Moocher Guest Really Needed That Sink Plug

by admin on March 6, 2017

I am part of an organization that has a monthly weekend conference. It is held at a hotel. Those that live far away get a room, often sharing it with others to reduce cost, and those that live close enough drive in to the conference.

I happen to live 5 miles from the hotel. My best friend normally just drives in from her home, about 40 miles, but asked if she could stay at my place this time because she was short on cash and wanted to save on fuel costs. I said of course and prepared our guest room accordingly.

My best friend is fairly close with a girl, “Helen”, within the organization that I know as an acquaintance. Helen asked BFF where she was staying for the conference and my BFF told her that she was staying with me. Helen then invited herself along and BFF said she would check with me first. I told her that she was the one that would have to share a bed with her so the decision was in her hands. My BFF told Helen she could stay at my house.

During the weekend I fed them breakfast both mornings and dinner one evening. My BFF thanked me, helped cook and clean up after both meals and cleaned up after herself. Helen left a mess everywhere she went and never cleaned up after herself and never thanked me for my hospitality.

To top it off the plug for our sink drain was missing after they left. We don’t use that bathroom, as it’s a guest bathroom, and I cleaned it immediately before their arrival and immediately after their departure and it was missing. We have no children, so they can’t be blamed either. I know my BFF would not take that that but Helen is constantly complaining she is broke and I guess she stole our sink drain. I don’t understand it.

In addition she left her phone charger. She texted me after arriving at her home ok Sunday night to inform me and then proceeded to demand that I drive 70 miles one way to give it back to her. I told her I work 60+ hours per week and simply don’t have time to do that but she was free to come retrieve it any time. She then got my home husbands number from someone in the organization and proceeded to hound him about it without my knowledge.

I have never seen such behavior. You can bet she is never invited to our home again. She wasn’t really invited to begin with! 0124-17

{ 81 comments… read them below or add one }

Harry March 6, 2017 at 11:00 am

Part of me would be tempted to tell her you’ll give her the phone charger after she gives you the sink plug…. But that’s not very nice. If she doesn’t want to pick it up, then tell her you’ll sent it via post and be done with it.


saucygirl March 6, 2017 at 11:05 am

this is one of the craziest stories. a sink plug!? I would be checking my house to see if anything else was missing. lightbulbs from the lamps? hangers from the closet? and that phone charger would be returned cod.


Klein Bottle March 6, 2017 at 11:16 am

Would it be bad for me to offer one cell phone charger in exchange for one sink plug? Yeah, most likely, so scratch that.

Definitely never invite Helen back, and I think a word with the friend is in order, also. She can do with the information what she wishes, but I think she should know that the woman she vouched for is a mooching, messy, entitled possible thief and all around bad guest. This might help her decide, going forward, if she wants to room with Helen again, or otherwise share quarters or rides, etc., with her. You don’t have to phrase it in a mean, gossipy way; just give her the facts and let her decide what to do or not do.


THE OP March 7, 2017 at 3:29 am

Oh, she knows! She apologized profusely. And we still laugh about that sink plug!


Tracy P March 6, 2017 at 11:31 am

Would it be rude to tell her she can just mail your sink plug to you and you’ll use the box to mail her phone charger back?

Probably since this is accusing her of stealing.


Dee March 6, 2017 at 11:41 am

OP, now you know what Helen is like you can choose not to have her as a guest at your house, overnight or even just for a meal, ever again. There likely will be opportunities in the future where BFF will want to stay with you again and, somehow, Helen will appear at your house during a mealtime or for something else. If you’ve learned your lesson you will let BFF know that Helen is not someone you wish to grow closer to and that she is not welcome in your home again. If BFF respects you then the only time you may have to put up with Helen’s company is during the conference breaks. Again, you can let BFF know that you will have to decline dining with her when Helen is in attendance.

I’m not sure, though, if you are unwisely letting BFF off the hook for Helen’s behaviour. BFF saw what Helen was like and it doesn’t appear that she said anything to her. In the first place, BFF should not have allowed Helen to “invite herself along” and should have nipped that in the bud immediately. That she then passed along the self-invitation to you put you in a tight spot. That’s not a nice trait in a BFF. I would have a talk with BFF to determine if she understood how boundaries were broken and if there was any chance this kind of thing could happen again in the future. Between Helen and BFF I think I would be spending most of my “friend” time elsewhere.


Emmy March 6, 2017 at 9:42 pm

I agree. Nothing was mentioned about BFF knowing anything about Helen’s behavior. I wonder how she could not have observed at least some of it. If I was BFF, I would be embarrassed by putting my friend through this and I would be the one cleaning up after her – after all, she put OP in an awkward position by pretty much inviting Helen along.


AnaMaria March 7, 2017 at 5:21 pm

BFF didn’t “invite” Helen; Helen asked BFF where she was staying and then invited herself. If someone asked where I was staying on a trip, I would assume they were looking for suggestions for hotels and that replying “I’m staying with a friend,” would be interpreted as “I’m not able to recommend a hotel.”

If someone told me they were staying at a friend’s house, I would never in a million years solicit an invitation for myself unless it was an urgent trip (such as a funeral or to tend to an emergency) that I hadn’t had time to save for.


Susan. Haverland March 6, 2017 at 11:52 am

How totally rude . Good for you saying No to the phone charger . Hope you husband also said no. . But I would have asked nicely, hey can you clean up the mess , I don’t really have time . Repeat again . Why did your friend think it was ok to Invite a friend. I would say no next time to your friend. Your home is not a hotel. And not saying Thanks . Honestly I really think I would have said , did you enjoy your stay , you haven’t mentioned it .


It's Me March 6, 2017 at 12:00 pm

You’re a lot nicer than I am. I would have said that I couldn’t find her phone charger, and that my sink plug was missing, and probably the person who took my sink plug took her phone charger.


Serryce March 7, 2017 at 12:08 am

I like this response! 😀


Lex March 7, 2017 at 4:58 am

I came here to post this exact response. Leave the ball in her court.


A different Tracy March 7, 2017 at 9:16 am

That was my first thought. “No, it’s not here. Neither is my sink plug. I wonder if someone broke in and stole them both? How peculiar!!!”


lakey March 6, 2017 at 12:14 pm

First, she probably took the sink drain plug, but you can’t be sure. I’d let that one go. You may already, know this, but you can get replacements at big box home improvement stores.
Second, not thanking you for letting her stay over and then feeding her 3 meals, unacceptable.
Third, expecting you to expend the gas and the time on a 140 mile 2 way trip is, of course, mooch behavior.
Fourth, lesson learned, avoid the mooch like the plague.


Gabriele March 6, 2017 at 12:27 pm

I would share the same information with the BFF so the ungrateful ‘guest’ doesn’t involve her in
something like this again.
Not knowing anything about the organization, if it is charitable then I hope Helen is not involved in
anything to do with financials. It sounds like she doesn’t have an understanding of ‘boundaries’.
With such negative behavior to someone who hosted and helped her, I wonder if Helen has issues which need medical/psychological attention.


AS March 6, 2017 at 12:37 pm

Good deciding not to invite Helen again. I have known people like her, and they are not invited to my house anymore for overnight stays. It is just small annoyances, but they can start adding up quite soon.

By the way, “home husband”? As in different from “outside husband”? 😉
Found the phrasing amusing, and couldn’t help commenting.


Aleko March 6, 2017 at 12:51 pm

I seriously doubt that *anyone* would steal something like that. More likely she somehow broke it, didn’t want to admit it, and bundled it up and threw it away.

As for her charger, I think you were rather weak of spine even to make an excuse for not driving to her home to return it. You should have simply said that if she thought it wasn’t worth driving that far to retrieve it, she could send you money to cover the cost of mailing it back. And your husband, if hounded by her behind your back, should simply have refused to discuss it.

Where is your BFF in all this? Even if she doesn’t know anything about the plug and the charger, she must have realised at the time about the general bad-guest-ness, especially as they were actually sharing a bed. Why didn’t she tell her friend to behave decently, and pitch in as she was doing, as they are so close? Has she apologised for foisting this person on you?


THE OP March 7, 2017 at 3:37 am

I had never thought that (about breaking it and hiding the evidence). You might just be right. Although I distinctly remember even looking in the trash for it. Maybe she broke it and hid it in her suitcase.

She actually asked me to mail it to her and at the time my schedule was so crazy that I didn’t have time to go to the post office. I told her so.

I was furious when I found out she was texting my husband asking for him to bring her the charger. I thought that was super manipulative. She kept saying she couldn’t afford a new one and we just HAD to get it back to her because she couldn’t keep just charging her phone in the car. I just kept telling her no and eventually we just ignored her. She was texting us on Christmas Eve asking us to bring it (we were 1,000 miles away).

I gave it back to her at the next conference and she was pretty dramatic about it.


o_gal March 6, 2017 at 12:53 pm

I would also try to come up with a very polite way to inform the other members of what happened. Tell them that she invited herself, left messes that she never cleaned up, never thanked you, and made demands to get her property back. Don’t mention the sink plug, since you cannot prove it. The other stuff is enough.


Pat March 7, 2017 at 9:49 am

No, I don’t think this is appropriate. I think OP should tell BFF what happened and not spread it further.


pennywit March 6, 2017 at 12:58 pm

One word: Fedex.


lakey March 7, 2017 at 2:25 am

Ordinarily I would have simply mailed the thing back. However, since she had the nerve to expect OP to drive round trip to return it to her, then hounded the OP’s husband, I would expect Helen to cover the postage. Fedex is great, but not cheap. As a matter of fact, buying a new charger might be cheaper than mailing it.


Ernie March 7, 2017 at 6:26 pm

When you add the postage as well as the effort together, yeah, buying a new one is cheaper. To normal people, their own time, as well as the time of others, is worth something, and must be considered in any transaction, favor, or problem. I think I left a phone charger in a hotel room once, I didn’t even bother calling them to try and get it back.


o_gal March 7, 2017 at 6:54 am

Nope. That puts expense and effort on the OP. If Helen wants her charger back, she can make the drive.


Calli Arcale March 7, 2017 at 12:19 pm

Nah. USPS parcel post. Priority Mail if I felt generous. I wouldn’t pony up for Fedex unless it was medicine.


Sarah March 6, 2017 at 1:11 pm

Neither one of them brought a hostess gift? Two days and nights and they didn’t make/take YOU out to dinner one night? I wouldn’t invite either one of them again!


NostalgicGal March 6, 2017 at 1:46 pm

Give the charger to BFF so Helen can bug HER for it. Block Helen’s number. If she persists in calling work there can be steps taken against her for harassment and let her know that.

As for the stay, just make sure it doesn’t happen again. If Helen shows up dis-invited again (I assume you may have BFF stay and Helen try it again and gets shiny spine rebuffed) lock doors.


Lady Catford March 7, 2017 at 1:15 pm



Ernie March 7, 2017 at 8:19 pm

Wow, yeah, good idea, I love this.


Anne March 6, 2017 at 1:52 pm

Maybe you need to take another look around, could be that the sink plug isn’t the only thing missing. You could ask her about it, did it accidentally get caught up in her stuff? You know, give her the benefit of doubt that she didn’t steal it. But then, she might want to do an exchange and you would spend more in gas than it’s worth. You could mail it to her and be done with it.


Kate Musso March 6, 2017 at 1:59 pm

The only reason I find this funny is that my kitchen sink drainer disappeared at my Christmas party! I’m sure no one stole it, everyone always gets a little tipsy and tries to help me with the dishes and I’m sure it just got thrown away :-).

But honestly, who would steal a sink drainer from a stranger’s house?!?


TakohamoOlsen2 March 7, 2017 at 1:53 am

Plenty of people would steal if given the chance.
My mum had a bar of soap and a cheap (very old and very well used) face washer stolen her home by a ‘Helen’ guest. I know it was old and well used as it was mum’s favourite face washer that I had embroidered cats on when I was at school…so well over 30 years old.


Ajay March 13, 2017 at 9:30 pm

oh that is awful, regardless on monetary value, that washer was priceless in sentimental value.

(yes, I have one from my Nana, her and I cross-stitched it ‘together’ 30 years ago – ie: I did most of the stitching and she fixed it 😀 – but those double stitches are going to last forever!)


Ashley March 6, 2017 at 2:01 pm

Kind of makes me wonder if she’s stolen something weird from every house she’s visited?

Spiteful me would tell her she can have her phone charger back when she gives me back my drain plug.


Pat March 6, 2017 at 2:11 pm

When my BIL would come from California to visit and stay with us, I would let him use my car. When I would get up in the morning to go to work, the gas tank would be EMPTY. Not a 1/8 tank, not an 1/16th tank, but EMPTY. He would also trim his beard in the bathroom sink and not clean up the hairs. Needless to say, I stopped lending him my car but I was stuck with having him as a guest once a year. As for OP’s BFF, she should not have asked OP to entertain another guest – especially someone OP was only acquainted with. That put OP on the spot. Helen certainly fits my definition of “Guestzilla.”


Dee March 6, 2017 at 9:41 pm

But you’re not stuck with your BIL staying with you. I mean, he’s not breaking into your house against your wishes, is he? If you don’t like his behaviour but you still agree to have him stay with you then he’s not the problem.


Pat March 7, 2017 at 9:46 am

Sometimes you just have to put up with things for the sake of family. Otherwise, he was a pretty nice guy. He is now deceased and I laugh about it.


Dee March 7, 2017 at 6:16 pm

Tolerating family members’ annoying behaviour is different from changing your own to suit them. A family member who is a lousy guest who expects you to “put up with him for the sake of family” is not living by his own words – he’s not putting up with you and your needs. Guests do not have free pass to anything they want just because they are related to the host.

I didn’t accommodate my mother enough for her to want to stay in our house anymore so she chose to stay in a motel, and then chose to stop visiting altogether not long after. I had no obligation to bend to her wishes just because she’s family. My MIL has never been welcome to stay at our house. I have never regretted setting those boundaries and I’ve never had another opportunity to complain about how my mother and MIL behaved as guests, behind their backs, since I stopped allowing them to be bad guests in my house.


Calli Arcale March 7, 2017 at 12:21 pm

She may be agreeing to host him for the sake of family harmony, but enforcing reasonable limitations (such as no, you may not use my car). That seems reasonable to me.


Anon March 7, 2017 at 1:26 pm

Yeah, you should probably direct your BIL to a hotel at this point. You aren’t forced to have him and if your spouse is the one making you do it, then if they aren’t cleaning up BIL’s mess, then they should be.

Spouse’s guest = spouse’s problem.


heather March 6, 2017 at 2:35 pm

tell her she can have her charger back when you get your sink plug back.


EM March 6, 2017 at 2:36 pm

Goodness, that’s a heck of a house pest! I would pop that charger in the mail and consider it money well spent to never have to hear from Helen again.


Miss Herring March 6, 2017 at 2:39 pm

I would tell Helen that I would be glad to return the charger in exchange for the sink plug. If she doesn’t want to drive out, she is welcome to mail the sink plug along with a flat-rate postal envelope to allow return of her charger. If your best friend is sent to collect the charger at the time of next month’s meeting, the charger won’t be released without return of the plug.

You should warn your best friend that others may think less of her if she foists horrid Helen on them as she did you.


doodlemor March 6, 2017 at 3:22 pm

I’d be tempted to offer to trade her the sink plug for the charger, but I can’t think of any polite way to say it.

We had a moocher guest too. I should have caught on the first time she came, rampaged through the fridge early in the morning and ate the ethnic foods from the night before for breakfast. I had planned them for lunch, and she knew it. Actually, she ate everything in sight and then wanted more.

After her many demands during several visits I refused to host her again. She even bought plane tickets assuming that I would let her come, after I had told her No. Thanks to ehell I was able to stay firm.


THE OP March 7, 2017 at 3:49 am

This is the same person that created for fundraising accounts for herself after giving birth to a stillborn baby, posted it on every social media group possible (all of the yard sale groups, etc) and THEN a few months later is posting pics of her family of 5 on a cruise. She actually said, “thank you to everyone that donated towards funeral expenses, we used it for a much needed vacation”. (By the way, the funeral was free. I know this because I referred her to a funeral home that does burials free of charge for stillborn babies. The fundraising account was never for the funeral.) If I ever had any doubts about her after the sink plug incident, the gimme pig fake funeral fundraising incident sealed the deal for me. I see her exactly for who she is.


jokergirl129 March 7, 2017 at 7:19 pm

That is horrible! That is despicable of her to make a fundraising account and making it out that the money would go towards the funeral costs of her stillborn baby when in reality it was just a way to make money for a vacation. What kind of a person does that?! She took the death of her child and used it to make money and took advantage of people’s sympathy because most people would feel sad about a mother losing their child and it’s even worse of some of the people that donated went through a stillbirth themselves. Sometimes you can’t help but hate people like that because that is just awful.


NostalgicGal March 8, 2017 at 10:17 am

I had 8 miscarriages, you mean the world owed me a lux vacation for each one? (jaw is hanging). I hope everyone learned and is staying far away from this person (term used loosely). ‘The Nerve’ doesn’t begin to cover it.


Cat March 7, 2017 at 6:42 am

I would have been so tempted to give her what I intended to serve for breakfast to her for lunch since she had already had her lunch. “More cornflakes, Gladys? Banana?”


livvy17 March 6, 2017 at 3:39 pm

Wow. There are no words. I hope you let your BFF know some of this, so she can be wary in case “Helen” asks her for a favor in the future. Sorry she ruined what otherwise sounded like a nice visit with your friend.


TaterTot March 6, 2017 at 3:42 pm

You could offer to trade her phone charger for your sink plug the next time you see her at the next monthly conference.


stacey March 6, 2017 at 5:00 pm

Your first mistake was in allowing a stranger into your home. Albeit the gesture on your part was kind and well-intended, the aftermath turned out to be very unpleasant indeed! Suspend the hospitality loophole that can allow for a “friend of a friend” and stick with people who you KNOW will conduct themselves with reasonable consideration both for your person and your possessions. It’s also obvious that a follow-up conversation is in order with your friend along the lines of “how COULD you have invited someone with such poor judgement into my home? Your “friend” has been harassing us to drive her forgotten phone charger back to her AND that’s on TOP of the lack of consideration she showed in tidying up after herself over the weekend- or even in thanking us, for that matter. PLEASE ensure that anyone you agree to vouch for has consideration for us, too. We really feel quite upset over the whole debacle and would appreciate it if you’d have a word with her to the effect that her expectation that WE are her servants both for this last weekend and for any errands she wishes to assign is unreasonable and rude.” Then, cool the friendship for a little bit. It’s likely that your “friend” had some idea of the shenanigans that her “friend” can get up to (or at least a reasonable knowledge of her penchant for being high-maintenance) and she utterly failed to warn you, to shield you or to tell her friend to “knock it off” with the messes and laziness. Hope you don’t have any further annoyance over this!


Calli Arcale March 6, 2017 at 5:30 pm

Personally, if I were here, I’d ask you to mail the charger to you, and would send you a check to cover postage. I’m surprised that option never occurred to her.

Me, I’d either give it to BFF to give to her, or mail it postage due. (Can you still do that? If not, I’d use the cheapest rate available.)

Either way, you’re definitely well rid of her. I’d want to get the charger back to her just so I can comfortable write her out of my life.

Very weird about the sink plug. Who seriously steals a sink plug??? That’s totally bizarre.


Marie March 7, 2017 at 4:15 am

I would do it the other way around: “mailing the item will cost XX. If you transfer the money, I will be able to mail the charger to you”.

I highly doubt she’ll pay after sending it, so I’d ask for the money before spending it.
Also, you can up the price a bit to include the missing plug.


Anon March 6, 2017 at 5:45 pm

Totally not-good etiquette wise but…

Perhaps treat it as a hostage negotiation? “I’ll give you back your phone charger if you give me back the sink plug! We’ll meet in the parking lot at [restaurant] to do the exchange. You will not be getting the charger back until I have the plug!”


Kirsten March 6, 2017 at 5:46 pm

Stealing a plug seems like such a bizarre thing to do, are you sure it hasn’t just been misplaced? As for the phone charger, I’d have offered to post it to her.


THE OP March 7, 2017 at 3:43 am

I guess it’s possible but not likely. I’m a super organized person (borderline OCD). I know where things are in my house and never lose things. Also with this particular kind of plug you had to really work at it to get it out of the sink. Also, we’ve just moved from that house and it never turned up. Very bizarre.


Yasuragi March 6, 2017 at 7:02 pm

Stole a sink drain? Could she have dropped it somewhere and just left it? I thought my sink drain had spirited away but it fell back behind a gap in a shelf. Didn’t find it until we moved.


Mike March 6, 2017 at 9:24 pm

The correct answer here would have been, “What charger? Can you describe it? “, then, “You know I did notice one just like yours on Craigslist.”


NB March 6, 2017 at 9:26 pm

A word with your friend is definitely in order. Honestly, shame on her for even putting you in the position of having to host Helen. The appropriate thing for her to have done was to simply say, “I am staying with my friend, OP [Helen asks to come along], no, Helen, I do not feel comfortable imposing anymore on my friend. You will need to find accommodations elsewhere.”

Also seriously? Asking you to drive 140 miles to return a charger? You have asked her who she thinks she is!


Bea March 6, 2017 at 9:55 pm

LOL, I know she’s short on cash but when you forget something that’s important like a phone charger, you suck it up and you go buy the new cord. Even the convenience stores here have them, they’re universal now, she’s got a lot of nerve. I find it hilarious because it would make more sense to ask you to mail it to her! That’s so much cheaper than a tank of gas even in a really efficient car.


Rattus March 7, 2017 at 2:13 pm

Under no circumstances would I drive it to her, but had she been a decent guest I would go out of my way to mail to her. As she was not, if she wants it she come either come and do a porch pick-up (I would not have any interest in waiting around on her convenience) or she could send a courier, as her own expense.


BagLady March 6, 2017 at 10:45 pm

Time to have a come-to-Deity talk with BFF. She may be assuming that because you left the decision to let Helen stay at your home up to her this time, that decision remains in her hands for future conferences. Make it clear that Helen is no longer welcome in your home. The making messes and not cleaning up after herself would be a deal breaker for me, even without the missing sink plug and the unreasonable demand to drive the charger to her.

I find it hard to believe that Helen stole the drain plug. If it’s one of those stand-alone rubber ones, you can buy those at the dollar store. If it’s a “built-in” one that you raise and lower with a lever, those are hard to remove, and even if she did manage to remove it, there’s no guarantee that it would be compatible with whatever mechanism she has in her bathroom sink at home. My guess is that she either misplaced it, accidentally threw it out, or broke it and disposed of the evidence without bothering to tell you.

(I could be wrong — maybe she’s a kleptomaniac who steals random things for the thrill of stealing. But more than likely it just went missing in one of the messes she made.)

I definitely wouldn’t bring this up to the membership. This isn’t an issue for the organization — it’s between you and BFF and Helen.


abf March 7, 2017 at 12:09 am

In regard to “who would steal a sink plug?” I know it seems bizarre, but I had a similar situation. I participate in a group that gathers a couple of times a year for workshops & conferences. Same as OP mentioned, those who drive a distance sometimes share a hotel room to cut down on expenses. At one of the overnight workshops, I had a roommate that I was acquainted with but had never roomed with. Turns out that she was alot of “poor me” drama and lack of consideration for others. I just overlooked it and thought it was only for one night. After returning home, I found that I was missing a small travel sized cosmetic/toiletry item. I assumed I had just left it behind and didn’t think any more about it other than to put it on my shopping list to get another one. Several months later, while our group was making arrangements for the upcoming multiple night conference, my preferred roommates (roomed with many times, always get along well) and I were approached by our leader and asked if “Poor Me Drama Queen” could please room with us-she had put off making arrangements and was now rushing around looking for roommates. We hesitatingly agreed. Again, there was drama and this time it was worse because my snoring had ruined her sleep the first night and it went down hill from there. This time I was more careful to not leave anything behind. But guess what? The same exact cosmetic/toiletry item came up missing from my bag. I just couldn’t believe it – it was just crazy. It had hardly any value-maybe $1.50 at the most. I know I didn’t leave it behind. I made a point of putting it back in my toiletry bag the last time I used it all the while thinking “go ahead and put it up so you don’t leave it behind this time”. I vowed then (as did my preferred roommates) to never room with her again.


TakohamoOlsen2 March 7, 2017 at 1:58 am

I’d just take the phone charger to the next month’s convention and give it to her, or even the BFF.
Evil Takohamo would’ve rammed it down Helen’s throat and told all and sundry what she did at the house too.


Rebecca March 7, 2017 at 2:23 am

Do you have cats? I have had cats steal my sink plugs before.

Maybe she did steal it. My father had a “friend” (or more accurately, a person who glommed onto him and took financial advantage of him when he was lonely and vulnerable) who was definitely stealing things. All kinds of stuff went missing, and it was often piddling little things. I was living in the house and knew where stuff was kept, and I’d just finally replaced the kitchen scissors after going out of my way to get to a store that sold them. She came over one day when I wasn’t there, and after that I couldn’t find the scissors. Since this was a pattern, and nobody else had been in who’d have the opportunity to steal a pair of scissors, I was 99.99999% sure it was her. So I sent her an email that said,

“Oh, by the way, did you happen to accidentally walk out with a pair of scissors? It’s uncanny, but it seems every time you come over, there’s something I can’t find.”

She then forwarded the email to my dad, very outraged that I’d accused her of stealing. (Stealing? She said it, not me.)

There ARE people who steal weird items, and I think it’s called kleptomania.

Though in this case, I’d be willing to believe she was careless and tossed it in the garbage. As for the cell phone charger, I don’t even see why the OP should take time out of her day to package it up and mail it. If she’d been a good guest, then yes, but after demanding personal delivery? I’d not be inclined to do anything for her. She can pick it up or go buy a new one.


rindlrad March 7, 2017 at 5:18 pm

You must be a fellow cat owner, because I was wondering the same thing. It’s amazing the collection of “stuff” that our felines manage to bat under the coffee table, stove, refrigerator, couches, etc. One of those little rubber drain stoppers would make a great cat toy!


THE OP March 8, 2017 at 12:11 pm

No animals in the house. 🙂


Amanda H. March 8, 2017 at 2:22 pm

Seconding the “some people just take random loose things, often without thinking of it.” My husband lived in a four-person college apartment with three other guys the year before we got married. One of the four (not Hubby’s room-roommate, but in the other bedroom in the unit) was a kleptomaniac. Random loose items would just wander off from my husband and his room-roommate’s room without warning, and turn up later in the klepto roommate’s room. Klepto roommate always apologized and returned the items when caught. Hubby ended up buying a doorknob with a lock and key (the rooms didn’t come with them by default) and swapping that in for the duration of living there, and the random thefts stopped. Some people apparently just can’t help themselves.

Though given OP’s replies throughout the comments here, it sounds like the drain stopper is one of those attached kinds that raises and lowers with a lever, some of which can be hard to remove (though I’ve lived in houses with very easy-to-remove drain plugs like that). Sounds to me like Helen either stole it because she just does that, or ended up breaking it (possibly while trying to clear hair out that she may have rinsed down?) and hiding the evidence.


THE OP March 7, 2017 at 4:00 am

A word about my BFF. I think most of you are right to say I should have had a word with her. Believe me, I did! She apologized profusely. Neither of us had known this girl long and BFF was just beginning to see who she really was. (For more details, see the funeral comment I wrote above). Also keep in mind that the organization we are involved in is all about love and having an open heart. We just have to remember that not everyone deserves the open heart!

As for those of you that suggest I should have mailed the charger…I disagree. At the time I was saving for my wedding and was working an insane schedule. I had zero free time and definitely did not have free time to drive 10 miles to the post office and wait in an hour long line to have the package weighed and paid for. That would have been a huge inconvenience for me. I feel that if yiu leave something at someone’s house that you should be the one inconvenienced in retrieving it, not the other way around.

I have definitely distanced myself from Helen and so has BFF. She is an attention seeker and a drama queen and very inconsiderate of others. My mama always says when someone shows you who they are – believe them! I believe her!


Rebecca March 7, 2017 at 8:06 pm

I totally agree about not posting it – going to the post office is an inconvenience. For me it’s actually not that far, about 5 blocks away, but it would be one more thing on my to-do list and I have enough on my to-do list already. I’d do it for a good friend but not for someone who was a horrible guest and called me up demanding things. There’s an easy solution to not forgetting things when you leave a place: don’t scatter your things around, and look around you when you’ve finished packing up right before you leave. I always go back to the rooms I’ve been staying in after I’ve removed my suitcase, and look around. Check the electrical outlets for any kind of recharger, check the bathroom, check the shower stall, look in the closet and drawers (if you used them) and look under the bed. Shake out the bedding. All of this takes about 2 minutes, result: I don’t leave things behind. If I did, I would certainly never expect it to be delivered to me.


NostalgicGal March 8, 2017 at 10:28 am

I travel with one bag just being tech toys and all their attendant stuff. I made some holders/carriers/bag rolls that have a slot or catchall or pouch for everything. (they don’t look like much but I made them purposebuilt). So EVERYTHING has a place and everything must be in place before I depart. On the road it has a home and rollcall happens. (one trip I lost the strange little adapter for my stylus and that put an end to it being used very quickly, that thing doesn’t hold a charge long–that precipitated the effort to make the gear organizers). Last trip I shared room and we both had techtoys, I actually brought a powerstrip with spacing for wallwarts and slots for USB charging cables. We sorted out how many of each we needed, and at packup I started filling my organizers and we found and properly claimed all our stuff back. (1 laptop, 2 tablets, 1 stylus, 1 netbook, 2 slabphones -and who owns these earbuds)


Kay_L March 7, 2017 at 5:08 am

Your phone charger? I’m sorry, I don’t see one around here. My sink plug for the guest bath also went missing. Maybe it’s poltergiests.


Rebecca March 7, 2017 at 8:07 pm

And Kay_L for the win!!


Cat March 7, 2017 at 6:37 am

You have learned an important lesson-to say, “I am sorry, but my hospitality extends only to those people I have invited, not to those who invite themselves.”
A fellow teacher invited me to his home to watch a movie. Another teacher called and asked me to do something with her. Without thinking, I said, “I can’t. I’m going over to Fred’s to watch a movie.” She said, “Oh, that’s fine. I’ll just come with you.” Uh, no, you were not invited.
People do that sort of thing because we allow them to get away with it. The only way to stop them is with the word no.


Cleosia March 7, 2017 at 8:36 am

She doesn’t care how much it costs for the gas and time because it wouldn’t cost her a dime! You don’t seriously think she’s going to reimburse the gas money.

She may be used to getting her way because people will do it just to shut her up!


NostalgicGal March 7, 2017 at 10:01 pm

This. Life is full of these. If you don’t believe me, go through the last few months of posts and all the Speshul Snowflakes that throw a horrible fit in public (at a store or the like) to get their way.


stacey March 7, 2017 at 1:27 pm

Reading through the replies, it seems like many people have had one or more experiences with clueless or unkind house guests. The part I wonder about is the “have to” language we are all prone to use when excusing ourselves for putting up with nuisances. In terms of family, friends and others, one really DOESN”T have to put up with such annoyances on an open-ended basis. For resolution, the person with the primary relationship should be the spokesperson or fixer. (So- if you have a picky in-law, then their closest relative of the hosting couple should be the first line of defense for setting and adhering to good boundaries.) If one partner is just fine with bad behavior on the part of their friends and relations, then they should also be the ones providing hosting, transportation and clean-up services. (I’m willing to bet that cleaning up the messes of their own errant nearest and dearest literally or symbolically will encourage more proactive setting of good boundaries ongoing.) All that said, if anyone is abusive or inconsiderate to you in your own home, they don’t deserve an opportunity to repeat the behavior. Spouses or roommates who fail to understand this and act in accordance with it may find themselves single….


Steph March 7, 2017 at 1:43 pm

I’d go out and buy a new sink plug and then mail the charger in *that* box. It’s more subtle than an outright hostage negotiation, but still gets the point across that you know she took it. If she didn’t take the sink plug then she would just assume you’re reusing a random box for the shipping. Either way, she should provide for postage.


abby March 7, 2017 at 2:36 pm

Wow, I have to pick up my jaw off the floor. She stays with you for free, eats your food, (I am not convinced she stole your plug though), and then leaves her phone charger behind, and she feels that YOU are obligated to drive 140 miles round trip at the last minute because of her mistake? She didn’t even offer to meet you halfway somewhere? (Not that you should even have to do that, but it would better than what she asked!). She wants to sit at her house and wait while you deliver something she left behind? Wow. just wow. That is right up there with the dad on the bus that demanded someone hand over their phone so the dad’s daughter could play games on this complete stranger’s phone, and then called her rude for not doing so.


NostalgicGal March 7, 2017 at 3:08 pm

By now I’m betting the next meeting is coming or past and best thing would have been to wait until then then give Helen back her charger. Sink drain plugs aren’t free but ignore that part. As long as Helen never gets the chance to step back into OP’s place, it’s all moot. Hand back the charger and wipe hands of it. It’s not as much drama now as it was then.


Cat March 8, 2017 at 8:41 pm

This reminds me of a joke. A woman’s son invited her to his place for Thanksgiving to see his new condo. When Mom arrived, there was a young woman in residence too.
Mom asked son what his relationship was with this woman. Her son explained that the condo was too much for him as he was occupied with his job. She was his live-in housekeeper, cook, go-for, laundress, etc and not a romantic attachment.
Mom said nothing more. Son was an adult. They had Thanksgiving dinner and the next day Mom went home.
The housekeeper said to the son, “Have you seen the sterling silver gravy ladle? It was here at Thanksgiving dinner, but now I can’t find it. Do you think your Mom took it?”
Son called Mom and said, “Mom, I am not saying you took the sterling silver gravy ladle; and I am not saying you didn’t take it. I am saying that it was here when you were here; and it’s gone now.”
Mom replied, “Son, I am not saying your housekeeper is sleeping in your bed; and I am not saying she is not sleeping in your bed. I am saying that, if she were sleeping in her own bed, she’d have found the sterling silver gravy ladle.”


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