DEAR ABBY: My in-laws have invited themselves to stay at our house over a long weekend. They told us the time and day they are arriving -- and that their airplane tickets are non-refundable.
My husband and I think they are coming on the pretense of spending our son's birthday with him. They have never come to any of our son's birthday parties before, nor have they called him (or us) on birthdays or any other holidays.
We suspect that we are being used as a hotel, and I am concerned their coldness and indifference will hurt our son's feelings.
Abby, there has been tension between my husband and his family and me ever since we got married. My mother-in-law does not respect anyone's privacy. She has been known to walk into rooms and go through cupboards and drawers she has no business going in.
Do we have to let them stay in our house? -- TIRED OF BEING USED
DEAR TIRED: Bear in mind that your in-laws could be coming to try to mend fences. However, you are under no obligation to have anyone under your roof who isn't welcome.
If you're concerned that the tension could be upsetting for your son, suggest that your in-laws stay at a nearby motel. Offer to make the reservations for them. At that point, you'll find out if their plane tickets are truly non-refundable.