Ask Amy: Host sleeps in while guest gets busy

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Dear Amy: I am living with the man I expect to marry, and we have a wonderful relationship. His folks live in another city, and when they come to visit (about three times a year) they stay in our guest room. We enjoy their company for the most part, but there is one problem. I work a full-time job and have a long commute. On the weekends, I like to sleep in.

If no one bothers me, I can sleep until 11 a.m. or noon, no problem! Of course, when they come to visit, I try to get up earlier - like around 9:30 or 10.

This does not sit well with my future mother-in-law. She will get up early and start grinding coffee beans, knock on our door and/or turn on the washing machine right outside our bedroom.

Amy, I'm nearly 40. This is my home, and while I enjoy hosting them, this is driving me crazy.

My boyfriend pretty much reverts to the "child" role when his mom is around. He doesn't want to rock the boat, so he dutifully gets up at her beckoning.

Is it okay for me to sleep in when I have guests who are up? Should I say something to her? I have told her many times that I like to sleep in, but I assume she thinks it's rude of me to do so.

Grumpy Without My Winks

My personal take is that unless you work a swing shift, you should be able to drag your carcass out of bed by 9 a.m. when you have houseguests.

But you're right: It's your house. If you worked out, practiced the trombone or meditated in the morning, you would have a legitimate claim to your privacy; sleep qualifies.

It is rude of your guest to intentionally bang around in the morning. Take this issue out of the realm of passive aggression and say to your future mother-in-law, "The coffee pot is all set up for morning, and breakfast food is ready in the fridge. Can you manage on your own until 9:30? I really do need to sleep until then."

Dear Amy: I have been friends with a couple for more than 35 years. We have been through thick and thin. They are frequent guests of mine, and while visiting they have the run of my house.

Over the past few years, they have suffered some economic reverses because of the economy, some bad luck and a number of bad choices on their part. These conditions have affected their lifestyle, retirement plans, etc., but they are not exactly suffering.

CONTINUED     1        >

© 2011 The Washington Post Company