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When a hurricane is approaching, it will be a bit late to turn people from your door. Simple humanity requires you to protect even disagreeable people from imminent danger.
Your neighbors do sound disagreeable, and as they do not recognize boundaries, as it were, you do need to establish some rules. About those limes, for example. At the time they announced intentions to steal them, you could have asked pleasantly what they proposed to give you in return. And even now, you can drop the remark that you are planning to use all those limes, so if they were serious about pilfering, would they please kindly refrain.
You should also have a talk about hurricanes. “I’m concerned about you, because we may not be able to help,” you can say. “When a hurricane happens to strike, it could be at a time when we are away, or we could have a full house. You really need to plan for your own safety.”
Alternatively, you could revert to the idea of reciprocity. “As we have the generator, and you plan to come here, why don’t you help us stock up for emergencies? If you would provide canned goods and water now, we'll keep them here for when we all need them.”Sleepover, not glorified babysitting DEAR MISS MANNERS: How do I politely tell parents that when my 13-year-old daughter invites their girls for a sleepover, it’s not an invitation to let the parents spend a night on the town, then retrieve their children very late that night?
Just some judicious editing to the remark you admit you cannot make. Miss Manners’ version is: “Oh, dear, I’m so sorry — and Lily will be so sorry that Lucy can’t be here for the sleepover. I’m sure she'll want to invite her another time, when Lucy can stay overnight.”© Universal Uclick 7/17