Dear Amy: We are a group of friends in our early 40s, who have known each other for decades and consider each other closer than family.
When my partner and I travel to see one of these couples, they don’t offer to pick us up at the airport. They have actually said that they would prefer if we just took an Uber to their home, because it is not wise for them to waste two hours back and forth in traffic. At the same time, they don’t expect us to pick them up from the airport, either.
I am a bit traditional. If someone is spending the money to come fly to my city to see me, I should pick up and drop off, or pay for their cab. We have had a candid conversation with our various friends about this, where I stated this, and they stated that their perspective was practical concerning time and juggling multiple responsibilities.
They said that we can all afford to take a cab or car-share. That is definitely true, but these folks seem to think that during college days when we were all scraping by, it was one thing to spend time on airport runs, but now that we can afford airport transportation, we have to choose where we spend our time wisely.
Would it be different if someone was just using the host’s place as a crash pad to do other things, as opposed to making a special trip just to see these friends?
What are your thoughts? Am I not keeping up with the changing times?
Can you please help solve this? — Curious in New York
Dear Curious: Following is a list of people you are obligated to pick up from the airport: Parents and grandparents; elderly aunts, uncles and elderly or infirm friends; servicemembers, missionaries, or volunteers returning from long overseas assignments; long-distance loves you are eager to impress; kids coming home from band camp.
Here is a list of people you are NOT obligated to pick up from the airport: Friends from college whom you will be hosting in your home for an extended personal visit.
I agree with others in your group. The hours spent on an airport run (which often can turn into more than one run because of delays/cancellations) would be better spent vacuuming the guest bedroom and preparing a nice meal and a fresh cocktail for weary travelers to enjoy, once they arrive.
In fact, unless the circumstance is extreme, I would always rather find my own transportation from the airport — because this gives me the flexibility to dawdle if I want to, without the pressure of someone waiting on me at the cellphone lot, or — worse — circling the airport like a wayward seagull.
Give this one up.
Dear Amy: I have kind of a weird little problem.
I own a house with a nice, completely furnished apartment attached to it. Right now, I have a really nice tenant on a six-month lease. She is a single person who is working on writing a book.
“Emily” and I get along very well. When I decided to rent out the apartment, I had the wall that separates the two living spaces insulated in order to cut down on noise distractions.
Emily keeps extremely early hours. Every day it is the same: She is up at 5 or 5:30, and I am jolted awake by the sound of the beeping microwave. Then it is the sound of the water flowing into the bathtub. This goes on every day, seven days a week. Otherwise, she is extremely quiet, and (I assume) working.
I’d like to speak to her about this, but I don’t know what to say. Can you help? — Bothered
Dear Bothered: You own the apartment. You supplied the microwave. Perhaps you can switch out the beeping microwave for one that doesn’t beep, and find a way to double-insulate the wall between the bathroom and your home. But no — you don’t get to tell your extremely quiet tenant not to get up so early and/or use the facilities in the home that she is paying for.
Dear Amy: I disagree with your answer to “Old Wounds.” This girl was sexually abused in school and she is worried about her narcissistic so-called “Christian” parents finding out?
You should have pointed out what bad parents they are. — Disappointed
Dear Disappointed: Her specific question was about how to disclose this. I don’t think encouraging her to blame her folks would be particularly helpful.