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Miss Manners: Friends came to visit and barely left our guest room

3 min

Dear Miss Manners: I had a friend and her boyfriend visit for a few days. It was very strange.

I thought they were coming to visit my husband and me, so we cleared our schedules and planned activities for each of the five days. But when they arrived, they spent most of their time in the guest room with the door closed, watching TV. They continually woke up too late for most of the activities we planned.

I reframed the invitations as suggestions of things to do, and would get a wishy-washy answer. I confronted my friend and said that I had thought we would spend some time together, and that I was a little upset my time wasn’t being respected when she would agree to plans and then bail.

Nothing changed, even after this direct conversation. It was an extremely uncomfortable feeling, not interacting with people staying in my home.

How are you supposed to handle a guest that sequesters themselves like this?

Smoke them out?

No, Miss Manners would not consider that hospitable, and besides, it would subject you to a lot of unpleasant secondhand smoke.

The technical term for your guests is “freeloaders.” Your next — and last — offer, if they are still in your guest room, should be to help with their transportation home.

Dear Miss Manners: Maybe you can help me. My niece got married in 2018 and decided not to tell anyone. (When the couple was around family, they would leave their wedding rings in the car.) They finally came clean in 2021.

Just now, we got an invitation to her “wedding,” which is happening this summer. It’s a destination wedding, where everyone invited will have to spend the weekend at a hotel about 300 miles away. And it’s a holiday weekend, to boot!

My wife thinks that it's a must for us to be there, but I disagree. I don't believe that after being lied to for three years, I have to go to a party to celebrate that fact. It's basically a $1,000 weekend to celebrate someone's four-year anniversary. And they lied to us!

Is it no longer that we live with the decisions we make? They chose to get married and keep that information to themselves; don’t expect me to celebrate that fact four years later. What’s your thought?

That the definition of a wedding seems generally to have become disconnected from the act of getting married, even aside from its disconnection to setting up a household and having children. Now the term is used merely for a couple’s self-centered fundraising extravaganza.

Miss Manners is as exasperated by this as you. If you cannot persuade your wife, she won’t be able to, either — but at least you could save $500 if your wife attends without you.

New Miss Manners columns are posted Monday through Saturday on You can send questions to Miss Manners at her website, You can also follow her @RealMissManners.

©2022 by Judith Martin