Loaning something

neetsiepieMay 27, 2012

My MIL asked me if I would loan the gown I wore to my DD's wedding to her friend. Her friend's son is getting married and she and I wear the same size.

I was not comfortable loaning this dress for several reasons, so I fibbed and said I'd already gotten rid of the dress (I plan to donate it to an organization that gives gowns to girls for prom). I suppose I would loan it to someone else, but the woman who it'd be loaned to is not someone I'd trust to keep it in good condition, and I KNOW she wouldn't have it cleaned after returning it.

In any event, I am pretty selective about to whom I loan things, and generally have no problem saying no if I don't want to do so, but I had to lie to my MIL (she'd have pressured me and it'd turn ugly otherwise). I am generous with my things, and WILL loan them to those I know will treat them well.

What do you do when asked to loan something?

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Your MIL put you in a bad position. I think you would have at least considered it if you knew the person would return the gown in good condition.
I so hear what you are feeling. You feel guilty about lying, which is not in your nature. To top it off, you have a history with your MIL that is not always positive.
In other circumtaances I would say to learn from this experience. But in this case you know the end result and really had no other choice.
Funny, but none of my friends have asked to boorow my clothing. What has happened is when I was having difficulty finding a dress for a wedding, a friend offered two of hers. I wasn't interested in borrowing a dress (and I had a feeling they would be dated) and I did not want to hurt her feelings so I looked at them and told her they weren't the right size. A white lie to save hurt feelings.
I guess sometimes it comes down to hurt someones feelings with the truth or lie?
In your case pesky, I can feel the stress coming through my computor!

    Bookmark   May 27, 2012 at 3:33PM
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Well, I used to be much more generous about what I would loan out and was even willing to sacrifice my own comforts to help someone else, but I'm not so generous anymore. Not because I don't want to be but because I learned the hard way that even family may not have the same considerations as I do when using another persons belongings. The straw that broke this camels back was when my older sister left her husband a few years ago and moved back to our area. Since she planned on entertaining quite a bit, I loaned her our dining room table because she couldn't afford to buy one at the time. We seldom used it, it matched the other pieces she had brought with her and she needed it, so why not?

When we delivered it to her it was about 10 years old and had a couple of scratches but overall was in great condition. She was tickled when I showed it to her and even mentioned that it looked hardly used. Unfortunately, two years later when she returned it to us, I didn't even recognize it. The chairs were falling apart and the top now had thousands upon thousands of swirly scratches all over it and in several areas, part of the finish was missing. Seriously without any exaggeration, it looked as if she had taken a steel wool pad to it! And at one end, there was a big gray stain from Easter egg dye that had absorbed into the wood. There was no way I could use it and that's why it became our work bench when we moved into our fixer.

She is a mature single woman with no kids so why it was in the condition it was, I have no clue but it was apparent to me that SHE just didn't give a hoot about the table or the fact that it wasn't hers. When she brought it back, there wasn't even so much as an acknowledgement about the damage, it just was what it was.

So yes I completely get what you're saying and why you feel the way you do; I really do. I no longer lend anything out that has any kind of value to me whatsoever; and I don't feel badly about it either.

Now you didn't ask this but I'm going to say it none the less because I think its important. The problem with the way you handled it Pesky isn't that you don't want to loan the dress out, its your dress and your prerogative to do whatever you want to do with it regardless of MIL's feelings. The problem is that you lied about it to her and regardless of your fears over her reaction, THAT is what has you looking like the bad guy. I firmly believe that the truth is always better and you let yourself down by not being honest with her. After all, it's not what you say, it's how you say it that matters. So when I'm asked by someone if they can borrow something, if I don't want to lend it, I just say no, I'm sorry that's not something I want to loan out to anyone, period. I don't even say why, it's my choice and they aren't owed any long excuses. It would have been just as easy to tell her, I'm flattered you think your friend would like the dress enough to wear it but I have plans for it and would prefer not to lend it out. Then at the very least, even if it's not what MIL wants to hear, you're still being honest with her and true to yourself. If MIL has a problem with your answer then it's entirely her problem not yours.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2012 at 4:47PM
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Great advise luk, but sometimes it is difficult to think so fast when you are put on the spot!

    Bookmark   May 27, 2012 at 4:55PM
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Yes, being put on the spot sure makes it a challenge but they way I see it is, if someone is willing to put me on the spot, then they are also willing to accept the consequences. Or IOW, why lie to someone to save their feelings when by putting you on the spot, they obviously had no regard for yours? In the end, its you who will be left holding the bag and feeling guilty not them.

Years ago I was always willing to compromise myself for the benefit of others and would have done the same thing Pesky did. However, as I matured, I realized how terrible it always made me feel and that it was not the right thing to do. No matter what the circumstances were I would always come out holding the shorter end of the stick and people were always going to be willing to take advantage of that. Once I started responding with my true feelings, not only did I feel better as a person, but I was also respected more and found I was no longer put in those situations as frequently. That's also when I learned that it's not what you say, it's how you say it that matters and the answer of no can be said kindly.

As individuals we need to be true to who we are as a person first regardless of who or what we're dealing with. For me, being honest is just part of that.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2012 at 6:07PM
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I do not like loaning things to most people and will never loan things of significant value, like a car. I'll loan almost anything to my 3 closest friends. DH and I have a pact - we only loan things we can live without in case they never make it back to us or are damaged. So that means nothing that he uses in his business because he relies on his tools and truck. When we were first married people would ask to borrow his truck all the time but no one asks anymore - of course our friends are past the age where you borrow a truck and buy some beer for friends when you're moving!

Pesky, I would have had problems if my MIL had asked me and I have a better relationship with mine than you do with yours, I think. Sometimes it's the way it's asked or the moment or the person. In a perfect world I agree totally with lukki and do the simple 'no' with no further explanation but caught off guard, we all stumble sometimes. It takes a lot of self assurance to pull that off in every situation and sometimes I come up short.

You didn't ask specifically but loaning money is a whole 'nother ball game, IMO.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2012 at 6:38PM
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I have loaned hings and never gotten them back and I have loaned things and got them back better than when I loaned them, such as loaning a pie pan and getting it back with a pie in it!

My neighbor is always borrowing my gardening stuff. Sometimes she just goes in the garage and gets it. I don't mind. She's a nice neighbor and always returns things.

My mom loaned my sister's wedding veil to her friend's daughter. My sister couldn't stand the daughter and had a total fit when she found out.

I would not loan a nice dress to someone who was not my good friend. I think your MIL was out of line to ask and you were right to tell a white lie that allowed you not to compromise and still keep peace in the family.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2012 at 7:19PM
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Dlm, you are right and please don't misunderstand. I'm just saying that as the person saying no, she should not feel like she is under any obligation to explain. Of course for some it depends on the situation, person or what not, but being made to feel like we have to have a reason for saying no and explain our choice is just another part of an undeserved guilt trip.

Pesky, I don't know the specifics regarding your relationship with your MIL, but I am sorry you have issues like that with her. I'm sure you did what you thought was the best thing at the time, but now it seems like it has you feeling guilty and that's not fair to you. Saying no can be really hard and takes getting used to but once I got the hang of it, I found it to be very liberating.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2012 at 7:37PM
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Oh believe me Lukki...I have NO problem saying no. It's just that with my MIL, you can't do that. She is a total pleaser, and will sacrifice the feelings of DH and I for near strangers. So I've found that in order to keep it to a bare minimum of drama with her, I can't be frank.

As to loaning money, yeah...that is a whole 'nother issue. I am TIGHT with my pursestrings, but DH has been known to have an open wallet...and it always causes him trouble. I figure if I can't stand to lose it, don't loan it. My kids have been brought up not to ask for money, but when we know they need a hand, we gift them instead.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2012 at 8:26PM
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dedtired, I love that...getting the pie pan bake with a pie in it.
luk, it is true that we feel people deserve an explanation when we say no. Now that you've mentioned it, I remember reading magazine articles over and over on his very topic.
I think when someone is asking for an object, it is trickier rather than asking you to volunteer or do a favor.
When pesky's MIL asked about the dress and pesky says no without an explanation, I don't think that would fly with the MIL. I don't think she would just take no for the answer?

    Bookmark   May 27, 2012 at 8:27PM
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I love this board, it really shows how differently each of us thinks or perceive something. When I read all the responses, I think, well yeah, that's true too and I'm always learning from it.

I am the opposite Ellendi, I have no problem saying hands off my "stuff" with no explanation but I melt like butter when someone asks me for help or a favor. I will bend over backwards to do whatever I can and have no regrets over it at all. I guess it's because I have gotten a hand up lots of times along the way and feel it's just a small way to pay it forward. But if I were to loan something to someone, I'd just be worried about another table episode which really had me angry. After this thread I can see it still does but probably because in a effort to keep the peace with family, I have never said a word to her about it.

Dedtired, your situation reminds me of our neighborhood when I was a kid. Everyone was best friends and had a what's mine is your mentality. Everyone shared, but everyone took care of what they borrowed too. It was really cool.

Pesky, I get what you're saying, I just think it's a big bummer that that is how you have to deal with your MIL.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2012 at 9:55PM
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Lukki I get what your saying and agree - the best response doesn't have to be snide or rude, just a simple 'no, sorry I'm not comfortable with loaning that' said nicely should suffice and usually does. But if the person asking persists, I'm the one who squirms, not the asker, and I'll sometimes feel obligated to offer more information. Of course, once that door is opened it's a lost cause! I find myself tap dancing and wishing I could shut up! The good news is I don't get asked to loan things all that often. So that makes me wonder...... what's wrong with my stuff that no one wants to borrow from me :-/

    Bookmark   May 27, 2012 at 11:22PM
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dml, as I mentioned, I am not asked either. Although I used too have a large coffee urn that one friend borrowed once a year. I realized she used it more than me and so I gave it to her.
Sometimes DH has neighbors ask for a tool of his or repair advise. Most give back the items clean but once in a while there might be someone who doesn't.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2012 at 7:28AM
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That's funny DLM! I guess I should be wondering that too, lol!

Ellendi, that was really nice of you. I wish we had the kind of neighborhood where you could borrow a cup of sugar if needed but unfortunately we don't. I miss that and it's one of the reasons this isn't our forever home.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2012 at 9:45AM
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