Join the debate. Vote Now on the Dear Abby Poll of the week.

by Abigail Van Buren

Friend Gives Tardy Co Ed Failing Grade for Punctuality

DEAR ABBY: I am a single man living in Florida. Without being invited, my sister called to inform me that she and her husband would be coming to visit me over the Christmas/New Year holiday. She said they planned to stay "a month or so" to escape the harsh northern winter. Caught off guard, I said I'd love to have them come for a week or 10 days, but I didn't want them to move in with me. At that point, she became miffed and said not to worry about it -- she and my brother-in-law would visit her son in Las Vegas instead.

Now I'm wondering if I was rude. I don't want them planting themselves in my home for months on end, but I don't want to destroy our relationship either. I love them both, but I have a life of my own. Did I make a mistake, or is it normal for relatives to visit for months? -- CONFOUNDED IN FLORIDA

DEAR CONFOUNDED: You did not make a mistake, and it is not "normal" for people to invite themselves to be houseguests as your sister did. Her attitude was presumptuous. Your reaction was honest. What she proposed was an imposition. If defending your privacy "destroys" your relationship, your sibling bond wasn't strong to begin with. Frankly, I think your sister had a lot of nerve, and her son has my sympathy because it's going to be a long winter in Las Vegas.