“Jaw With John” – Out Of Town Family Treats Host Family Like a B&B

We have family members who like to stay with us every time they are in town. They live about five hours away. Typically when they come to stay, most of our other family members (who live only an hour away) will come to stay too.

We love that our young kids get to see their cousins, but it is a lot of work! This last time, we were informed just days beforehand that 10 people would be spending the weekend with us. We decided to send out an email telling everyone to help with a meal since it gets expensive for us (we’re a young family!) and it is hard to cook eight meals for 18 people!

The relatives who live five hours away have told us twice now that they won’t be bringing anything or could maybe bring water or chips. They have a family of five so it would be nice for them to contribute (since we are doing everything else). Am I wrong in still expecting them to bring a meal to share? I don’t think packing a cooler is that hard! — Exasperated

Dear Exasperated:

You made a reasonable request and were met with people who are unwilling to lend a hand. Chips? Water? Really? This is stupid. Are they the family from Little Miss Sunshine and don’t have time to pick up stuff along the way because they have to get their daughter to a beauty pageant? Didn’t think so.

If they are so disinclined to contribute then maybe you should suggest they stay elsewhere. If not now, then for future trips. You’re not a B&B.

They do realize that they can buy groceries and such THERE, right? They don’t have to haul them 5 hours to your home. There is a Safeway, Trader Joe’s or a Kroger in damn near every city. It’s not hard to pick up some stuff. You’re already doing enough by housing them and feeding every. single. one of them. The least they could do is prepare, serve and clean up one damn meal.

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