Q: A relative is hosting a surprise event. My sister lives out of state but is going to drive here for the party. When she comes to visit, she always stays with me.
I go absolutely nuts. She's extremely opinionated, domineering, over-my-shoulder oppressive. My husband and the rest of my family tell me to just deal with it. I have tried, but nothing has worked. A few years ago I confronted her, and she got so angry she cut me off for four blissful months. Then she forgave me. Rats.
She has not asked yet to stay with me, but I see the telltale signs, innocent emails asking how I'm doing. After I got sideswiped into hosting her last time, I vowed not to answer her emails, which so far I'm holding to. She is capable of doing an end run via another sister.
I'm asking for your permission to close the hotel doors.
Driven Totally Bonkers
A: Your home, your call, no matter what I think.
Ideally you'll say it straight out — "We are oil and water — not a good idea" — but you can also ignore any disingenuous communications, or invite an out-of-town friend to make your guest room unavailable, or trump up another dodge.
Clearly you need a longer-term solution, though. WHY does this sister inflame you so? Even with the most obnoxious people, we still control the access we give people to our sensitivities. This will be your dilemma in perpetuity unless you identify your buttons and cut the wires that feed them.