If the Shoe Fits, Borrow it?

I’ve come across an unusual occurrence that seems to be plaguing many people – lack of etiquette and manners. Young adults are big etiquette offenders but I’m finding that people in their 40’s and 50’s lack manners as well. I don’t know what to make of it. I usually don’t make anything of it. I might silently wish karma to bite them in the ass or simply sit in silent scorn. Is lack of etiquette due to people having too much on their plate? Bad upbringing? A.D.D.? Entitlement issues? Narcissism? Alzheimer’s? Or are they just oblivious? I’m both appalled and bewildered.

I have a closet filled with many fashionable pieces – blouses, skirts, dresses, scarves, jewelry, shoes, you name it. And if you’re a girlfriend of mine who happens to wear the same size then you’ve probably borrowed some items from my closet. I love sharing. I love that my same size girlfriends get as much joy out of wearing a dress or top of mine as I do.

Especially during this undesirable economic climate, women seem to be sharing more than ever and shopping in their closets or better yet, their girlfriends closets. There are rules to borrowing a friend’s personal items. If you wear it, clean it before you return it. Return the item in a timely manner or ask how long you can keep the item(s). Not hard, very simple, right? I’ve come across a few women that don’t play by the same etiquette rules as I do.

I still have an ex-friend who has a necklace that she borrowed and hasn’t given back. After she borrowed this necklace, she said she attempted to give it back to me but kept forgetting. Then I asked her to stop by my place after work one day to drop it off. I happen to be sick that day and was konked out upstairs and didn’t hear the door or my phone. That was my bad.

I called and apologized for not hearing her and said I’ll try to figure out another time. But shouldn’t she be the one trying to do that? She’s the one that borrowed the necklace, not me. Why am I the one apologizing and being so nice when she’s hijacked my necklace that I’ve wanted to wear? Does she think that I have many necklaces that I’ll forget or don’t need it? Or does she feel a sense of entitlement? If the shoe were on the other foot, I would’ve popped it in the mail and be done with it. It’s not diamonds but it is a nice costume piece that wasn’t cheap.

Another lack of borrowing etiquette I’ve faced is not returning my clothing cleaned. It seems that I have to ask or remind some friends to clean my items before they return them. I always receive this perplexed look on their faces as if I’m asking them to clean my cat’s litter box or do my grocery shopping. It’s the oddest reaction and I end up feeling bad about asking them. Like I’m the bad guy, lending them my nice tops and dresses so they don’t have to spend money to buy new clothes to wear. I know! It’s true. Some women don’t have the common decency chip imbedded inside of them.

One last rule of etiquette in borrowing friends clothing, shoes or jewelry – return it promptly. As the lender, I am the one calling and hunting down my garments. Why should I have to do this? I shouldn’t. When my pieces are finally returned, I’m the one thanking them instead of the other way around. Thanking my friend for returning something she borrowed from me three weeks or two months ago.

Ladies, if your shoes fit, keep them on your feet or in your closet. Don’t let your friends borrow anything unless they know the proper borrowing protocol. If I do lend anything to a friend, I now tell her I would like to have the item back by a certain date and in the condition it was borrowed. As for my necklace held hostage, I finally have enough resentment built up to send a self-addressed, stamped envelope with a note stating to send my necklace back in the envelope provided. We’ll see what happens.


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3 Responses to If the Shoe Fits, Borrow it?

  1. Loved, loved your piece! Being my size has great advantages….no one can fit into my clothes or shoes!!

  2. I have a rule, if
    I can’t afford to replace it, I don’t lend it. It never fails that whatever I have loaned will either not come back in the condition it left or will not come back at all. No one wants my wardrobe, trust me but I often have people asking to borrow equipment (surfboards, mainly). I’m not a rental shop and use these boards as part of my business. I feel put upon and then guilty for saying “No.”
    As fas as every day etiquette, I don’t know if it’s the city we live in or what. I try to be polite but if met with rudeness, I will fire right back. I know it’s my reaction that is a problem. If only I could be the Zen warrior and just smile.
    I think it’s all of the reasons you mentioned, Maria. How we react is the true mindful practice.
    and ps love your blog

    • Very valid point Kimmie. Yes, the cost of replacing items is something to remind myself of. Surfboards and equipment are huge investments. You shouldn’t feel guilty to say “no” to people asking to borrow. Thx for reading my blog, glad you like it :)

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