this one:
- Tell a different relative you know that talks to them regularly, or indirectly through someone you know better, that those types of remarks hurt your feelings. This may remove the problem without you needing to confront anyone about their lack of understanding.

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Old 07-27-2007, 12:30 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by Mach View Post
I wussed out and chose this one:
- Tell a different relative you know that talks to them regularly, or indirectly through someone you know better, that those types of remarks hurt your feelings. This may remove the problem without you needing to confront anyone about their lack of understanding.

Great choice!

I just had a guest that I hadn't seen for many years. She talked my head of for 3 days, but I really enjoyed having her around. She was an adaptable good sport, and she invited me to stay with her in LA which I will do and enjoy.

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Old 07-28-2007, 11:03 AM   #29
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Wow - we visit and stay with relatives/friends all the time and offer our house all the time -we've never had nasty comments and frankly I'm so appreciative that I get to stay at someone's house- I always bring a gift and will either take them out or cook for them - always make the bed - we're always invited back. It truly does save quite a bit of money for us to stay with someone - we really appreciate it. Heck, when they visit me, I fix breakfast and dinner every evening - yes, it's planned, but frankly, I enjoy it and have gotten rave reviews for the food - makes me feel good :-)

I agree with some of the posters - just grin and ignore it and if it really gets to you, use the family grapevine - it is *so* effective.
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“We sleep soundly in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm.” - George Orwell/Winston Churchill
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Old 07-29-2007, 09:48 AM   #30
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Mach, that's a very throughtful reply. I particularly liked your idea of utilizing the family grapevine.

Deserat, you're welcome to stay at my house anytime, especially if you're providing such tasty meals.

The weather service is predicting hot humid weather for the relative's visit. Cleaning up the apartment in this weather pattern has not been much fun. Usually we just let everything go until the weather cools down and then do a major cleaning. Between all the stress at work and the evitable crankiness induced in everyone by hot humid weather, I'm thinking this is going to be a great oppportunity to practice being a saint.
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Old 07-31-2007, 08:19 AM   #31
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Interesting responses from everyone. I think a lot of this has to do with how you were raised, and what you believe in. I think that when you are in anothers home, you MUST have respect for that persons house. I would NEVER complain about someone elses home, and if it got bad enough, I would simply leave, but be polite about it.
Some people really do believe that the purpose of other people (especially family) is to SERVE them. That somehow the whole world should revolve around them, and provide them with everything. Ayn Rand called these sorts of people "looters", because that is what they are. These are the same sort of people that get angry when they find out that you have more money than they do, or have a nicer "anything" than they do. You working hard for it is irrelavent to them. Because they do not want to succeed.... they want you to fail, and be just like them.
I have heard lots of stories of 30+ year olds still living at home with their folks, and complaining everyday of why they have to <- fill in the blank ->. People should NOT complain when they live at the whim of another.

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