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Prickly Situation

jean jullien.cacti

So I’m flying up to San Francisco for a dear friend’s birthday party. This friend and his wife are like family. I’ve known them since college, I’m their son’s godmother. I always stay with them when I’m in town. For this big birthday, a very special occasion, a couple will be bunking with them as well. With hesitation, my dear friends alerted me that the couple will be getting the guest room and I’ll be sleeping on the living room sofa. Logistically it sort of makes sense, but it felt like a knife in my back. Here’s where it gets interesting. One half of the couple just got a new job and won’t be able to make the party. My question to you – who should get the couch?

Illustration by Jean Jullien




32 comments for “Prickly Situation”

  1. Laur says:

    The short answer: The 1/2 couple gets the couch! What a prickly pickle indeed. Were you offered the room first only to have them switched due to the couple?

    I wish you a fun time in San Fran nonetheless.

  2. Petra says:

    You. You’re the godmother.

  3. Maria says:

    I could see this going either way. If I’m the better, longer friend, sometimes I’ll volunteer to take the less inviting option because it reduces stress on my friend/host. I’ll admit, though, to a bit of gender bias, and will say that if the 1/2 of the couple who is attending is male, I’d want him to offer to take the couch. Yea, I’m sexist that way.

  4. Heather says:

    As someone who just stayed at a friends house on an air mattress that deflated in the middle of the night, I say:Screw it…I’d stay in a hotel! lol

  5. Lola says:

    I agree with Maria that if the 1/2 of the couple is guy, he should definitely offer to take the couch. I am assuming that’s not the case though, b/c otherwise, this person would just be total dope.

    So assuming it’s another lady, I’d say you flip for it.

    Have fun in SanFran…one of my favorite cities.

  6. Suzanne says:

    I agree with all above bc depends on how ya feeling.
    Big guestion is how did your friend tell/ask you or explained it as no one would feel to get sofa.

    Definitely if it’s a guy they need to make room for a lady-no guestions asked!!

    Anyway maybe you are so close.. They figure they can be less accommodating and would understand.

    I probably pay for the hotel!

    • wendy says:

      My friend tried to explain as best as she could. But I’m sure she knew I wouldn’t be happy about it. And I told her that I was disappointed. But this is a new interesting wrinkle. I’ll keep you all posted.

  7. Kathy says:

    You should get the couch, unless the man has some health problems that would make it terribly uncomfortable for him. You seem to have the stronger and longer relationship with the hosts.

    Alternatively, you could flip for it, or alternate nights (though that might put a burden on your hosts for changing linens/laundry).

    Hope we hear how it turns out.

    • wendy says:

      I had a dream last night about flipping a coin. Could be the best solution.

      • Kathy says:

        Oh my – I just reread this after a couple weeks – I meant that you should get the BED, unless the man has some health problems. Yikes. Sorry about that.

  8. Anne C. says:

    Interesting pickle! I’ll be curious to hear how it all shakes down. I’m guessing your friend’s were trying to be gracious to all friends and didn’t expect the cancellation – then felt they couldn’t tell the person he’s been sent to the sofa after being promised a room. Perhaps they’ll make light of it and say “Hey, our friend Wendy is here and she is having some back issues and needs a firm bed – we’ve got to swap you out.” But do say something in advance about your feelings and needs – and go for the hotel 1 time if you have to. I know it was ouchy to not get “your room” but I’d give them the benefit of the doubt since they are such old friends.

    • wendy says:

      My friends are excellent people, so I will give them the benefit of the doubt. But it’s thorny.

  9. Meghan says:

    I guess that since he’s a man you’d hope that he’d OFFER to take the couch, even insist. However, that may not be the case. It’s hard to not feel like chopped liver if you have to sleep on the couch. And given that you’re spending money to fly out, I can see how it would feel like a knife in your back. Last summer I had to camp in a sleeping bag for my brother’s wedding reception b/c the house was so full (this is a five bedroom house!) lol. I was also one of the few single women in the party.

  10. Latarsha says:

    So who got the couch?

  11. Janet says:

    I agree, the godmother gets the bedroom.

  12. Que says:

    …how big is the “couch”?

  13. Marty says:

    I realize that I’m pretty late to this particular party, but I only just stumbled across your blog. In situations like this I make assumptions. For ex, I’d assume that my friends decided to give the couple the room because it made the most sense. Later one said she couldn’t make it, and your friends thought, “well, crap, now what? Is it ruder/more hurtful to tell the guy that we changed our minds or to make Wendy stay on the couch?” They might have agonized over this little decision, and, with their hearts in the right place, decided it’d be best to leave things as they were. Assuming the best makes it easier for me to let things go and forgive/forget (like rude drivers). In this case, you may know extra details that make that assumption a no-go of course.

    • wendy says:

      Glad you found us, Marty. The bottom line for me – I love my friends, but HATE sleeping on the couch.

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