Magazine article The Spectator

Dear Mary

Magazine article The Spectator

Dear Mary

Article excerpt

Q. I have a friend, a neighbour, who often tries to horn in when she finds out I am having interesting people to stay for the weekend. She will say something like, `That sounds fun - I'll come over too if you like.' Although I am fond of her, I do not necessarily require her presence at every distinguished gathering, yet since we chat regularly she always knows my plans. How can I discourage her from inviting herself without her thinking I have gone off her?

Name and address withheld

A. Next time you wish to deflect your friend's offer, be prepared when she enquires, `What are you doing this weekend?' You can answer, `Oh that's another story [heavy sigh]. I've got a house full and Selina Scott [or other likely glamour figure] rang and asked if she could come too and I had to say, "No. I'll scream if I have to think about one more person." I feel guilty about it now but I really do have enough people for a psychological mix and Selina would be the straw that broke the camel's back.' You can vary the identities of the self-inviters from week to week until your neighbour gets the message.

Q. I have been informed that an elderly friend with whom I frequently stay is in the habit of pocketing the five- or ten-pound note that I leave in my bedroom for his daily. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.