This article was written for Annabel & Grace, which is now part of Rest Less.
I wish somebody would explain one of the strangest human phenomena to me. If I don’t choose to see a person in England, why would I want to see them when I’m thousands of miles away?
We built a house in the south of Sri Lanka, about six years ago. My husband and I travel out to this place three or four times a year. The rest of the time we live in London.
I am pretty antisocial, wishing to meet up just with our wonderful friends and family that I have already amassed. My very chatty hubby would like nothing more than to acquire a whole load more friends to discuss life with. He enjoys long sessions of talking with copious amounts of wine and chocolate truffles. He endlessly picks up strangers to bring back for tea as he is totally deaf to my preferences.
He is collecting more and I’m collecting less. He is an enthusiastic Tigger, whilst I’ll clip and prune as many of Tigger’s new friends as I can when he isn’t watching!
I’ve been noticing, especially recently, a growing wave of strangers wanting to attract our attention in Sri Lanka.
One route is ‘the friend of a friend, of a friend’ who (in their defence) must have been told we adore meeting travellers passing through. The initial ‘friend’ is a fraud, as they know that this blatant lie is a surefire way of being relegated out of my friend zone.
The ‘non-friend’ suggests that we would be ecstatic to meet their friend as we have so much in common… mainly this dubious acquaintance.
Another route is a request to see our house (hoping to have a meal or drinks thrown in) from a fellow colleague of a once-upon-a-time business mate of my husband’s. Most of these people are interior decorators. I can spot an interior decorator from a great distance. I even have binoculars to check the jungle foliage for this species!
I avoid the hubby’s design events in London so successfully that most people think I’m dead.
The third and increasingly used route is via my older brother’s big mouth.
Having previously built a house in the south of Sri Lanka and strenuously avoided any well-meaning attempts from strangers to come and stay, he now relishes foisting these dodgy dossers onto us. I’ve absolutely no idea why.
My initial response to any request I receive is to delete the offending email. My second is to make sure the husband never gets wind of this potential play date!
Why do these people think that it’s totally acceptable to contact us in Sri Lanka when they have never written or telephoned us in England? In most of these cases, we both live in London, yet we choose not to see each other. I think that might be a big clue where I stand in the proceedings!
Have they ever asked us to anything in England or have we asked them? Could it be possible we don’t much like the other?
Yes… I think that would be a fair assumption of the situation… I’d say it was ‘spot on’!
Would they be amused and excited if I suggested that we should pop by their house for a meal, as I would be passing Gloucester Road tomorrow? How about if we brought along a car-full of relatives too? After all, we could hardly leave them all behind!
“Wouldn’t that be so much fun?” No, it would be ghastly!
So why would it be “so much fun” ten and a half hours away by plane?
If you enjoyed Miranda’s lighthearted piece on unwanted guests, why not read some of her other articles here