"intrusions" vs "friendliness" Help. Your comments please

How to stop this kind of what I would call “intrusions” and they would call “friendliness”? This is not just a complaint…I really want to know.

My Taiwanese wife had minor surgery recently. She does not want friends to send flowers but they still do. She had refused to tell them which hospital she was staying at. Unfortunately, one of her colleagues called me to “check on your wife” and during conversation asked me where she was. I let it slip out where she was. Actually, the whole purpose of the phone call was to try to trick me into letting them know where she was so they could send flowers. Result? No room to put flowers in small hospital room with only one table and I had to take one large flower pot/arrangement home with me every time I left hospital. We have no car.

We were just very, very lucky we did not have a constant line of visitors at the hospital. If they had visited her in hospital I would have had a big fight with them.

Then while she is resting at home, her friends want to bring over fruit. They told me their plan and I told them definitely not…she is resting at home and no need to bring her fruit. Of course, they ignore me and my wife asking them to not go over to our house to deliver fruit.

The wife just thinks it is too difficult to stop them. Is that true? Since they are her friends, she does not want to be “mean” to them. I cannot get too involved as most are her friends and I am too brusque to handle this without causing some trouble. For other situations, I just let it happen but for more serious situations I need a tactic to manage such cases. If she was ever in a more serious health situation there could be major trouble between her friends (and family) and me. She spent hours fighting off all the suggestions from her mother about her hospital trip…and convinced various family members to let her rest vs making trips to see her. That was bad enough that I think she simply does not want to spend the energy to fight off the friends. ha.

Are there any tactics/strategies we are not thinking of?

Tell them the doctors suspect she contracted H1N1 in hospital and you’re waiting on tests… Once she feels up to visitors, spread the news that the tests were negative and she’s fine…

Easy. Tell her friends to fuck off. Or if you’re super-super-super polite, like me, tell 'em she’s sleeping and then if they still don’t get the message, tell 'em to fuck off. If you’re sure the old lady’s phone is switched off, tell 'em to call her mobile. Works for me. Face it – do you really care if her friends think you’re a rude bastard? I sure don’t.

OMG you have friends wanting to see you guys and you are refusing them???

Picture this, your wife undergoes an operation, nobody cares, nobody wants to know and nobody wants to send flowers. How pathetic is that??? It is a limit of self centeredness when one cannot appreciate another’s time and money in sending flowers. If you don’t want the flowers give it to the hospital staff…or ask them to be delivered to someone old. Big Deal.

Appreciate what you have in life! Let the people come, keep some coffee and biscuits at hand for them.

If your wife is in pain, let her rest while you entertain the friends. If your wife can’t refuse her friends, maybe deep down she doesn’t want to but won’t say it to you.
What has the world come to??? people are complaining, coz they got sent flowers :loco:

Many a folks would give an arm and a leg to getthose flowers. Your wife sounds like a warm individual, whose friends are making an extra effort despite being shut out. Let them show their love and appreciation. ANd in the long run, your inconvenience will be forgotten, what will be remembered, is a small hospital room flooded with flowers.

Quite right! The right to privacy being one of the most important things, to be jealously guarded. :wink:

I remember when my old ball and chain was recuperating from childbirth and we had a lot of dear friends visit us, which was greatly appreciated – MY friends, at least. Because they knew when enough was enough and were gracious and just … bloody NORMAL about the whole thing. HER proper friends, too. Then were the other “friends” – ex-work colleagues, etc., who she never sees. I swear, I sometimes had to almost push some of those unfeeling, unthinking twats out of the door with brute force. The idea of calling first to make sure a visit’s in order? Oh HELL, no. Its only 11:30pm. No need. Useless bunch of morons. I don’t care HOW many underripe guavas they bring, they’re rude, unfeeling, socially inept idiots.

Well I can see both sides. Years ago when I had surgery on my kidneys I spent a 2 weeks in hospital without a single visitor. Visiting hours were really depressing, and the only other people on the ward were really old blokes who were dying of cancer. At that time, I would have loved a visitor.

On the other hand though, Taiwanese people do not take the hint. They mean well, but in my experience, a large number will just do what they like even if explicitly told not to. I can imagine the OP’s missus’ co-workers coming in and giving her advice not to listen to the doctor and NOT to drink cold drinks etc.

[quote=“Funk500”]Well I can see both sides. Years ago when I had surgery on my kidneys I spent a 2 weeks in hospital without a single visitor. Visiting hours were really depressing, and the only other people on the ward were really old blokes who were dying of cancer. At that time, I would have loved a visitor.

Oh we came, we came. The cops stationed outside your door wouldn’t let us in, though.

Sandman, visitors and flowers are not the same. The OP is even whining about flowers.

I wanted to add, one can make a bad situation worse by negative attitude. If he can’t change it, accept it.

Again whether they are close friends or not, they took time and money out of their lives to come visit…that is something.

They thought you’d come for his other one.

But he CAN change it. Which is, after all, what he was asking about in the first place. :wink:

I don’t care if her friends think he is a rude bastard either.

AAAARGH! I’ve been fingered by the dreaded syntax police! :blush:

The culture in Taiwan anticipates that “family and friends” will take care of your basic needs while in the hospital. If you have few or none, there is an ability to order out for food, etc. Try a hospital in a remote area. Not good.
I recently spent a few days in the hospital at Mackay in Danshui. My students learned about it and I was inundated with visitors. No time limits and as much as I like and, and some love, I had NO! rest during the days. Then my SO would show up about the time students left and I had another 2-5 hours of “visitation”. All in all, in retrospect, I feel good about the friendship and love that was expressed.
It is simply part of the Taiwanese culture and I encourage anyone in the same position to tolertate and be patient.
Hats of, BTW, to my good friend Paul, who visited with a loan of a laptop-size DVD player and MANY episodes of “Boston Legal”. I had seen none of the series and I was entertained beyond measure when my friends left. No false smiles or the crap you have to put up with. Just lay back and enjoy hours of DVD crap. Thanks, Paul, a Forumosa friend.
If you want to visit a Western friend in the hospital, take some mags, maybe some familiar food and leave within 20 minutes. A Taiwan friend, the same but leave after you feel the patient needs to be alone. Also make sure they have enough food or money to order out including the numbers to call to get the goodies delivered. I know that KFC delivers to room in Mackey in Danshui. Glad I never had to call.
And, Paul, Glyn and all the students who came to see me, THANK YOU so much!
And most of all Anna, my So. Your awesome.

Me too. Senior editor on my case.

But seriously. Extroverts gain strength from socialising, introverts gain strength from being alone. However much certain people love their friends, it’s a strain sometimes to deal with people. Extroverts don’t understand this and take it personally. You have to learn to not feel guilty about asserting your own needs.

Your wife has to figure that one out for herself, though. You can’t set her boundaries for her.

They’re doing what society expects them to do; what they have been trained to do by socialization in this culture. Even if they are told not to, there is a social obligation to do this.

Divea, the poor woman expressley made it entirely clear that she didn’t want visitors or flowers, to the point that she refused to divulge her hospitalized whereabouts!
Who has priority? The sick invalid or the supposedly well-meaning people who don’t care enough about her to respect her wishes?
Maybe she had some kind of treatment that meant she couldn’t wash her face or hair. Maybe she had huge zits all over her face. Maybe she was lying face-down on the bed with her bare arse in the air, while her haemmorhoid surgery healed. Maybe she gets a reaction to flower pollen. There’s a whole HOST of reasons why she may not have wanted visitors. And now you say she should be GRATEFUL that these dullards have ridden roughshod over her wishes?
Uh uh uh! You are totally wrong on this one.

[quote]Uh uh uh! You are totally wrong on this one.


When am I ever right??? :laughing:

I agree with you that the wife may not want visitors. The husband can just tell the friends, we don’t want you coming NOW coz she is in pain (or bu shufu) and we will let you know when you can visit at a later date. I think the Taiwanese are reasonable folks and can understand that much.The flowers, keep them in the corridors, take a pic and be GRATEFUL!!!

I don’t understand the issue. I think the hubby is worrying over silly matters when he should be putting in positive energy towards his wife.

Its customary for everyone who knows someone to visit them at the hospital. To not do so is a major faux pas from a Taiwanese perspective.

When I was 17 and a junior in high school at TAS , i came down with a need for emergency appendectomy . IN the ten days i spent at the hospital all my friends from my school church group would take turns and visit me after school got out. It could be quite a crowd there in that small room (five or six people filled it right up) right around 4pm. Every day. And at night my mom would be there while in the daytime some recent grads from the same church group would be there with me all day long. I had someone with me 24/7. I wasnt in danger of dying or anything. But had some lingering infection and hence the long hospital stay. I hated it when they cracked jokes and split my sides (which hurt like heck).

But Iv never forgotten the kindness shown. Especially to the ones who came and spent the whole day with me because they were recent grads and had the time.


[quote=“divea”]I agree with you that the wife may not want visitors. The husband can just tell the friends, we don’t want you coming NOW because she is in pain (or bu shufu) and we will let you know when you can visit at a later date.[/quote]OK, that’s a practical suggestion. I’m not sure if just telling the friends that once would be enough, but it’s a good way to start. Afterwards, it might be necessary to move a bit further towards the Sandman way of doing things. People can be very pushy in their well-meaning goals to do what they feel is expected or correct.

I might be old-fashioned, but I think it’s perfectly fine and appropriate for someone to protect their wife/husband in that kind of situation.