It Wasn’t a Gift, It was a Loan…Now What?

This week’s etiquette question is from a reader named Lori, who wrote: “I lent an acquaintance a baby stroller more than a year ago. Although I don’t need the stroller right now, I did assume I’d get it back at some point…”

“I’m starting to wonder if she thought it was a gift,” Lori wrote. “How can I tastefully inquire about it?”

The same thing happened to me once, Lori, with a bassinet — but I was on the receiving end of the deal. A friend loaned me the baby bed for my newborn and, a year later, the bassinet was still sitting in a corner of the nursery (although my daughter had long since moved on to sleep in a full size crib). It wasn’t that I wanted to keep the bassinet; I just kept getting distracted by the constant newness of everyday life —my daughter’s first smile, first tooth, first encounter with solid food. Then there was the crawling stage and the walking stage and the stage where the whole house had to be baby-proofed and…

Anyway, one day my friend said, “By the way, I’ll be in your neighborhood on Saturday and would be happy to pick up that bassinet and get it out of your way.”

It was a gracious way of reminding me—and prompted this reply, “No, I’ll bring it to you. You were so nice to lend it to me, you shouldn’t have to collect it, too.”

Try the same approach with your friend, Lori, and I bet you’ll have that stroller back in no time, with no hard feelings.

(image via Baby Stroller Shop)