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To expect people to return things they've borrowed?

(54 Posts)
mrsmopp Sun 20-Nov-16 22:46:26

Nothing terribly valuable, I'm only talking about maybe books or DVDs I have lent to friends and never seen again. I drop a hint-'did you enjoy the book/DVD?' and they reply 'Oh yes, I keep forgetting to give it back!' Then it gets forgotten again.
Of course I could just let it go, but it's annoying because I always return things quickly myself. It's bad manners though isn't it? I don't feel I can keep on asking for it back.

schnackie Mon 21-Nov-16 13:37:26

I have read a similar story recently, and it was suggested (by a young person no doubt grin), that when someone borrows an item, grab your mobile phone, and take a picture of them holding the item to be lent. Hopefully that will stick in their mind, and if they 'forget' you can always show them the picture with the date!

Anya Mon 21-Nov-16 13:41:51

Aren't you all very polite and/or shy smile

I run a lottery syndicate and it's the same principle, only having to ask for the money. I learned the hard way to say 'Your payment is overdue. Do you realise if we win this week you'll miss out?' Then I suggest they give me two months so I 'won't have to remind you next month'!

Pamish Mon 21-Nov-16 13:42:30

I once 'lent' my half-way good road bike to a friend whose own bicycle had been stolen and who came round to demand a loan as I never rode it myself - which was almost but not fully true. Whenever i asked for it back I would be given excuses, and last time I asked I was told it was in Wales on a farm. This always hovers between us but is not important to her as she has a somewhat cavalier approach to possessions. In fact I think she has forgotten.

pollyperkins Mon 21-Nov-16 13:44:18

I have a friend who writes in his books when he lends them: 'this book was stolen from x' followed by his address and phone number. It's a semi joke and always makes me laugh and I always return them!!

Pamish Mon 21-Nov-16 13:47:51

On the other hand - apart from the bicycle-stealing friend, if I have something someone needs I'm happy to lend it and teach them how to use it if necessary. We all have too much stuff. Every street only needs one lawnmower, for example.

entropy Mon 21-Nov-16 14:18:11

Surely not returning a borrowed item
is tantamount to theft.

Blodwen1910 Mon 21-Nov-16 15:22:31

About 2 years ago a niece asked to borrow my MIL's wedding dress,(C1935) which was in my safekeeping. A year went by and I missed owning the dress so I did eventually say that my lady's group was doing an evening on wedding dress fashion and I needed the dress, and I would call by for it. On the arranged day,when i went to pick it up she seemed surprised to see me and brought me the dress, shoes and veil,in a plastic bag, no tissue paper and not neatly folded. My niece is a nice girl but!!

trisher Mon 21-Nov-16 15:33:20

Oh dear I have several books that I borrowed from friends and haven't returned, On the other hand there are quite a few books out there that I have loaned out and never got back. It's swings and roundabouts and if someone else is enjoying a book I liked, well that's really great. You can't own the words and you can't take them with you.

joannewton46 Mon 21-Nov-16 17:29:55

Yes it's perfectly reasonable to expect things to be returned - my problem is forgetting what I've lent to whom.
You could try "can I have x back as I've promised to lend it to someone else".

Juggernaut Mon 21-Nov-16 20:26:03

Years ago I loaned some baby things to my cousin, a travel cot, baby bath, carry sling, bottle steriliser, and my much loved coach built pram, which was a specially ordered colour, pearl grey and maroon.
I never saw any of them again!
I asked her numerous times whether she'd finished with them and every time I got the same excuse, "I'll bring them to you next weekend".
Eventually I got tired of waiting, so turned up at her house one Saturday morning and demanded she returned everything to me then and there.
That's when I found out the truth, the thieving little witch had sold the lot and spent the money on a fortnight in Spain.
Needless to say that's one member of my family to whom I no longer speak!

LuckyFour Mon 21-Nov-16 20:39:27

I belong to two book groups and we often lend books to each other but we always write our name in pencil on the inside page. It is very easy to forget who lent you a book but this way it's straightforward.
If you have lent a book just ask in a friendly way eg Did you get round to reading 'title'? If yes then 'could you bring it on 'Saturday' I want to lend it to my sister (or friend). If no then 'do you think you're probably not going to read it? Could I have it back for my sister and when you're ready to read it you can borrow it again.

Jaxie Mon 21-Nov-16 22:35:54

People are shameless. I lent my 4 favourite DVDs: The Last of the Mohicans, Something Wild, Falling Down and The Lady Vanishes to a close friend and never saw them again. When I asked her for them she told me two different stories: that she'd left them in my TV cabinet during a party ( she hadn't) then when I challenged this story she said she' d posted them back to me ( she hadn't). She has never offered to replace them. I should have known, because I once lent her a box set; years later when I asked for it back she said she'd lent it to her son. Eventually it came back, in terrible condition. Evidently she is a fibber, I'm fond of her - but how can she lie to my face?

Diddy1 Mon 21-Nov-16 23:12:36

Why does it give one a "guilty" conscience when having to ask somebody to give back what they have borrowed, I hate asking for things back, and it shouldnt be needed to do so, I think I will stop letting people borrow.

robbienut Tue 22-Nov-16 07:54:14

No it isn't - the clue should be in the word borrow! I only lend things to people I know will give it back.

Mumsy Tue 22-Nov-16 08:10:11

I live in sheltered accomodation and not long after I moved here I donated about 20 dvds which were put on the book shelf in the communal lounge, for people to watch and return to the lounge, within a couple of days they all vanished never to be seen again!

At my old place I had neighbour who was always on the borrow a cup of this a cup of that and I got so fed up of it so the next time she called for a 'drop of milk' in her empty cup I gave her a pint of milk hoping she would return it, she said " oh I only want a drop of milk just to make a cup of tea" I told her to take the bottle of milk and to return it, nope she never did!

Christinefrance Tue 22-Nov-16 08:33:00

trisher I think you miss the point, if someone asks to borrow something then they should intend to return it. If they want to keep it then say that.

Marmight Tue 22-Nov-16 09:13:54

Many years ago my parents met a young Dutch girl in the street outside a travel agent.. She was in distress and explained that she wanted to return home from an abusive employer and hadn't enough money for the fare as the employer refused to pay her. They went with her into the travel agent and paid for her ferry ticket and thought, well that's it, we won't get that back. A couple of weeks later a grateful letter arrived from her father containing a cheque. Some years later, as a 14 year old, I went to stay with her family and was paired up with her cousin who was the same age as me. This lead to a lifelong friendship; I was witness to her marriage and she to mine; we spent many holidays with each other, had our children at the same time and now, over 50 years later and grandmothers, we are still the greatest of friends. The girl my parents helped is now in her mid 70's and a great granny. So, some stories have a happy ending smile

Nelliemoser Tue 22-Nov-16 09:43:42

I think loaned books tend to get forgotten rather than deliberately not returned.

A friend of mine borrowed my sewing machine and I think she might have put on the back seat of her car and it fell off as she went home. Why she didn't put it on the floor where it could not fall anywhere I do not know. The thread holder screws in the top were both bent.

trisher Tue 22-Nov-16 10:16:12

Of course I intend to return the books I have borrowed in fact I have frequently promised myself I would return one when meeting up with the friend who loaned it, only to find when I meet her that I have left said book at home. I imagine friends who have my books are in much the same position.
As my grandmother always warned me "The road to hell is paved with good intentions"
Sometimes I think books have their own intentions anyway and finish up where they want to be.

Balini Wed 23-Nov-16 08:57:35

I don't know, how many tools I've lost over the years, lending them to "friends" and forgetting about them, until you need them. Then remember, you've loaned it a "friend". Invariably, if you go to any of your "friends", and ask them if you loaned it to them, the answer is no. Now I never lend anything to anyone. Especially tools.

Thingmajig Wed 23-Nov-16 10:37:37

Yes, I almost hate lending things as it's so awkward getting them back again!

I know for a fact that anything of mine that enters DD's house will never be seen again. She was here one day and felt cold so I gave her a fleece zippy to wear (she is size 10-12, I am size 20, it went home on her back and she's even had the cheek to be wearing it when she's come along ... first time I almost claimed it as mine but couldn't believe it was so let it go. Goodbye lovely pink fleecy! grin

chocolatepudding Wed 23-Nov-16 10:55:00

Many years ago we bought a cheap pressure washer about £40 to use for various jobs. MIL soon borrowed it and it ended up living at her house rather than our home (20 miles away). One Saturday we visited and asked for the pressure washer. It had been lent to BIL (the favourite DS). OK we will call in on our way home and pick it up - no they were away for the weekend. The job we needed to do had to wait another week as DH worked away from home Monday 6am to Friday night 11 pm. No offer to collect it for us or for BIL to deliver it to us during the week. The penny dropped then with DH and we became a little more reticent about lending things.

mrsmopp Wed 23-Nov-16 13:10:23

When I was a child I used to write inside my book:

If this book should chance to roam,
Box it's ears and send it home, to:
My name,
My address, followed by England, Europe. The World. Space, Outer Space etc.

Maybe that's what I shall do again in future!

Pigglywiggly Wed 23-Nov-16 13:15:55

If I lend something to someone I assume it won't come back, so it is a gift to the borrower.
Makes it much easier than seething about it, and if it does come back it is a bonus.

Smithy Wed 23-Nov-16 13:27:36

I used to go to school with girls who wrote that also, Pigglywiggly - seemed like a good idea.
I once lent a friends and their young daughter a camera as they were going on hols on a budget and had given out broad hints about not having one. It wasn't expensive mind but that's not the point. They let young daughter use it and she broke it. I was told ''we owe you a camera - those kind only cost ---''. Never got it replaced.
After reading all the posts I think I shall stop lending and borrowing aswell.