Dear Annie: An acquaintance of mine (I’ll call her “Minnie”) drops by our home once a week and stays for several hours. If we offer her a beer, she protests a little bit, but then says, “Well, OK,” and then asks what kind of wine or liquor we have. She somehow makes it seem as though she is doing us a favor by accepting what we offer and then lets us know about the better alcohol she is accustomed to.
Our neighbor told us that Minnie does the same thing at her place, always promising to bring something special to reciprocate, but she never does. The neighbor laughs it off, but we feel like suckers. Minnie talks about cutting back on alcohol to lose weight, but it’s obvious she’ll drink if it’s free.
Other than not answering the door when Minnie shows up, is there a way to confront her without making her belligerent? We see each other and don’t want hard feelings. – Tired of Sponger
Dear Tired: If you don’t want Minnie drinking your booze, stop offering it to her. You can open the door and be polite and friendly but not ask whether she’d like a beer. If she says she’s thirsty, offer her a glass of cool water. You don’t have to confront her at all or create any hard feelings. You simply need to be less accommodating. We suspect after a few such dry visits, she will spend less time knocking on your door.
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