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“We’re playing “hide the cannoli”... Options
Kat
Posted: Friday, October 16, 2009 11:22:01 PM
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Joined: 5/19/2009
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Many years ago when my husband and I moved to the south,
we were quickly educated in the art of “stopping by”...a cute
but intrusive little habit they have here. It seems whenever
co-workers, recently made friends or neighbors get bored,
they just decide to “pop over” on a weekend or week night to see
what “y’all are up to”.
It still happens occasionally.............................
So I/we have taken to saying everything from, “we’re sick”...”we’re
playing naked tag”...”This house in under quarantine”, we’ve moved”,
“please go away”......you name it.
What does one do?
Brick wall

doubutsuMother
Posted: Friday, October 16, 2009 11:43:12 PM
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Joined: 7/14/2009
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Buy a gate
TB
Posted: Saturday, October 17, 2009 12:32:03 AM
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Joined: 4/12/2009
Posts: 1,437
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Location: America
"Hey I'm so glad you're here, we were just getting ready to watch some home movies, you're welcome to join us unless you have to run" hint hint
MissMary
Posted: Saturday, October 17, 2009 2:19:26 AM
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Location: United States
I am from the South. What you do depends on whether or not you want to keep these friends. Once in awhile you can say, "I'm so glad to see you and so sorry we can't visit; we are just about to leave for . . ." Of course if they live nearby, then you have to get in your car and go somewhere. Asking them to phone first might be acceptable if they are young, but probably not. The truthful answer is probably that you just smile over clenched teeth and bear with it. If you don't especially want them as friends, then asking them to call might be a discouragement.
bugdoctor
Posted: Saturday, October 17, 2009 7:34:06 AM
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Location: United States - Georgia
This is even MORE common in other cultures. My wife is from Spain, and when we visit her mom, it's not uncommon for one or two people (or groups!!) to pop in every day! I think in the southern U.S., it's becoming less common. Thank goodness.

Do other regions of this country see the same thing?
Epiphileon
Posted: Saturday, October 17, 2009 7:53:05 AM

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Well it goes one further in New Hampshire, at least from my Lady's experience in SW NH, people who stop buy, just walk in. She locks the door when home alone now, and has had a number of people comment on how odd that was.
I used to have a sign on my door when I was at the university, that said, "If you didn't bother calling, don't bother knocking." But in those days it was likely I was involved in some attempt to assimilate some new knowledge, or writing a program for some wacko analysis. Now whether I'm pleased or irked depends on who it is, and what the purpose of their visit is.
Romany
Posted: Saturday, October 17, 2009 9:55:27 AM
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This was one of those threads that brought me up short.

I would never in a million years have imagined that American people would object to people dropping in; nor that this was a behaviour found only in certain parts of the country.

Though it is not particularly likely that I would be in a position to commit this social gaffe any time in the near future, I am really glad I read this thread and learnt yet another new tidbit regarding different cultures.
Christine
Posted: Saturday, October 17, 2009 12:17:14 PM
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I think they are messy and want to go to a clean house.

(my computer crashed ..I am back)
Luftmarque
Posted: Saturday, October 17, 2009 1:50:01 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 3/17/2009
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Location: Pau, Aquitaine, France
Romany wrote:
This was one of those threads that brought me up short.

I would never in a million years have imagined that American people would object to people dropping in; nor that this was a behaviour found only in certain parts of the country.

Though it is not particularly likely that I would be in a position to commit this social gaffe any time in the near future, I am really glad I read this thread and learnt yet another new tidbit regarding different cultures.


It is certainly a culture-dependent thing isn't it? In some places it was easier to just go knock on somebody's door than to attempt to use an unreliable local phone service. And there's all this variation in how people perceive and partition public and private space (sorry about the spitting!). I would say that the majority tendency in the US is to want visitors to call first, it's a valuing of privacy over sociability. Nothing wrong with it either, I hate interruptions (don't even like to answer the phone, so email's been great for me). On the other hand I don't have a lot of close friends, and I suspect I might have a few more if I lived in a culture with a lot of expected interaction with a lot of people every day.
grammargeek
Posted: Saturday, October 17, 2009 1:50:53 PM
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I absolutely hate it when people drop by unannounced.

Growing up in Texas, sometimes my mother's friends in the neighborhood would drop by, but that was about it. Friends who might have had to drive a short distance would tend to arrange it ahead of time. Nobody would have considered barging in on someone just because they could if the door was unlocked.

Unfortunately, a lot of the TV sitcoms show their characters doing this very thing, and I think that certainly contributes to the perception that it is acceptable behavior in America. I suppose it makes the show flow better when they don't have to waste time having characters constantly checking to see who is at the door and then letting them in. Frequently, at least one of the major characters will be that kooky neighbor or a family member who lives close by, and they will just walk right in as if that is common practice. Examples of shows that come to mind are Everybody Loves Raymond and According to Jim, and if you go way back, then add Roseanne to the list.

Anyhow, when I hear an unexpected knock on my door it almost always turns out to be somebody soliciting in some way. For safety reasons, it is my rule not to open my door to anyone I don't recognize after looking through the peep hole, but I make one exception. If I have arranged for a repairman to come out, it is unlikely that I will recognize that person by face, but I expect to see a uniform or something else to indicate to me that the person at my door is associated with the company I've made arrangements with to have someone come out and do the work within a specified window of time on a particular day.

Generally, I simply don't respond to any unanticipated knocks on the door and often do not even bother with seeing who it is. I've told all of my neighbors upfront to please call first before coming over since it is my habit (rule) not to answer the door, otherwise.

I cherish my privacy.
Luftmarque
Posted: Saturday, October 17, 2009 1:57:19 PM

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Joined: 3/17/2009
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Location: Pau, Aquitaine, France
grammargeek wrote:
I absolutely hate it when people drop by unannounced.
Unfortunately, a lot of the TV sitcoms show their characters doing this very thing, and I think that certainly contributes to the perception that it is acceptable behavior in America. I suppose it makes the show flow better when they don't have to waste time having characters constantly checking to see who is at the door and then letting them in. Frequently, at least one of the major characters will be that kooky neighbor or a family member who lives close by, and they will just walk right in as if that is common practice. Examples of shows that come to mind are Everybody Loves Raymond and According to Jim, and if you go way back, then add Roseanne to the list.


I think you may be granting more influence to the sitcom genre than it actually has, but to me the prime offender here would have to be Kramer's barge-ins on Seinfeld, which were a standing joke.
scribblescan
Posted: Saturday, October 17, 2009 2:50:15 PM
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Joined: 10/16/2009
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Neurons: 24
Location: Canada
Well what would Miss Manners advise? Firmly, but politely say:
"We're just about to go out and are in a rush. Would you excuse us?"

or

"We'd really appreciate it if you could give us a quick phone call before
you drop by. Often, we're not ready to have guests."

or

Assertive this: "You've caught us at a really bad time. I'm sure you'll appreciate
how inconvenient it is for us. We'll call you. Bye for now!"

It is very rude, local customs aside, to drop by unannounced. So, interlopers need to be
dealt with firmly.



TL Hobs
Posted: Saturday, October 17, 2009 3:07:33 PM
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Location: Kenai, Alaska, United States
When I lived in a rural, farming community in the Midwest, it was common for folks to drop by, often at meal time. Once we accepted that it is "just the way they do things here" it no longer bothered us. We often dropped by their houses, too. They saw our messes and we saw theirs and we all became close friends. There is a song verse I heard that describes it well:

I've got a friend and a boysenberry blend
a river and a black dog, too
Every other Sunday we water down the stew
and set another plate for you.
twinsonic
Posted: Saturday, October 17, 2009 4:54:09 PM

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Don't answer the door? Then, later when they mention it to you (especially if your car is in the driveway) you can let them know it was an "inconvenient time" in a meaningful tone. They will be able to read into it that it was not a great time for visitors. I have lived in Northern California all my life, and we don't do this. Sometimes I wouldn't mind having neighbors that friendly though. I guess you just have to get used to it. I would feel like they were noticing the mess and dirt!
Geeman
Posted: Saturday, October 17, 2009 5:54:58 PM

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I suppose that in addition to saving money on laundry and new clothes, the nudist lifestyle would have additional side benefits.
lawboy41
Posted: Sunday, October 18, 2009 10:04:38 PM
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Location: United States
In the rural Southwest, visitors drive up to the house and wait in their car until the homeowner comes out to greet them. It always seemed like a reasonable solution to the potential problem of dropping buy.
man in black
Posted: Wednesday, October 21, 2009 9:38:12 AM
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Joined: 10/20/2009
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Location: Cuba
Growing up in Cuba I have grown up getting used to having unannounced visitors, that´s a common practice nowadays. The fact that there almost no phones available and that there´s lots of free time, makes people come and knoack at your door whenever they feel like. so as a method to get rid of these untimely and unwelcomed guests. My motto is I rather be rude than polite, because if I am too polite people abuse of my time and so I prefer to be deemed rude than cope with unwanted conversations. So my phrase would be I am busy at the moment or about to leave or come at another time.
JPK
Posted: Wednesday, October 21, 2009 11:38:13 AM
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Joined: 8/13/2009
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"we're playing 'hide the cannoli'" hahahaha. Good job, Kat!

However, the hide-the-cannoli and naked tag excuses may be a two-sided blade... some unwanted visitors could want to join in on the fun and then you're screwed! (pun intended) Silenced

I myself hate unexpected guests, or acquaintances you see on the street and only want to say a quick hello, but they follow you around to wherever you're going.

Semi-funny story: Last weekend I didn't visit my parents, but my mom insisted to send me food and, since I like food, I was okay with them dropping them off at my place. My dad, being enthusiastic about using power tools, was going to bring in his drill to nail stuff to my wall, but my mom stopped him from doing it because she felt it was kind of intruding. Thanks mom! Gotta love my dad's enthusiasm though!
capo403
Posted: Wednesday, October 21, 2009 12:11:35 PM
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You could tell your visitors you were just getting ready to do some house cleaning and solicit their help. If they still insist on staying, you could carry through with this ("you can do the dishes while I start the laundry") and, chances are, this will discourage them in the future.
JPK
Posted: Wednesday, October 21, 2009 12:27:41 PM
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Location: Canada
capo403 wrote:
You could tell your visitors you were just getting ready to do some house cleaning and solicit their help. If they still insist on staying, you could carry through with this ("you can do the dishes while I start the laundry") and, chances are, this will discourage them in the future.


great idea! if it doesn't work, just go progressively grosser. "I'll fold the clothes, could you go clean the septic tank?"
Jyrkkä Jätkä
Posted: Wednesday, October 21, 2009 1:20:22 PM

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Location: Helsinki, Southern Finland Province, Finland
When the unwanted visitors have arrived, start making some coffee as usual and at the same time look carefully at every corner in kitchen. When asked if there is something wrong just say it out like normally behaving: Oh, nothing, our cousin just came by and lost his cobra somewhere in the house...
bugdoctor
Posted: Wednesday, October 21, 2009 1:34:32 PM
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Just hang this on your front door.
Angel
risadr
Posted: Thursday, October 22, 2009 8:44:47 AM
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Joined: 3/16/2009
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Location: PA, United States
I've never lived anywhere where my neighbors felt so inclined as to just drop by unannounced. The last time I can remember this happening is when I was in high school, when my friends, or my siblings' friends, would come over and let themselves in (my mother was very welcoming of our peers). In my extended family, it's also common practice, during expected visits, that we will let ourselves in. If we're visiting unexpectedly, though, we knock or ring the bell.
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