Apartment Sitting … Plus One?
My husband and I relocated to another city for work. His brother agreed to look after our apartment until we decided whether to sell it or rent it. After we left, my brother-in-law asked my husband if he could bring his girlfriend from another city to stay in our apartment for an unspecified period. This made me uncomfortable: He still lives with his wife, though he claims they sleep in separate bedrooms and plan to divorce. But I like his wife, and I’ve never met his girlfriend. I said no. Now, my brother-in-law is furious with me. Should I relent?
It’s not unreasonable (or prudish!) to refuse your brother-in-law’s request to let a stranger use your apartment — as a love nest or otherwise. It’s your home; you and your husband get to decide who stays in it.
This question becomes even easier (for me) given the amorphous state of your brother-in-law’s marriage and the likelihood of awkward gatherings with your sister-in-law in the future. Let him find a place on Airbnb for his girlfriend! Of course, unless you have security cameras, you’ll probably never know if they use the apartment anyway.
Snip No More
During the pandemic, I’ve been giving haircuts to people in my pod. I’m not a hairdresser by any means; I’m just good at following YouTube instructions. One friend has been so happy with my haircuts that she said she won’t have to go to her stylist anymore. Now that my friends and I are fully vaccinated, how do I tell them nicely that my services are no longer available?
The next time a friend asks for a haircut, just say: “I’ve hung up my shears for now. It was a lot of pressure not to mess up.” Or, tell them you’ve joined the ranks of celebrity stylists who charge many hundreds of dollars (some as much as a thousand) for a chop. Either approach should take you off the hook.
For help with your awkward situation, send a question to SocialQ@nytimes.com, to Philip Galanes on Facebook or @SocialQPhilip on Twitter.