Thursday, July 18, 2024
HomeVacationsAsk Amy: Strangers keep showing up unexpectedly on my vacations

Ask Amy: Strangers keep showing up unexpectedly on my vacations

Dear Amy: Like a lot of people these days, my adult children and many of my friends are spread out all over the country. I try to stay in touch with them by making short trips to visit them.
These trips are usually four or five days (two days of which are travel days) and include the expenses of airfare, accommodations, entertainment, pet sitting, etc.
I have a close friend I have met in various locations for vacations, and the last three times, she has brought a friend or family member along (at her expense) without telling me in advance.
Her one friend was a very high-maintenance stranger (to me) who now shows up on all of my photos from our vacation to Yosemite. Her presence totally affected the dynamic.
Another time, she invited her adult son along, again without telling me.
My kids also do this, inviting other family members or friends over during my visits.
I appreciate the desire to be one big happy group, but I would like to just have some alone time with them. It would be great if they would have enough consideration to at least ask if I would mind.
I would never do such a thing without at least talking to the person first before inviting people over.
Going forward before booking, I am supposed to ask, “Who else is going to be there?”
– Crowded Out
Dear Crowded: You should definitely express your concern to the friend who invites others along on your shared vacations without running her plans past you first. When you’ve budgeted the time and money for a specific vacation with a specific person, learning after the fact that you will be sharing your time with others is not at all fair to you.
When it comes to your visits with your children, they might believe that you would welcome having mini-reunions with other family members or local friends when you’re visiting their homes. This instinct is generous and inclusive.
If you want more alone-time with them and their immediate families during your visits, you should absolutely let them know.
Dear Amy: Given that wedding season is coming up, I thought I would offer a tip that might help wedding guests, as well as the marrying couple.
I have always said that if you are taking a gift that has even the smallest of possibilities of landing on a “group gift table,” always, ALWAYS include a card INSIDE the gift.
After a wedding in our family, I cannot tell you how many gifts were found on the table “after” the event that had no cards as they had become unattached and were just set in a pile.
For those gifts that had no cards attached, we sent a generic card thanking the person for attending our joyous event and explained that many cards had become detached.
We asked our guests to contact us so we could make sure their gift was properly acknowledged.
Obviously if they had not sent a gift, they would not be contacting us.
We ended up eventually matching all of the gifts to the guests who had given them, but it would have been so much easier if the cards had been placed inside the gift.
– Grateful
Dear Grateful: This is great advice. Thank you.
Dear Amy: As the manager of a food pantry, I have a message to all the well-intentioned individuals planning on a food drive to support the local food pantry: Before your organization starts a food drive, please contact the pantry and speak with the manager or check their website for a list of most-needed items.
In my experience much of the product donated at these food drives are a result of people emptying their own kitchen pantries of items that are expired, oddball purchases, or even half used.
Often less than half the donated items find it onto our shelves. We do try our best to find a home for the other half – bring it to another pantry whose clients can and will use it, or we regretfully need to throw it out (that basting oil dated 2006).
I know it feels good to have collected enough product to fill multiple cars, drop it off, take pictures and then repeat another time.
However, consider the recipients and their hard-working volunteers. We are grateful for the good intentions, but wish people took more care with their donations.
– A Food Pantry Manager
Dear Manager: Thank you for the work you do, and for this very helpful advice.
(You can email Amy Dickinson at or send a letter to Ask Amy, P.O. Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068. You can also follow her on Twitter @askingamy or Facebook.)



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

- Advertisment -

Most Popular

Recent Comments

Translate »