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To withdraw an invitation to a houseguest?

(208 Posts)
GuinevereBeck Fri 20-May-16 15:23:41

About six weeks ago, my cousin contacted me telling me that his daughter was wanting to come to London in the summer (they’re Australian, his daughter is currently studying in Italy). He was asking did I know of any cheap accommodation/jobs that she could do? I could kind of guess where this was heading, but said I would ask among friends, and have a think about job opportunities. Sure enough, a few weeks later he asked would it be possible for her to stay with me when she first arrived while she sorted herself out. She’s meant to be due on the 21st. I’m not crazy about the idea of a barely-known 21-year-old staying in my house, but I said that would be absolutely fine for a little while (we have someone due to stay in June anyway), and she should get in touch with me. To be honest, I’m a little annoyed that this has all come through her dad - if she was sixteen I could understand it, but she’s 21 and living halfway round the world!

Eventually, last week I get an email from the girl herself (let’s call her Lucy). Lucy writes a nice email thanking me for the offer, how grateful she is, looking forward to seeing me, etc etc. Very nice, I think, and write her a kind email back telling her a bit about our area (in zone 6 so not exactly central!) and how we’d pick her up from the station if she lets me know when she’s arriving. Since then, I’ve heard nothing. I emailed her yesterday briefly asking her to confirm if she’s even coming on the 21st, and roughly what time. Still not heard anything. I’m getting rather pissed off now – I’m a bit uncomfortable about having an unknown relative to stay anyway as I like my own space, but the whole manner it’s been organised (i.e. through her dad rather than her) has not helped at all.

I told DH this morning that if I hadn’t heard from her by lunchtime I’d tell her it was all off. He thought that was really mean, saying she was just a kid, but she’s 21 and studying abroad!! If you want to stay with someone for free, I would have though telling them the basics, i.e. when you plan to arrive, was pretty standard! I’ve had to rearrange plans because I don’t know if/when to expect her. WIBU to say she’s had her chance, and if she can’t be bothered to get in touch with her plans she can’t be that interested in staying? (Disclaimer – I did meet her when she was 14 and found her a bit vapid and annoying – she’s fond of duck face poses on Instagram, and is very invested in her appearance (to be fair, she is stunning and has done some modelling). I think I am almost intimidated by the thought of having her stay, but I do feel like I’ve been treated a bit rudely.) Or am I just out of touch with the younger generation and expecting too much? I’m 37 and DH and I have no DC.

FuzzyOwl Fri 20-May-16 15:26:38

I would withdraw the invite but then I couldn't think of anything worse than sharing my home with someone I don't know who doesn't have the manners to respond.

I would just email her and say as you haven't heard from her you assume she is no longer staying with you and hope she has a pleasant time if she is still visiting London.

MadAboutFourteen Fri 20-May-16 15:28:25

I think we're all vapid and annoying at 14.

You presumably know your cousin better than you know her, so it makes sense for him to contact you first.

21 is still young and shy.

She's unreasonable not to contact you but you'll have to suck it up. You didn't want to do it so you shouldn't have agreed, but you did. Are you really going to leave her out on the street if she arrives?

PiePiePie Fri 20-May-16 15:31:52

YANBU over the email, if she's due to arrive tomorrow she should have replied by now. Nothing to do with age, or even politeness, just basic logistics!

But you sound like you don't like her much anyway tbh and for the general tone of your post YABU (you admit in your last para you feel intimidated by her).

I don't see what's so wrong her dad smoothing the way, you are cousins and contemporaries, it's perfectly natural that you might communicate initially on behalf of your children, this happens in all families. Her dad might have wanted to give you the opportunity to say no to him rather than her, which would surely have been more awkward for you.

Btw have you checked your junkmail?

FuzzyOwl Fri 20-May-16 15:34:17

I missed that she was due tomorrow. She is probably already on the plane from Australia!

GuinevereBeck Fri 20-May-16 15:36:39

Yep, have checked the junkmail, definitely no response. I admit I'm prejudiced because she doesn't seem like my kind of person and I hate having people to stay anyway. But her dad is lovely and wanted to do him a favour.

GuinevereBeck Fri 20-May-16 15:37:01

Nope, she's currently in Europe, so no time delay!

PiePiePie Fri 20-May-16 15:37:04

She's in Italy at the moment, OP said.

Don't worry it's Friday wink

FuzzyOwl Fri 20-May-16 15:39:31

Where is she staying in Italy? Could she have limited email access?

KoalaDownUnder Fri 20-May-16 15:39:48

I would just assume that she's travelling somewhere and hasn't checked her email.

I think it would be mean and rude to withdraw the invitation, tbh.

SpuriouserAndSpuriouser Fri 20-May-16 15:44:41

I can understand where you are coming from OP, I would find it all a bit rude and strange too. I don't think you can withdraw the offer though. Maybe there is a reason she hasn't replied? Could you try to get in touch with her another way to find out what is going on? If only to avoid a scenario in which she turns up on your doorstep at 2am or something.

squeaver Fri 20-May-16 15:44:51

IME, this is very Australian behaviour. It's what makes them lovely (easy-going, all mates together etc) but also infuriating to us uptight Brits.

My guess is that you'll get a text at either 11pm tonight or 6am tomorrow morning. Don't change any plans you have. If it's not convenient for you to pick her up, say you can't and you'll meet at x time.

When she gets here, lay down the rules straight away e.g. she can have a bed and a key but you're not going to be responsible for entertaining her.

PiePiePie Fri 20-May-16 15:50:50

Btw I know early 20 somethings who are the sweetest most innocent and thoughtful people IRL but I'd conclude they were narcissistic high maintenance nightmares if I was solely going off the evidence of their online activity, it's just such a ubiquitous social code as to tell you nothing about individual character. Even I've been known to duck face Instagram pose and I'm 37 too blush

You never know, she might be nice.

acasualobserver Fri 20-May-16 15:51:32

Email her father and get her into trouble.

Smurfnoff Fri 20-May-16 15:51:43

You could send a final email saying that if she doesn't need the room anymore, one of your friends does, so can she confirm either way ASAP. If she thinks she might lose the room you might get a reply finally. However, I don't think you can rule out her just turning up.

GuinevereBeck Fri 20-May-16 15:52:06

That's what DH says, and what I'm hoping! I think I'm just being grouchy.

GuinevereBeck Fri 20-May-16 15:52:45

Sorry, that was to PiePiePie

EssentialHummus Fri 20-May-16 15:53:20

Contact your cousin and explain that you haven't heard from her and need to know ASAP if she's coming and when to expect her. Yes she's an adult and she should be wiping her own proverbial backside but it's stressing you out not knowing.

If/when she arrives I second what squeaver said - have a chat about rules, how long she can stay, if you need her out by x time in the morning, what you expect of her and how long she can stay. There seems to be a thing about Antipodeans darkening people's doors for months while in the UK, hence the pedantry wink.

PiePiePie Fri 20-May-16 15:53:25

OR your DH might be wrong and she might be a nightmare in which case you at least get to come back and tell us all the horror stories grin

3amClub Fri 20-May-16 15:53:59

is it because you're uneasy about this 'stunning' relative staying in the same house as DH? Just otherwise I can't think of another reason why you brought this up and mentioned you had a DH, twice.

GuinevereBeck Fri 20-May-16 15:56:17

3am possibly, a little bit! She is very attractive, and has dated (briefly) a famous popstar.

AugustaFinkNottle Fri 20-May-16 15:57:20

Just contact her father and ask what's going on.

RaeSkywalker Fri 20-May-16 15:57:54

I think it would be unfair to withdraw the offer with 1 day's notice. I understand why you're frustrated though!

whois Fri 20-May-16 15:58:21

Totally fine and normal for your cousin to organise the stay since he is you know, your cousin and you know him better.

Totally U to withdraw the offer because she hasn't contacted you in your preferred timescale, but not U to be annoyed.

Try to chillax little bit.

SissySpacekAteMyHamster Fri 20-May-16 15:58:55

Seems like you don't really want her to stay and you're looking for excuses to cancel.

As you've already said yes, you would be very mean to cancel her.

If she is travelling, there are a number of reasons she could be incommunicado.

Granted, initially things were sorted through her dad, but you have heard from her directly since.

I would put her up but would say no to future requests, as you don't seem happy.

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