WWYD – Shabbat Guest

So here is the scenario. You have an open door policy on Shabbat. Your friends know that they can bring a friend or two along with them if they are coming to you for a Shabbat meal. You like to have advance notice, but you always cook enough to feed an army anyway, so if you get a drop-in or two, it’s never a problem.

Your friends let you know a day or two before Shabbat that they plan to bring their single girlfriend Ms X along with them, as she has nowhere to be for Shabbat. They tell you she is so excited about attending. What these friends are not aware of is that Ms X used to work with your husband a couple of years before, and he cannot stand her. Being the consummate professional that he is, he never let on to her that she made his skin crawl. He has told you that just hearing her voice is the equivalent of nails on a chalk board for him.

You know your husband is going to be extremely uncomfortable having her at his table, but you also know that it would be mean and rude to tell your friends not to bring her.

WWYD in this situation?

(not my story)

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  1. lady lock and load says:

    Hubby comes first. cancell all company because one of you are “sick”….which is not exactly a lie because your husband will be sick from having her as a guest!

  2. Blog Fan says:

    Wouldn’t Ms. X have the same uncomfort level. Maybe it is better to diffuse the situation Shabbat. I am sure that Ms. X wouldn’t want to attend.

    • HSaboMilner says:

      Ms X has no clue the husband feels this way. She was excited to go to their house. As I said in the post “Being the consummate professional that he is, he never let on to her that she made his skin crawl.”

  3. mekubal says:

    I second lady LLL… even if it is a bit of an untruth, that is permitted for Shalom Bayit.

    Option two is to book as many other guests as possible, and tell your friends that you are really sorry and you feel horrible, but you are completely full, so you just can’t fit the extra person. This one has some chance of backfiring on you, if you can’t fill up, or they find out you invited the other people after.(I have gone with this one a couple of times)

    You could go the completely honest way and tell your friends the issue, and still make your apologies. As uncomfortable as it may be, it does have the benefit of keeping it from being a reoccurring issue. I actually used this on a Rosh Yeshiva once who wanted me to take some bochurim last minute(erev Shabbat, after arvit). I just told him flat out that a certain bochur has been by us twice, he has insulted my wife twice, we are not going for a third time. It was an uncomfortable moment, and I really did feel sort of bad, as they were really scrambling to find a place for him, but in the end I was glad that i did it.

    The only other option I see to is go ultra Haredi for a Shabbat and have separate men’s and women’s tables. This is the only one I have never done, nor do I plan to(perhaps when my daughters are teens and my sons Yeshiva friends want to come over to ogle them I might be tempted to change my mind). This reminds me of another story I could use for a blog post…

  4. batya from NJ says:

    i too agree w/ LLL that shalom bayis & my husband’s needs come first & i would NOT have this person over against my husband’s wishes…

  5. Frayda says:

    I would be as tactful as possible, but make it clear that Ms. X is not welcome at your shabbos table. You don’t have to say that it is because of your hubby. I know it is uncomfortable but it has to be done.

  6. We’ve been there. All the discussed options are possible. If husband is able, gritting the teeth and being somewhat gracious for two hours will impinge on one Shabbat but build wealth in the world to come! ;-) Seriously, with that many guests it should at least be possible to arrange the seating so that husband and Ms. Obnoxious are nowhere near each other. The meal will pass, the guests will leave, and you can warn your friends about this one for next time.

    Ultimately, LLNL is right. If it comes down to absolute unmanageable conflict of interests, protecting one’s spouse comes first. It would be nice if we could all overcome these obstacles (‘who is strong; one who controls his passions’); but in the real world of growth and struggle we have to live with compromises. One must not be a tzakik/tzadeket at the expense of one’s spouse.

  7. Gitty Levi says:

    Hubby first all the way!

  8. rbtzn says:

    And if the friends called THURSDAY NIGHT to notify couple that Ms X would be attending? By that point it would be in very bad taste to dis-invite all guests due to “illness” etc, or to extend an invitation to anyone else.

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