Hmmmm- tight friends

(52 Posts)
Pierrette Mon 09-May-16 17:30:08

Our friends came to stay recently. We always love seeing them because we have lots of chat & laughs and the kids have loads of fun running around together. BUT one thing grates - a lot. We have had them to stay many times because our house is a bit bigger than theirs and I understand that they couldn't fit us all in to stay over. However, in more than a decade we have never been invited for a meal when stopping off in their city (though we have had a cup of coffee and a biscuit!), and when they come to us they never offer to pay for a meal or do some cooking or pay for a takeaway. I actually suggested a takeaway for one of the nights they were staying, thinking they would at least offer to pay half. They were enthusiastic but when my husband went to get it, can you believe it, he actually ended up paying for the whole thing. I convinced myself I would say something, like 'could we go halves perhaps?', but when they kept thanking us for such a delicious meal, I couldn't bring myself to. I'm writing this thinking it's quite outrageous - and quite strange - now that I've put it into words. As anyone who hosts friends knows, it's not cheap forking out for nice food for everyone for a few days… Grrrrrrrrrr. Any other experiences with non-paying guests out there?!!

Majorlyscared1993 Mon 09-May-16 17:47:22

Unfortunately yes... This is not uncommon in my experience. My husband and I have one baby and another on the way. We rent a flat at the moment in an expensive area of Hertfordshire and I am currently not working as I haven't finished my mat leave from the first baby yet 😳 My best friend is a single girl my age still lives with her mum pays no rent and earns 30k in the city... Yet if she comes over for dinner or we go out for dinner I always end up paying somehow. I sometimes feel like I am her mother! Forgot to say my husband earns a bit less than she does

ChicRock Mon 09-May-16 17:51:12

Yes DH has a friend that has perfected the art of arranging meet ups or visits to us or meals out and swerving any kind of going halves or even buying a token bottle of wine as a "thanks for having me".

He properly did us over on our last visit to his home town, we ended up buying his evening meal and then his breakfast the next day, and I think DH has finally seen the light.

HopeFull28 Mon 09-May-16 17:52:47

Rude... we have friends that live abroad and we visit stay with them once a year, whilst there we take them out for at least 1 meal, buy food from supermarket and cook for them, not just tight but rude I'd say.. how can they not even offer to pay half for the take away?? hmm

Majorlyscared1993 Mon 09-May-16 17:56:10

Oh yes dh has a friend he gave a friend a lend of some money, it was the guys birthday the other day and he organised an activity for him and his mates inc dh to do, dh asked if he could take the price of it out of what he owes dh and he said fine... Surprise surprise when he comes home I find out he paid for himself

yes, my DB and SIL and 3 kids invited themselves to stay a few years ago, I thought it was a couple of nights on their way to their hols nearby, but we were actually their hols! nine nights they stayed, nine looooong nights. I cooked almost every night, did them packed lunch when they were going to the beach (we were at work) eventually we got so fed up of them we insisted they went out and we would babysit the kids who were all young at the time, they rarely put them to bed before 9 and our 2 were still at school (different term dates) so it was tricky, within 10 mins of them leaving the kids were bathed and tucked up in bed asleep grin but sadly they were back in about an hour as they had forgotten their wallet. the last night we ordered takeaway and DB went to pay but did not have enough so we ended up paying... we vowed never again and actually we have been 'away that week, sorry' whenever it was suggested again.

pilates Mon 09-May-16 17:59:59

Unbelievable behaviour but think it will be a hard one to change since they have been doing it for a decade! shock

Lymmmummy Mon 09-May-16 18:07:54

Very tight - yes some people are like this - will watch with interest to see if anyone has come up with any solutions to this type of situations. I do agree once a pattern is set its hard to move people on.

Could you meet in summer for a picnic or meal where you ask them to bring a dish or drinks etc or just ask in advance for the price of say a set meal if you are going out

Or perhaps go nuclear and just reduce the time/ way in which you see them

FetchezLaVache Mon 09-May-16 18:11:17

I put a friend of a friend up for five days when she moved to the city I was living in at the time. Her contribution, for the entire time she was there, was a single loaf of bread, the remains of which (about a quarter) she took with her when she left. I was pretty shock! Worse than that, though, she really, erm, made herself at home. She never bothered to make the sofa bed back into a sofa and left her dirty knickers on the floor. Of my living room. I'd never even met her prior to this, so I dread to think how she'd behave if she was staying with friends of over a decade!

whois Mon 09-May-16 18:15:33

Oh that is so tight! That behaviour is so unattractive. I like to think that I would say something... but i'ts so hard.

How good a friend is she? Could you say that you love seeing them, but because you do all the 'hosting' it is a bit one sided in terms of effort and cost?

Or maybe they think THEY are making the effort and cost in terms of driving to see you perhaps?

gamerchick Mon 09-May-16 18:19:14

Can you not just make it about money? If they bring up staying next Tim just say you cant afford to host for the foreseeable. You'll find out if they're genuine parasites ir not then.

Pierrette Mon 09-May-16 18:21:25

Ha ha, loving these stories. Yes, it's true it's a bit tricky to mention it after 10 years. I think the tipping point this time was the lack of help too - the kids' bedroom was left like a bomb site with bedcovers in a tangled mess, toys everywhere and rearranged furniture. Took me half the day to sort the mess out. And did I mention the breakfast dishes were just left piled up on the side with no attempt to even insert them into the open dishwasher? I feel like I'm talking about an old friend behind her back - but really?

Majorlyscared1993 Mon 09-May-16 18:24:11

Don't worry Pierette I've known my friend for 12 years... It's good to have a rant when you're pissed off. Some people take liberties unfortunately!

eddielizzard Mon 09-May-16 18:26:03

hmm i'd be putting off their next visit for a bit and letting them stay less time. sounds like a total pisstake to me!

and when you're next in their city say 'hey we're around x weekend. we'd love to drop in for a meal!' make it lunch, and then don't leave until 10pm, after dinner.

Somerville Mon 09-May-16 18:27:29

You have to be really blunt with people like that.

I have a friend just like that. All through University she forgot her purse or just didn't reach for it. We all somehow assumed she was even more skint than the rest of us, and paid for everything, but when we all left and she got a good job and still didn't pay, it was clear it was just a character flaw.

It did seem bizarre as she's otherwise good company.

I decided that ultimately I'd rather not be friends with her than have every occasion marred by her being so tight. The unfairness of it really bothered me, and my DH was refusing to see her after she asked to bring a +1 to our wedding then didn't even bring a card, let alone a gift.

I was really blunt and texted, when she suggested meeting up. 'I'd like to meet up for lunch but I paid the last three times. It's your turn.'

She wasn't embarrassed by this at all - just went, oh have you? Okay then...

Then at the restaurant she went 'Oh, we're going halves aren't we?'

'I said, 'No. You're paying. I got the last three. Don't be a sponger.'

And she paid.

We're alt 30's now and we're still friends. She's famously tight, as is the bloke she married, and lots of people let them get away with it then moan behind their back, or phase out friendships with them. I insist on them paying every other time, or if I invite them over I ask specifically for something I'd like them to bring, and they do it.

Baconyum Mon 09-May-16 18:32:17

Ffs I'm a LP with just dd so our flat tiny, I have lovely friends that we've stayed with several times (different friends wouldn't impose on the same ones repeatedly), at the VERY LEAST you tidy up after your backside (including disposing of any rubbish), strip the beds before you leave unless asked not to, wipe down surfaces in room you were using and get the hosts wine/choc/flowers as a thank you!

I've also done babysitting/childminding for them while there - especially if it's a couple that rarely gets out due to lack of babysitters, I enjoy cooking so happy to do that too, wash dishes, pop laundries on (again unless asked not to sometimes there are allergy issues/tricky washing machines), took dogs for walks, and pay for the odd takeaway! They're my friends and they're very generously allowing us to stay with them why wouldn't I pull my weight?

expatinscotland Mon 09-May-16 18:33:36

'Very tight - yes some people are like this - will watch with interest to see if anyone has come up with any solutions to this type of situations. I do agree once a pattern is set its hard to move people on. '

You get a backbone. They suggest coming to yours, you say, 'Oh, we love having you, but we really cannot afford to feed and water guests this time round. I'll email you a shopping list.'

They sit on their backsides whilst you run round like a blue-arsed fly and you say, 'Well, tonight's your night to cook. Surprise us!'

'I cooked, so you do the washing up. On you go!'

On leaving day, you get up early. 'Hold up! This room needs a tidy and the bed linens stripped. Sorry, but our services don't extend to hotel standard.'

Or just stop. They suggest it and you say, 'Sorry, that doesn't work for us.' 'What about X week?' And then you actually tell the truth. 'To be honest, we feel really taken advantage of every time we host you all. You never put your hand in your pocket and expect us to do all the running round, cooking, cleaning. It's a shame because we really enjoy your company, but we feel taken for granted so we're going to have to put the brakes on hosting.'

The reason why people get away with this is because people don't say anything.

Arfarfanarf Mon 09-May-16 18:37:43

If they are your very good, very old friends then tell them that you feel taken advantage of.

A friend will be mortified and want to put it right.

A user will strop.

arethereanyleftatall Mon 09-May-16 18:38:24

We have had exactly the same kind of friends. Went on for ten years. I no longer contact them. Makes me cross thinking about it.

Pierrette Mon 09-May-16 18:46:17

Oooh, how I wished I'd yelled out the window 'Hold up! Room needs a tidy' as they loaded the car expat! Yes, I am guilty of letting them get away with it, I know. Hate confrontation though grin

expatinscotland Mon 09-May-16 18:51:14

Then they will continue to rip the piss out of you. It's not confrontation, it's not being a wet lettuce.

Baconyum Mon 09-May-16 18:55:01

Confrontation is part of life it's necessary sometimes. Nobody likes it just some of us realise it's necessary and work on being more assertive. Assertiveness training was part of my nurse training, because you can't pussyfoot when it comes to dealing with a patient who won't take their diabetes meds eg.

But I'm so glad as its come in handy in lots of areas in life. Maybe look up a YouTube tutorial?

stringvest Mon 09-May-16 18:56:37

we have friends like this. eg

dh will go to pick up the takeaway and the other couple dont offer to pay half,

at the restaurant dh will have £100 cash and the other family pay the last £20 on card and forget to withdraw cash

we host them and offer a freshly opened bottle of wine and open a packet of kettle chip nice snacks etc and we got to theirs once and get half a bag of soggy doritos and wine thats been open for a while.

the boys will go to the off licence and dh pays at till so theres less faffing but other couple dont give it back later.

we see less of them now as its always on their terms.shame.

WordGetsAround Mon 09-May-16 18:58:24

I couldn't be friends with people like that. It just wouldn't feel like a friendship of equals. All our friends are very generous - and we try to be too. Maybe it's something that happens in those first few months and a pattern is set?

noblegiraffe Mon 09-May-16 18:58:55

If I had friends to stay and they insisted on cleaning the bedroom and stripping the bed I'd find it a bit weird, tbh.

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