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Friend dropping in unannounced. For 2 hours.

(48 Posts)
Washerwoman Fri 29-Dec-17 15:32:39

To add a bit of background this is the same friend I posted a while ago about despite literally hundreds of hours of hospitality at our house over the years, she had never reciprocated once with an invite for coffee ,a meal or even to come in if I'm collecting her to go somewhere.
As suspected she has become something of a hoarder and I'd recently decided despite several offers to call in ,help practically etc when she broke her leg in August not to force the issue as she obviously wanted to keep her home very private.After a couple weeks of no communication she did phone and half jokingly accused me of being a stranger.So risking estrangement I did point put that any offers to come to hers whilst she was unable to drive had been rebuffed,but I was happy to meet at our usual cafe for a catch up once she was mobile again.Somewhat hesitantly she suggested picking her up.I went,and had no intention of putting her on the spot and going inside.But much to my surprise I got ushered in whilst she got her coat and crutches.And yes her house is unrecognisable from when I first knew her,and did some cat feeding for her.Stuff everywhere, piles of it and she was apologetic. I said ,and I meant it, that I had come to see her and not her house.And joked that just as she liked to collect things,and her possessions meant a lot to her,I was a compulsive de-cluttered and she knew that.And then we headed out for coffee -with me taking her on some errands on the way and buying the coffee and cakes.Something that in hindsight I've realised is usually the case.Me paying that is.
So in the 3 months she was not able to drive that was the only time we met up.Until last week.When we had arranged a catch up at the same cafe the Thursday before Xmas.Meeting there as she's now driving.However that morning I woke feeling dreadful,achy ,full of cold and not even well enough to work.So I phoned and appologised.We had already agreed not to buy presents this year -my idea and largely down to despite her saying how worried about money she often is,despite a tendancy for her to buy a ridiculous amount of stuff for us at Xmas.So we had a brief chat,I really felt diabolical, and agreed to reschedule a meet up straight after Xmas.
Then 2 days later,the day before Xmas eve.When DH was now full of the lurgy ,I still felt rubbish but was trying to do a bit of Xmas cooking.A loud banging on the door and there she was.With a present,and obviously in the mood for a chat.I did say DH isn't well,he scooted off to the bedroom,and that I still wasn't right but stupidly found myself offering her a cuppa.Well 2 hours later I had to drop massive hints,that I was flagging and needed to finish my jobs and have a rest. Eventually she took the hint and left.But tbh ever since I have felt angry ,and resentful.There was no text message or call to say how do you feel,is it OK to call in.I really feel it's always on her terms.And my patience is running out.I'm not sure if I'm being unreasonable but I feel the friendship has all but run it's course.Am I BU ?It really has nothing to do with our different styles of housekeeping. That's neither here nor there.I just don't feel like being quite so amenable anymore.

DanniRae Fri 29-Dec-17 15:44:08

Sorry, but you know what to do - the women is a pain in the *rse. Be unavailable to her from now on - I can't believe your 'friendship' has lasted this long. Just do it!

OldMeg Fri 29-Dec-17 15:49:24


Flowerpower22 Fri 29-Dec-17 15:51:29

Tricky one - a friend of mine used to drop in unannounced until one day when I had received some bad news and she arrived to find me upset and in my dressing gown. I just said 'I wasn't expecting visitors' and made no attempt to get dressed or apologise for my appearance. Since then, she always texts I advance. If you really don't want to be friends, then remember, you are responsible for your own life choices and don't need to feel guilty about it. You can decide not to be available and she will get the message.

MissAdventure Fri 29-Dec-17 15:52:24

Your friend sounds a bit 'fragile'. Not that its your problem, but I suppose things must really be on her terms, when she feels up to it?

Anniebach Fri 29-Dec-17 16:07:26

You have been friends for years so she must be a nice person . She does sound in need of help , does she have family ?

Madgran77 Fri 29-Dec-17 16:22:36

Be honest with her. Tell her how you are feeling and why. If she can hear it, sort out how to move your friendship forward. If she cant maybe it is the end of the friendship. One question - is she possibly on the autistic spctrum?

BlueBelle Fri 29-Dec-17 16:28:35

I think the last two posts are correct you have been friends a long time and it sounds as if she is a bit needy, now if you ve had enough you must walk away and not keep pulling her in then getting fed up with her
To be honest when she turned up unannounced you should not have asked her in but told her you ll meet up when you were better once you invite someone into your home you have no control over what time they leave unless you are forthright and say I m so sorry but I really don’t feel well and I am now going to lie down She sounds as if she doesn’t do hints
It’s not fair to feel resentful, either accept her as she is or make the break completely but don’t give mixed messages Balls in your court you have to make your choice

lemongrove Fri 29-Dec-17 16:32:03

Madgran could be right, as social awareness isn’t a strong point of anyone on the spectrum.
I think you need ( and she needs) strict guidelines as to what happens, so tell her how you want things to be.You need to be clear, or she may not understand.
When you next meet for coffee and cakes say what it costs ( if you pay the bill and say ‘ we will go halves’.
I have friends who, when we meet, we take turns in paying, but I used to know a lady who always let me pay, and she was definitely on the autistic spectrum.

varian Fri 29-Dec-17 17:30:49

Annie is right. The best approach to helping her might be via her family , if she has any , or mutual friends.

Maggiemaybe Fri 29-Dec-17 17:34:52

To give her the benefit of the doubt, some people really see nothing wrong with turning up unannounced, it's just their way. I do, though, I hate it! Even this Christmas Eve, I'd to run upstairs and leave DH to deal with someone "just popping in" (for half an hour), when I was still in my dressing gown sorting out all the food for Christmas Day, and the house was a tip. Your guest seems insensitive, but she must have her good points if you've been friends for so long. And it sounds as though she's embarrassed by her house.

suzied Fri 29-Dec-17 17:45:38

Do you value this person’s friendship? If not, and it’s become a chore, be unavailable for her. If you feel sorry for her and feel it’s your duty to help her, that’s another issue. Sounds from your post as if it’s the latter. Some good advice above.

jenpax Fri 29-Dec-17 18:21:53

Sounds as if this lady has some mental health issues, hoarding is probably not a lone condition for her and she may also be depressed and anxious. Depression can make someone very introspective and she may not have taken your hints, also have you considered if she is short of money? That can make people less sociable and possibly account for why she lets you pay each time?
I agree with others, you have to decide whether this is a friendship you want to keep and if so whether you are able or willing to accommodate any issues she has. If you don’t want or feel you can’t maintain the friendship just end it sooner rather than later. Friendships like any relationship need to be of benefit to both parties and sometimes we may give slack if the other person isn’t in a great place but sometimes we can’t do that and that’s fine.

BlueBelle Fri 29-Dec-17 18:31:31

With all my friends and I have a number of different sets we ALL for ourselves when out for coffee or lunch it’s far better than trying to remember who did what and when saves any embarrassment or taking advantage

Washerwoman Fri 29-Dec-17 19:13:48

Thanks for the replies.Resentment is not a good feeling in a friendship and I think it's been building for a while.Is she short of money?.Hard to believe really. She's taken early retirement from a very senior public sector job,is the only child of parents who died several years ago and left her the proceeds of a house in a very expensive part of the country.Plus she got a large lump sum compensation from the local authority after her union fought her case after a difficult year at work. And takes herself off on big long haul holidays.But I do think I'm realising she has some mental health issues in as much as she does see herself as something of a victim.I'm not saying she hasn't had some tough times,but I get told all the time how lucky I am to not be on my own.I appreciate that -but on the other hand families are a joy but also a big commitment with many ups and downs too.And we've certainly had our share of tough times too.But I won't say or do anything drastic,just distance myself.I really
have been a good friend ,I know that,but DH and I have also come to realise she greatly exegerates situations sometimes, and downright lies occasionally,I think as a way of getting sympathy and if there's one thing I hate it's dishonesty.
If I'm sounding a bit harsh it's because I've come to realise it's the kind of friendship that drains energy.I won't confront or discuss .Just meet in a neutral place from time to time if she wants to,and not expect too much.

etheltbags1 Fri 29-Dec-17 20:56:28

The same thing happened to me on Christmas eve, my brother in law arrived and stayed from 2pm until half past 4, I got rid of him by saying I had to go to see my mother before it got too late so he said he would come with me, while I was there (she lives 2 doors away so he left his car at house), I got a call from DD who said dgd was ill so I made the excuse that I had to go urgently and he stayed with my mother, I returned home and his car was still there so I put my car away and turned out the lights, his car was gone by 8pm. He stayed a long time last xmas eve too, I just don't know what to say to him as he too doesn't do hints.

Elegran Fri 29-Dec-17 21:41:53

I think you must just say, "It has been great to see you, but I am so sorry, I must say goodbye and chuck you out now or I will never get ???whatever???? ready. I wish I didn't have to, but it has to be done" Or " (with a wide yawn) If I don't go to bed soon I shall be no use in the morning, and there is so much to do, both tonight and tomorrow. I am so glad you could spare the time to pop in for a while. We must fix a date and time for a longer chat."

Eloethan Fri 29-Dec-17 23:49:01

I can identify with the way you felt at your friend turning up at such an inconvenient time, and your reluctance to give offence.

I would probably have done just the same as you. However, I know - and you probably know too - that the best thing to do in such a situation is to be pleasant but firm. I agree with elegran's way of dealing with it (perhaps minus the "so glad you could pop in for a while" bit - that might reinforce the behaviour!).

Jalima1108 Fri 29-Dec-17 23:56:15

She seems to be aware that her house is a mess because of her hoarding and doesn't want people to go there.
However, she seemed to be completely unaware that it was inconvenient to you so perhaps you were too nice and needed to ask her to go and make a date for another time at a cafe.
We knew people like that once, they would descend, settle in and never go until really late at night until the time when DH had to ask them to go because we were exhausted - they never spoke to us again

Yogagirl Sat 30-Dec-17 09:18:11

I'm glad to hear you have decided to be kind to your friend WW that's what I was going to suggest. I take it she has no C or H, so is alone. I think she would be more than a little hurt if you dumped her, she may see you as family, as she hasn't any. So just see her from time to time for coffee and if she calls round, say you are about to get in the shower, going out etc. and don't invite her in. Good luck.

I have a similar thing with a neighbour that lives in the next road. He offered to look after my little dog whilst I was away on a working holiday, I accepted his offer. He has now looked after my little dog for about 5yrs. I take him out for lunch as a thank you. However, he now seems to think he's part of my family, buys my granddaughter lovely presents and same for my D's first wedding ann. He has been very good & helpful, when my GD was born and I was still at the hospital with my D the next morning after the night before, he went round and got my little dog for the day, When I had to have a little op he took me to the hospital early morning, even though I said I was fine getting a taxi.
He knocks on my door at random times, that's how he got to meet my D&GD, and I would ask him in. He always seems to knock on the door just as I've got out the shower tchangry Anyway, I now don't ask him in if he knocks, even when he bears gifts & chats on the doorstep for ages. This Xmas he bought me a fabulous swaravski crystal heart necklace & matching earings, I looked on-line to see how much it cost £163! tchconfused

MawBroon Sat 30-Dec-17 09:24:58

Some excellent advice here, but it also flags up the danger of being that “needy person” and my fear of it. I always ask if it is a good time when I ring or call on a friend and hope to goodness they are not just being polite when I am assured it is fine. I dread that they might heave a sigh of relief and sigh “Thank goodness” when I go ???

jeanie99 Sat 30-Dec-17 09:46:46

Dropping in and then knowing you and hubby are unwell and not making a quick retreat is not very considerate to say the least.
I am not one for dropping in on people because I myself wouldn't want friends to do that. It is just good manners to find out first if it is convenient.
In addition to this the fact that on your cafe dates she expects you to pay each time is a no no.
What type of person would do this to a friend. She as never considered that you might have money problems.
Next time she turns up just say Oh I'm sorry but we were just getting ready to go out, could you ring next time or text and say goodbye.
Sometimes it's best to let friendships naturally finish she appears to me a very selfish person who only considers her own needs.

jenpax Sat 30-Dec-17 09:47:03

I always drop a chatty text to a friend as a prelude to suggesting a meet up. I never invite myself round but will ask if they fancy meeting for a coffee/lunch/drink and leave it nice and open ended that way either side can make graceful excuses if the time/date suggested is inconvenient

jeanie99 Sat 30-Dec-17 09:51:15

I would be horrified to think someone had paid so much money for a gift. He clearly thinks your relationship is more than you believe it is.
I would return the gift in question without a moments hesitation.

inishowen Sat 30-Dec-17 12:44:17

Last Christmas our family had just sat down to eat our Christmas dinner. The doorbell went, hubby went to answer, and it was a Russian family he knows. Of course he invited them in, got them drinks etc., The rest of us were in the dining room eating our lovely dinner. Hubby's dinner went cold. We were all a bit cross that anyone would call on Christmas Day without an invitation. I don't know if it's a cultural difference, but we would never call anywhere on christmas Day.

As for your friend, she sounds like a pain in the backside! Keep her at arms length. Yes meet for coffee, and say quite clearly that you are paying half each. Is it possible to ignore the doorbell when she turned up at your house?