Dear E. Jean: My sister got married in L.A. I live in New York, and I threw her bachelorette party in Las Vegas. I booked and prepaid for hotel rooms and a rental car for the five bridesmaids, so each of the young ladies owed me $175. One gave me the money as soon as she arrived, another after being reminded, and a third claimed she would send it to me via my sister the following week. The last two said they’d pay me later. Needless to say, I never got the rest of my money. I’m okay with it because it was for my sister, and she was happy. Well, imagine my surprise when my sister called and said the same three women who never paid want to come to New York for a visit and stay with—guess who? If these people had even acknowledged their debt, that would have been one thing, but they haven’t. Is it wrong to charge these women $175 to stay with me? —Sisterhood of the Traveling Freeloaders
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Sister, Honey: Email each little deadbeat with a “Darling, yes! Do come! We’ll paint the town red! Meanwhile, send the green you owe me.” It is perfectly correct to refresh the moochers’ memories. Of course, a veddy, veddy elegant woman would pen handwritten notes saying: “I’d be delighted! Counting the seconds till you arrive in New York!” and then when the taxi drops them in front of the house with their bags, simply not open the door till they shove the cash through the letter slot.
This letter is from the Ask E. Jean Archive, 1993-2017. Send questions to E. Jean at E.Jean@AskEJean.com.