"Can I Crash at Your Place for Mardi Gras?" : How to Say No, and What to Do After You Say Yes
Disclaimer: This article is geared toward young professionals who have a full-time job, a small dwelling, and have been participating in Mardi Gras activities for years.
Unless you go out of your way to invite family and friends to Mardi Gras festivities, chances are you aren’t planning to have guests. And considering you’re young, you probably don’t have the time or money to be a Martha Stewart-scale host.
First, if you’re receiving the self-invitation via text, the “guest” either isn’t serious about following through with the visit, or they are pretty sure you will say no to their request. And if “no” just happens to be what you want to tell them, below are some excuses to try.
How to say no to family: Tell them friends are already crashing at your place. Is your mom a “cool mom” and insists that she won’t take up much room? Assure Mom that it’s not her; you just don’t want her to have to deal with your friends. Besides avoiding having guests, you will now be depicted as a mature, highly considerate son or daughter.
How to say no to friends: Tell them your family is staying with you that weekend. Better yet, tell them your boyfriend or girlfriend’s family is staying with you that weekend.
Common concern: social media. What happens if your friends find out your family isn’t staying with you, or vice versa? Just say, “They changed their plans.” You’re an adult; you don’t need to explain your lies.
I’m a sucker and said yes. Now what?: The last thing you want to be is the host and tour guide. I recommend you (kindly) reiterate the fact that although they will be vacationing, you still have to go to work. Worse comes to worst, blame it on work. No one can blame you for that. And if they do, you don’t need to be friends with unemployed Phish groupies anyway.
I would send a text or email two weeks in advance with top things to do in New Orleans during the day and top things to do at night. Yes, this will take time and possibly research from your end, but it’ll be worth it. When the visitors look to you for ideas, remind them that you sent them ideas two weeks ago and that you have work to do.
Most visitors won’t expect a full spread, but you should have some items handy: water bottles, a frozen pizza, bottle of wine, Advil, granola bars and toothpaste. If you really want to look like you‘re adulting, I recommend whipping up something in the crockpot. Depending on your visitors and length of their stay, it should last for a few meals.
Since cellphones perform below par in crowds (due to the overcrowding of networks) and the battery drains faster than my life, make sure your visitors have your address and phone number in their pockets. You may want the visitor to “get lost” but not actually get lost.
Since you have to work in the morning, you may not be able to stay out all night with your visitors. Make sure they have a key or passcode, or make sure they know where the hidden key can be found. You don’t want to be woken up at 3 a.m. to let your rowdy friends into the house.
Show them the Mardi Gras Tool Kit article, which can be found HERE! This way they can handle themselves like locals (and adults).
Photo by Finn Turnbull