The Unwanted Guest Who Comes for Thanksgiving Every Year
We always try to invite friends for Thanksgiving whom we assume don’t have any place to go. For 15 years we’ve entertained a some-what friend for Thanksgiving.
Unfortunately, he doesn’t seem to make anybody happy. Neither of my children, nor grandchildren like him and he’s not kind to them.
When he called to ask what time he should arrive for dinner on Thanksgiving I was caught off guard and didn’t know what to say.
Put on the spot like that, I said, four o’clock.
We dread having him around, but we’ve gotten to be his go-to family for Thanksgiving.
How do I break this obligation?
–DC, Salem, MA
Call your friend immediately to say that "something's come up" and you've "had a change in plans" this Thanksgiving.
- Add, "You can't come this year." And leave it at that.
- You've had a change in plans: Being that you've made the decision that you don't want him at your Thanksgiving dinner because he makes your family uncomfortable.
I know, it sounds cruel but why would he want to be at a place where he is not wholeheartedly welcomed.
He'll feel the tension.
Those disapproving vibes from your family.
He'll know you really rather wish he hadn't put you on the spot like that by him asking you what time he is expected for Thanksgiving this year.
Take a break. Early next fall, you can revisit that narrative of the man who used to come to Thanksgiving dinner.
You might even find that you miss the grumpy old guest.