Q. A colleague of my husband’s from another city has asked my husband if his fiancé, whom neither of us have ever met, can stay with us for two weeks in the summer while she takes a class here, so she can save money. The colleague is not in a compromised financial situation. I find this in extremely bad taste, but my husband does not and he does not mind hosting at all. I do. I think two weeks is long even for family. My thought was to say unfortunately it’s not a good time and offer to give names of hostels and other inexpensive accommodations in our area.
A. You have no obligation to entertain the fiancé of your husband’s colleague and it is fine to say you are expecting family over that time period and simply don’t have the room to be able to accommodate the fiancé. Do provide some options, such as hostels, bed and breakfast accommodations, etc. Hosting such a guest is more than providing her a place to stay – it entails sharing a private space with a stranger, feeding her, accommodating her schedule, giving her a key to your home, perhaps providing transportation, etc. A houseguest is rarely a carefree undertaking, and certainly not when it is a stranger.