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to actually say no to people visiting sometimes?

(22 Posts)
CrazyChristmasLady Tue 21-Dec-10 19:45:33

My nan has this annoying habit of never saying no to visitors or a phone call, no matter who is there or what she is doing. I have been sat there before and she has been on the phone to my aunt for 45 minutes because she won't say "CCL (or anyone else) is here, I'll ring you back later". I actually find it quite rude when you have visitors or are visiting and you sit on the phone to someone for ages.

Sometimes I have been there or my grandad has told me, that X has phoned (could be anyone) and they are nipping around at a slightly inappropriate time (ie, when they are in the middle of getting eat ready or about to eat tea), but my nan still won't say "I'm in the middle of tea" etc, she always just says "yes thats fine, come on up" which drives my grandad mad, and it would me as well.

Had a conversation with her this evening as my sister was suppose to be coming to me today but texted at the last minute to say she had a headache and she would come on thursday when I have my brother and his DP over. She didn't ask if this was ok, just said thats when she was coming. I have a tiny house which is going to be a bit cramped with that many of us and my other brother had already asked what I was doing thursday and I said "xxxx and xxxx are coming up". I haven't been well the last few days, I am heavily pregnant and have DS (2.11). These visits all require me going out and picking them up and dropping home again.

I won't put my sister off as I haven't seen her for a little while but I was considering it and saying to my nan when she said "but you can't tell someone that they can't come!" in a really shocked voice.

Why not? Do you always have to accept visitors when they want to come even if its not entirely convenient? I haven't seen my brother for ages either and it was his DP who arranged with me to come up and visit us.

Personally I don't see anything wrong with saying that it isn't convenient but my nans reaction was surprising so I wondered if there is some sort of ettiquette that I am unaware of where you should just let people come when they want?

StealthPolarBear Tue 21-Dec-10 19:48:04

Well me too if so but DH is a bit like your nan.
Plus he won't ring anyone between about 4 and about 8 in case they're eating (OK slight exaggeration). Wouldn't be a problem if he thought they'd just say "can I call you back in half an hour"

lololizzy Tue 21-Dec-10 20:01:17

my auntie was like your Nan sounds...she was a big warm hearted earth mother type. She just really really loved visitors...is it that your Nan is not good at saying no or that she really is very welcoming?

CrazyChristmasLady Tue 21-Dec-10 20:04:19

Both. She never says no to anything, even when she should and she is welcoming to everyone, even when she should clearly say "bugger off you horrible cow" (to certain family member who should do us all a favour and disappear, even my nan isn't keen on her, but you would never guess that).

lololizzy Tue 21-Dec-10 20:11:49

She sounds lovely! But if she's that lovely she's often being put upon by not saying no; it must secretly frustrate her? eg unfinished dinner etc. Best not to answer phone at certain times but people such as my parents think it's a crime to ignore a doorbell or phone! Then get wound up when it interrupts them!

mousesma Tue 21-Dec-10 20:19:49

Agree that your nan sounds lovely but if there is an etiquette that you should always see yes to visitors then I must be very rude indeed

I would never dream of not asking if it was convenient for me to visit someone and I would expect the same courtesy from them.

Surely everyone wants a visit to be looked forward to by all parties and not be a source of stress for anyone.

Triggles Tue 21-Dec-10 22:35:19

For the most part, if family/friends are actually at the door, I won't say no. But if they are calling to arrange a visit and suggest an inconvenient time, I will steer it towards one that works well for us as well.

Most friends/family of ours call first, so it's usually not an issue.

But we were brought up that you didn't ring people after 5pm unless it was urgent, as they might be eating dinner and then children going to bed. And never ever ring people's houses before 1pm on Sundays, as that's church and family time.

NW20 Tue 21-Dec-10 22:39:19

MIL refuses not to answer the phone when it rings even when we are in the middle of dinner and a conversation, then she'll disappear upstairs for half an hour.
This DRIVES ME MAD! I think it is so rude.
If I am in the middle of dinner and the phone rings I ignore it. Although I suppose some people might think this is rude.

lololizzy Wed 22-Dec-10 00:01:31

I think it's an older generation thing - ''controlled by the telephone''!! My parents will never ever let the phone pick up a message for them, if they are in. They think it's rude to NOT answer! drives me mad too. I tell them to ignore it if it's bad timing and they look at me like i asked them to put their cat to sleep! shock

clam Wed 22-Dec-10 00:17:59

I very often ignore the phone - or certainly screen calls and only speak to people I'm in the mood for, but very often the DCs will scupper my plans, rush to answer it and ignore my frantic head shaking and merrily hand the phone over saying "yes, she's here. One moment please."

Grr... must get them better trained.

CrazyChristmasLady Wed 22-Dec-10 09:41:08

Ha ha, I can see DS doing that when he is older. He is already eyeing up the phone and I do get him to pass it to me sometimes when I need it.

Yulephemia Wed 22-Dec-10 09:56:44

That generation seem to treat the ringing of the phone like a royal summons - probably dating back to the 1960s or 1970s when they first got a phone installed, calls were rare and must have been important of the person wouldn't have called!

My MIL will answer the phone if it starts ringing as she's coming in the front door: she's puffing and panting, standing there in her coat, hat and scarf. grin

We know how to screen calls. wink

Species8472 Wed 22-Dec-10 10:22:16

My PIL are exactly like this. They will never ignore the phone, even if in the middle of a meal. Once, when FIL was actually just about to go to the doctor's surgery, a relative turned up unannounced and they sat just sat there and entertained her without saying anything!

Even if the relative/friend has given no clue as to their arrival MIL will feel bad because she hasn't prepared anything, and will then disappear off to make plates of sandwiches.

I screen calls; the phone is for my convenience, not the caller's! God forbid we had people just 'dropping by' to see us. Shudder.

norfolkBRONZEturkey Wed 22-Dec-10 10:29:55

Send them round here. Incredibly lonely and would love some visitors/phonecalls. Maybe when you're not there they're lonely and just try and absorb al the interaction they can while its available

Species8472 Wed 22-Dec-10 11:02:04

norfolkBRONZEturkey sad, sorry to hear that.

My PIL aren't lonely, believe me. They're in Ireland, so we get over when we can. They're reluctant to travel over to us, as FIL hates being away from home, but they have son, DIL and granddaughters about 10 minutes away,and another son and DIL about 2 hours away who visit often. They are very active in the local church and have neighbours on the same road that they socialise with.

norfolkBRONZEturkey Wed 22-Dec-10 11:34:34

sorry in a grump started my own thread instead smile

lololizzy Wed 22-Dec-10 11:56:33

yes spot on Yulephemia... they'll leap out of bath/bed for phone, then in a grump for rest of day as it was a call centre ringing!

Species8472 Wed 22-Dec-10 14:00:50

smile norfolkBRONZE

CrazyChristmasLady Wed 22-Dec-10 14:52:00

No one is actually answering my question though?

frgr Wed 22-Dec-10 14:58:07

It's not rude in the slightest.

It's give and take. It's beyond rude, imho, to just expect a host to be happy with the whim of a guest - no one in my family would ever put me in that situation, I'd have to nip it in the bud if they ever did. Our house is small, and can't really cope with more than 3 or 4 visitors at once. Besides, I want to enjoy my time with the guests. If it's begrudged, what's the point?

Visiting should be at a mutually convenient time and place. It's that one of the fundamentals of basic manners?

Can't believe anyone would just impose themselves on you like that/speak on the phone for 45 minutes whilst you visited shock

CrazyChristmasLady Wed 22-Dec-10 15:06:49

I have pointed it out to my nan that I find it rude that she will sit on the phone for so long when I am there. I said there is no problem with her saying "I have xxxx here, so you mind if I ring back later" she has been a bit better but she did do it again the other day and left the room for ages to do so.

I told her that if people are visiting me and the phone rings, I tell them I have guests and asked her if she thought that was rude. She said she didn't think it was so I asked her why she couldn't do the same and she couldn't answer.

Drives me up the wall if I am visiting and someone phones her to ask if they can come over and she will look at me and say "yes of course CCL and her DS is here, come over" even when it is bitch from hell cousin who I loathe tolerate, which then means I force myself to be civil whilst my nan over compensates for that fact that I openly loathe my cousin (with good reason and I am not alone in my opinion) and will make a huge deal of her being there whilst I struggle not to knock her head off sit quietly and tune her out listen to her wonderful stories about herself.

Species8472 Wed 22-Dec-10 17:07:16

It's not rude smile

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