Lady is unsure how to keep loud friend away from visitors
DEAR ANNIE: My husband and I are friends with another couple in our neighborhood. The majority of the time, we get along well. We have even traveled together.
The problem is, “Susie” is very loud and an extremely poor conversationalist. She dominates the get-togethers by talking about nonsense, and she constantly repeats herself. She interrupts everyone’s conversations with, “Oh, I’ve done that,” and off she goes about herself. Susie’s husband doesn’t seem bothered by this, but it drives me nuts. My husband also doesn’t like it.
We have out-of-town family visiting soon and these neighbors have invited themselves over. How do I tell them they aren’t welcome because we don’t want them to have to tolerate Susie’s bad behavior? I see my family infrequently and we don’t want to be uncomfortable with the relatives in our own home.
— Frustrated Friendship
Dear Frustrated: There is nothing wrong with telling Susie and her husband that you want to spend some private time with your family. Should they drop by uninvited, you can introduce them and let them say hello, but then nicely usher them out, telling Susie that you will visit with them when you are less occupied with family members. But please don’t assume that your relatives will find Susie as annoying as you do. For a brief visit, she could be perfectly tolerable. The trick is to keep it extremely short.