Q. My mom, sister and I often drive several hours out of town to another city to attend a concert. My sister has a friend in this city and every time we travel there, my sister, without asking my mom or myself whether it is okay, contacts her friend and tells him and invites him to join us. He is rarely on time so his presence tends to slow down or even change altogether our original plans. I’d rather just do things with my mom and sister without her always involving someone else. What is a polite way to explain this to my sister in a non-threatening way?
A. Simply be honest, open, and polite. Explain to your sister that sometimes you enjoy going to these events with just her and your mother and you would like the opportunity to do things just as a family. Perhaps you can suggest that you make plans to meet her friend on a separate occasion, or offer to drive her to see him some other time so that you can enjoy the concerts together.