Hax Philes: It’s not you, it’s everybody

We have a friend who calls and asks to stay with us a night or two on the rare occasion. She isn’t a bad guest and we like her, but we like our privacy and don’t want company. In addition I’m not a good housekeeper. I rush around making the house ‘acceptable’ for company prior to her arrival.

We’d like to see her but just not have her spend the night. When we visit somewhere we obtain our own accommodations. She can afford a hotel.

The problem is not just her; we just don’t like overnight company. For a relative, we even paid for their hotel because we didn’t want them staying with us. How do we say we don’t want overnight guests without being rude and without paying for their stay?

What would you suggest?

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Carolyn Hax started her advice column in 1997, after five years as a copy editor and news editor in Style and none as a therapist. The column includes cartoons by "relationship cartoonist" Nick Galifianakis -- Carolyn's ex-husband -- and appears in over 200 newspapers.
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