DEAR MISS MANNERS: I work from home and live in a city known for vacations. I have a friend who visits every year so that we may attend a yearly sporting event on a particular weekend.
This year, she arrived a few days before the event, and gave no indication of when she planned on leaving. She stayed for a full week after the event (she does not work). This disrupted my work schedule, as she had nothing to do. She tried to be quiet, but sat next to me reading as I tried to work.
Is there a delicate way to inform her that, next year, I would like her visit to be of less duration? I do not want to offend her, as she is an old friend, but an unlimited visit is difficult.
GENTLE READER: Judging from the number of Gentle Readers who are stuck like this, it does not seem to be widely known that it is hosts, not guests, who determine the limits of a visit.
This is best made clear at the time of the invitation: “I’m so glad that you can come for the game weekend. Come Friday, and I hope you can stay until Monday morning.”
Miss Manners knows that it is harder when the guest is already planted there, but it is not impossible: “It’s been wonderful having you here, and I hate to see our little holiday come to an end. But it’s high time I got back to my routine, as I’m sure you must want to get back to yours.”