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friend of late father's. How do I handle this?

(19 Posts)
cafenoir Sun 30-Jun-13 17:23:49

Am awful at this sort of thing so any advice gratefully received.

My late Dad had a friend. Friend is still alive. Dad used to find him very 'difficult' at best of times and he could be v embarrassing when they were out. (Not alzheimers, just embarrassing behaviour like flirting with young waitresses and making silly comments etc). Dad only really saw him because he didn't have the heart to cut him out).

I used to see this friend round at my Dad's house a lot. I didn't keep in touch with him after my Dad died though because quite frankly, I never really liked him much. He turned up at the house of another friend of my Dad's today (who I do keep in touch with) and he asked for my number. Which they gave him because they were so taken by surprise etc). He commented how disappointed he was in me for not bothering with him etc etc! I know he's going to phone. I don't want to be horrible because he's v v old. But I do not want to be made to feel I've done something wrong here. It's not like he was my friend!!! Any idea what I could say when he calls? TIA

Pancakeflipper Sun 30-Jun-13 17:26:18

Say hello, are you well? Really busy at the moment let me have your number and I give you a call sometime.

But never write down their number. No reason to have to keep in touch with this person.

Chottie Sun 30-Jun-13 17:31:11

Please don't feel you have to be friends with this man. He sounds a bit creepy, would you want to be alone with him? I think you may have to be a bit firm and please do not be polite and say how nice it is to hear from him when he phones.

He maybe old but it's no excuse.

Zynia41 Sun 30-Jun-13 17:42:05

I would use that NLP on him if he rings you. 'I'm sorry, can you refresh my memory? who are you? ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, you were a friend of my fathers. I hope you are not missing my father too much. Sure, what consolation is it to talk to his daughter! It is my father you miss. I know my father valued your friendship. do you miss my Father? would you like me to put you in touch with help the aged so that they can tell you were to meet people your own age?' eg, "I am not picking up my father's friendships!!!"

cafenoir Sun 30-Jun-13 17:52:42

I think he will ring Zynia. He went round to this other friend's house especially to 'chase me up'! I am so good at feeling guilty for things I don't have to feel guilty about though!!! You are right. I will point out he was a friend of my father's and not my friend.

Chottie, no I wouldn't want to be alone with him. Not because he's likely to do anything but because he's just not a very nice guy. He's fallen out with loads of people over the course of his lifetime.
So the fact that he is v v old shouldn't stop me being firm and saying that we aren't friends and the only thing that we have in common is that we both knew my Dad?

Ragwort Sun 30-Jun-13 17:54:56

Out of interest, what do you consider 'very, very old' ?

Can't you just be breezily polite, 'hope you are well' that sort of thing?

cafenoir Sun 30-Jun-13 18:07:45

Mid 90's Ragwort. I could be breezily polite but he will start the "how disappointed and how let down he feels that I haven't kept in touch" thing.

tiktok Sun 30-Jun-13 18:11:01

cafe, you can still be breezily polite. 'Sorry you feel let down, but that's the way it is. Bye'

There is no reason why you need to feel guilty about this. He is very old, but this does not bring any entitlement to a friendship with you.

Would your dad want you to be friends with him?

What is the worry that you have, about just refusing his contact?

cafenoir Sun 30-Jun-13 18:20:25

Tiktok no my Dad wouldn't expect me to be friends with him. He barely managed it himself smile

I don't have any problem refusing contact but don't want to end up apologising or being a wimp when he rings. I don't have a display thing on my phone so I won't know it's him when he calls and I don't want to be unprepared. I want to be assertive and to know what to say and how I'm going to say it.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Sun 30-Jun-13 18:22:00

If you weren't personal friends then don't feel you have to be anything more than polite. Pity the other friends gave him your number.

Just deliberately get the wrong end of the stick, if he ring you say something like,

"Oh hi, Mr ? it's so sweet of you to ring and see how I am getting on. Still missing Dad of course, I expect you do too, it does get easier, got my hands full with X Y Z so life goes on. He wouldn't want us to sit about missing him would he, anyway don't let me keep you, all the best, take care!"

Don't draw breath, if you keep it short and wish him all the best he may think you are a selfish baggage but he'll get the hint so who cares.

Far politer than saying, Dad never liked you so put that in your pipe and smoke it.

cafenoir Sun 30-Jun-13 18:36:24

Donkey yes I like the idea of not drawing breath and not letting him get a word in! It was a shame this other friend gave my number to him. I think they were unprepared for his visit and ended up feeling as if they had to do that. This guy is a very self-centred person so maybe a dose of self-centredness back on my park, is a good tactic!

arsenaltilidie Sun 30-Jun-13 18:46:06

This subtle hints will not work on him because I'm sure other people have said similar things and he chose to ignore it.

Agree with whatever he says and say, "I'm busy busy will talk sometimes"
Or "hi, can I help you?"
And dont ask questions about him.

cafenoir Sun 30-Jun-13 19:14:27

If I agree with everything though, I will have to agree that I've disappointed him. Although in that case I could say that I am sorry he's disappointed but that he was my Dad's friend not mine. Really, I don't know why I'm so bothered about this!

JustinBsMum Sun 30-Jun-13 21:17:28

Believe me living with the guilt of disappointing him (which is his take on things and not any sensible person's) will be much much pleasanter than having to deal with regular calls or, even worse, visits.

Just brush him off, he is well out of order.

Zynia41 Sun 30-Jun-13 21:34:27

He's very manipulative.

cafenoir Sun 30-Jun-13 22:20:28

very manipulative. Also weird that he's only just gone round to this other friend's today considering my Dad died 4 years ago.

Spiritedwolf Sun 30-Jun-13 22:56:38

See, I wonder if he's just found something of your dad's that's reminded him, that he wants to return? Given the time lag?

I'd maybe try a polite "Oh Mr x, is there something about my father you want to speak to me about?" If the answer is 'no, I just wanted to catch up' then just respond 'I'm doing fine, busy with X,Y and Z. I'm just on my way out/making tea/off to bed/got to chase after the children/pets. Goodbye'

cafenoir Sun 30-Jun-13 23:08:33

Spirited you could well be right. The 4th anniversary of my Dad's death was last week, so that could have triggered this. I like the question "Is there something about my Dad you wanted to speak to me about". Really could imagine saying that! And if there isn't to go for the 'must dash' approach. I really do appreciate everyone's suggestions here. I don't feel guilty for not keeping in touch with him and I really don't want him to try make me feel that way.

Aussiebean Mon 01-Jul-13 02:12:01

If you have kids have them on stand by. And on the signal they can start a fight or start screaming and you can say

' sorry. Have to go and deal with that, nice taking to you, bye ' click.

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