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Declining Invitations To Marketing 'parties'

Judith Martin, Nicholas Ivor Martin and Jacobina Martin on

DEAR MISS MANNERS: My sister-in-law, who is otherwise a lovely person, has a bad habit of borrowing things and not returning them. I'm speaking mostly of kitchen/dining items like serving platters, baking pans, decorative trays, etc.

She will borrow items for a specific use, then months later, I will see her bring them out and use them like they are hers. I didn't say anything at first, since I didn't want to embarrass her, but it's a habit now.

How do I tactfully prevent this in the future? And is there any way I can, at this late date, get my old things back?

GENTLE READER: You are right not to embarrass your sister-in-law, but that does not mean it's too late to ask for the missing items back -- just wait until after dinner.

Miss Manners imagines a private aside in which you express the hope that she enjoyed the loan of the platter, and you're happy to take it home now with just a simple rinse and drying.

 

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