The Barnacle team will be away at sea for the month of July, check back in August for our next print issue!

ADVICEBURG: “My friends think I’m a bed and breakfast”



People often dream of living in a cooperative community. Well, Anne Macleod Weeks did for 40 years. As a teacher, dorm parent, guidance counselor, coach, principal, and advisor to faculty and parents in boarding schools, she pretty much experienced all that life can throw at you.  She welcomes your questions and concerns.

Submit your questions for Anne at thebarnacle.ca/advice and, pending volume of submissions, you will receive guidance in next month’s Barnacle!

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“Dear Anne, I have lots of friends from out-of-province and the USA who are eager to visit Lunenburg. Many have reached out recently asking if they can stay with me this fall. But I work full time and have lots of commitments; having to constantly clean the house for a new arrival, then cook for them and show them around, sounds like a part-time job. It would be doable if they stayed somewhere else in town and we met up after I finish work in the evening. How do I suggest to my friends that I’d love to see them but not host them without hurting their feelings?” Lost in Lunenburg

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Dear Lost in Lunenburg,

Have you ever heard the saying “You’ll never know how many friends you have until you own a cottage at the beach”? Living in a tourist town makes you a default destination for visitors.  Having lived in more than one resort town, I learned quickly how not to exhaust myself – being honest when guests ask to stay. Since you are working full time, it is even more important to protect your personal space. The polite way to deflect is to simply say something like, “Work is intense at the moment, and I really can’t add guests to the mix. I am happy to help you find a place to stay nearby and to meet you after work for much needed downtime with friends I value.” You can also offer to create a few daily itinerary suggestions for them in the area and add that to your reply. This addition will help them visualize their days and then say where and when you can meet them for the evening. Suggesting visits to things only “locals” know about will give them a feeling of being on the inside and make it a more personalized visit even with you not being there every step of the way.

It’s hard to do this the first time, but you will find friends respond well to your honesty, and with each time you do this, it will not only become easier, but you will have set a standard for visits that people will then anticipate. – Anne


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