Friday, November 23, 2007

Why Is It So Hard To Ask a Visitor To Leave When You're Worn Out?

Still exhausted today, and it didn't help that a friend who I thought was dropping by for a brief visit stayed for over 90 minutes.

I've been pretty straightforward with folks that an hour is about all I can handle socializing with a visitor. Even if I don't talk much, just the extra activity level around me wears me out.

A friend came over today. She had done me a favor and hit the sale at the nearby Hanna Andersson outlet and got me a dress for Ellie at a good price. So she came over with her daughter, who's a few months younger than Ellie, and her 3-month-old baby, who I hadn't met yet.

Don't get me wrong -- it was good to see her, good to see her kids and I was grateful for the cute dress she found in Ellie's size. But she was an hour late showing up (which is understandable with a newborn and a preschooler to corral to get out of the house with) and then we felt funny about making lunch when she and her older child didn't want any, so we didn't eat either even though it was now past our normal lunch time.

I was still worn out from Thanksgiving, and I guess I wasn't really up for a playdate and that's probably the real problem. But as they lingered and lingered, I could tell Scott was hungry too and Ellie was fading fast.

I finally dropped a hint by saying that gosh, it was really getting close to my naptime. And they eventually left, we had our lunch, and then I headed upstairs for a nap.

I know I should have said something sooner, but I didn't know what to say or how to say it politely. She's someone I like, but we don't know each other all that well and I didn't feel like I could just say, "Hey, I've reached my limit, it's time for you to pack up your kids and go." And I probably should have.

Does Miss Manners explain the proper etiquette for these kinds of situations?


Jen Rouse said...

I once had a friend drop by to visit with her 3-year-old son, and when it was time for my two kids to have their naps, she just picked up her son, took him to my bedroom, and put him down for a nap in there without even asking! She stayed for something like three hours. I didn't know what to say, so I didn't say anything. I love visiting with friends, but sometimes there are limits.

Aviva said...

That reminds me of a playdate I had before I got sick. Usually, playdates would start around 10 a.m. or so, and the mom would pack the kid(s) up to go home for lunch and nap. It was the first time I'd had this particular mom over, and she just stayed and stayed. Finally, I said I really needed to feed Ellie and get her down for her nap.

Instead of taking the hint, she asked what I was making for lunch and I ended up feeding her kids too, which wouldn't have been that big of a deal but we desperately needed to go grocery shopping and the fridge was practically empty!

Thank goodness she then took her kids home for their naps. I'd have died if she'd wanted to put them down at my house!

Anyway, thanks for the comment, and for making me laugh. :)