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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Guest toiletries not freebies

Judith Martin

Dear Miss Manners: Our son (finally!) brought home a lovely young woman, a fellow attorney in his firm, to meet us. She is intelligent, charming and we were delighted with her.

They stayed the weekend, and my husband and I realized she has likely not been brought up with all the privileges my son has had. I tell you this as background to the following:

I stock each guest room with a range of nice soaps, a selection of toiletries of various brands, plus any necessary items (toothbrushes, razors) a guest may have forgotten. When restocking the guest room after their departure, I was surprised to find not a single item in the drawers – they had been cleaned out. Even the basket of soaps.

My husband says I should speak to the young woman at the first opportunity.

What do you think? Him? Her? No one?

Miss Manners, I do not in any way begrudge the items – I’d have happily gifted her with all of them.

Gentle reader: You cannot, Miss Manners supposes, warn the young lady’s other hosts before she cleans them out.

You might mention the situation to your son in a manner that does not require him to defend her – “Zenobia is such a dear, and we hope she comes often. Incidentally, did you or she need the whole basket of soaps and razors and toothbrushes and such? I’m more than happy to give you whatever you want, but please let me know so I can replenish the supply. I only keep it in case a guest has forgotten something.”

And lock up your jewelry case.

Readers may write to Miss Manners at MissManners@
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