April 12, 2007

Inconsiderate Inlaws.

After last weeks session I received more questions. It appears no one wanted to be first. This weeks question is from a reader that has/had what I consider a serious problem, so I moved it to the top of the list. For the rest of you, don’t worry I’ll get to your questions too.

Dear Dr. Contagion,

My husband's Dad and Stepmom recently dropped by for a "surprise" visit. The biggest part of the surprise is that they live 800+ miles away and planned to stay with me for 10 days.


Also, they brought their 3 little dogs with barking and bladder issues with them. Oh joy. At the time I merely sucked it up and was the best hostess I could be. Thank God for cocktails.

What should I have done? And how can I prevent future "surprises" of this nature?



"Pissed" off is better than "Pissed" on

Dear “Pissed”,

Move to a gated community. In all seriousness I must say you have got to be the most polite and gracious person I have ever met. The amount of undue stress and inconvenience this situation produced can only be imagined. I would give you some kind of award, but that’s just not my style.

First off your in-laws have to be some of the rudest and most inconsiderate people in existence, they also seem like free loaders. Too cheap to pay for a motel and probably expected you to pay for all the food. When one makes a “surprise” visit, it is usually only for an hour or two, maybe an evening at the most. But to plan on staying is a different issue. I’m sure you where expected to be a gracious host including feeding and entertaining them. They also brought with pets. Now you don’t say in your letter whether or not you have pets, but I’m sure you have at least one. Even then one does not bring their pet to someone else’s residence with out first asking permission. There could be allergy, pet compatibility, or human compatibility issues. The fact that the dogs don’t shut up and have bladder issues really means they shouldn’t have been brought with.

What should you have done and how can you prevent future “surprises” of this nature? I think this could have been all done at the same time. When they arrived and advised their intentions, you should have politely declined their offer of them staying with you. Explain that you did not know they where coming and are not prepared for them. Offer to help them find a local motel in which they could stay… one that accepts pets. Explain that you do not appreciate being put to task with no notice. If they seem offended, explain to them that you are not a motel and you and your family’s lives do not revolve around them. There is school, jobs, clubs, housework etc that must be done and you cannot afford to just take the time on short notice to house, feed and entertain them. If given enough notice you may have been able to accommodate them… depending on what you and your families schedule is.

While they stayed with you, make them leave the dogs outside. If you have a fenced in yard, great. If not tie them up. Again this is your house; you are perfectly with in your rights to decline the offer of hospitality to their incontinent and yappy dogs. If they don’t like it, owell they should have left them at home. If they don’t want to leave their dogs at home, as I know some people are wont to do, then they should make sure they are going someplace that they are welcome. It’s not their property or belongings that is getting damaged by canine piss, it’s yours. You have the right to protect yourself from the yappy beasts. You also have the right to protect your sanity from the barking. In no world should you have to put up with their maladjusted pets just because they can’t leave them behind or afford to kennel them. It’s not your problem.

To be honest, when they came to the door with their little surprise, I would have told them sorry; we have plans and left them there. Even if it meant taking a little impromptu family trip, so be it. If you couldn’t afford to take the time off of work, sometimes just spending a couple of nights in a hotel can be family fun that still allows you to go to work. Then again if it was me, I probably would have gotten drunk enough the first night to tell them how I actually felt… “Farking dumbarses”.

Remember, bad planning on their part does not constitute and emergency on your part.

For the record I am not a doctor, but I do play one in the tool shed. My advice is purely for entertainment purposes.

If you would like to ask me a question or need advice, please comment or send an email to contagion_1 @ yahoo DOT com.

Posted by Contagion in Contagion Therapy at April 12, 2007 05:15 PM | TrackBack

Hmmm... that story sounds strangely familiar. I believe I know who dropped it upon you. ROFLMAO!!!

Posted by: Teresa at April 12, 2007 05:45 PM

Hmmmm.... I feel sorry for the host. That's damn good advice though!

Posted by: Richmond at April 12, 2007 07:21 PM

Sounds like a Chevy Chase Christmas movie.

Posted by: h~ at April 13, 2007 08:32 PM