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How Comfortable Are You Lending Things To Friends?

Beg, Borrow, Steal — Where Do You Draw the Line?

In college I had a friend who liked to "borrow" my clothes. I use the term loosely because we had very different interpretations of what borrowing meant. The first time it happened, I came home to find my roommate wearing my sweater, walking around our apartment as if nothing was out of the ordinary. The only problem was she had never asked whether or not she could borrow, or rather wear, the item — hence my surprise at seeing her in my clothes.

From there, things only escalated. While I told her I would really appreciate her asking whether she could wear or use something of mine, she didn't really get the message. Instead of asking me directly, I'd come home to find a Post-It note detailing what items she'd selected from my closet that day, something like: "Hey, just so you know I borrowed your red sweater and black jeans today. Hope that's O.K." To me, that didn't really seem like asking permission, but decided to let it pass and not make too much of it. That all changed when her sister came to visit and left with a few of my clothing items in tow. I didn't realize they were gone until I received an email from her the following day promising me she'd return what she'd "borrowed."

To see how I dealt with the borrowing drama, read more.

The email finally pushed my limits. I might have been O.K. with a roommate borrowing clothes, but a visitor taking clothes from my place and toting them with her on her way out of town wasn't something I could handle. So, I confronted the situation head on. My boundaries weren't being respected, but I hadn't made that clear because I was too afraid to make a big deal of it. Lesson learned — these were my clothes, I paid for them, and while some girls share no questions asked, that wasn't my style. I had to speak up, and finally, laid out some ground rules for how clothes might be borrowed or used — with my explicit consent.


It might seem extreme, but in cases where your comfort level is being tested, in any situation, you have to know your boundaries and make sure those around you know and respect them. Now, I want to know, have any similar experiences? When it comes to borrowing — where do you draw the line?

Join The Conversation
fakeplanettelex fakeplanettelex 7 years
ooooooooh big pet peeve of mine, and glad i don't have roommates anymore (bf doesn't count because he knows better :D) a previous roommate of mine took a pair of red flats that were 1) brand new and 2) i was going to wear them that day. i couldn't find them and then she came home and was like, "oh sorry, i borrowed them" i'm like REALLY. i don't mind sharing clothes depending on what the item is, but shoes are a absolute no. she then ended up stretching the shoes. did not make me happy. :/
paperbugg paperbugg 7 years
nope dont share EVER. dont quite get the concept of it. Its a germy pet peeve of mine. that and like someone other than me sleeping in my bed. If it made u uncomfortable in the first place I would of said something or else they will walk all over you and start having her sister/stranger use your clothes, letting them stretch them out. i understand your not confrontational, me too...except this. I would just tell her to stop completely for her to really "get it" or put a lock on your door.
brindey brindey 7 years
I am a big sharer. In college I used to dress up my friends in my clothes for dates and I let them all know that they could borrow stuff at will out of my closet as long as they returned it. In grad school, I gave each of my tropical-transplanted friends a bag of warm clothes to use for the entire winter. (They were from Miami, Vegas and Austin and didn't have proper clothes for Syracuse, NY.) I have absolutely no qualms in sharing- as long as I get it back in the condition I gave it to them, in some sort of a timely fashion. But that is me offering. If someone that wasn't in my close circle of friends went through my closet and took stuff without asking, I would be super upset.
kimmieb124 kimmieb124 7 years
I'm actually not that big on lending out clothes at all to anyone. I'm pretty non-confrontational as well and for me it's easier to avoid being in a situation where a confrontation could become necessary over a ruined or lost item. My sister-in-law and I shared maternity clothes, but that is where I draw the line.
DeMaria482 DeMaria482 7 years
She doesn't get it and you better off telling her that she cannot borrow it. She stepped out of the line because she allowed her sister to borrow it too and IMAGINE if her friend comes over and borrow??? And suppose her friend borrowed and never bring it back?? My advise is Tell her to go to salvation army store that way she will have more clothes and will never get bored with her outfits.
pandacn pandacn 7 years
I would think that "borrowing" only with explicit consent shouldn't have to be set out in ground rules. It's just common sense...
kismekate kismekate 7 years
Oops. I was totally that roommate stealing my other roommate's clothes. They would get pissed! Haha. Understandably, though. I'm just the kind of person that wouldn't mind if I came home and they had gone through my closet.
skigurl skigurl 7 years
I'm also not the kind of person who appreciates someone going into my room and taking my stuff without permission. I would freak if I even knew someone other than my mom or sister was even in my closet, even if they were only looking. My sister has borrowed stuff without asking, and I've done the same (even long distances, and I've even lost some of her stuff) BUT I would ONLY do that with's almost a running joke, but honestly my sister and I are pretty much the same being so it's NOT THE SAME AS A FRIEND OR ROOMATE! In terms of roomates or friends doing that, I would be beyond angry, but I'm also non-confrontational so I would have trouble saying something. But in your position, I'd have to speak up. There are certain people who are okay to lend stuff to, because they care for your items and return them in good condition, but I am very particular with my clothes, and many people do not treat their items the same way I do. For example, if I'm lounging around the house, like your roomate was doing in the story, I am NOT wearing a nice sweater. I would never watch tv in something nice...I like to change into something casual as soon as I get home to save my clothes and keep them looking new. So if I found she was just wearing my sweater inside the house (as opposed to outside where people would actually see her) I'd be very angry. It's just not my style to do that. and I have many stories of my friend's roomates taking stuff without asking then breaking or losing the things - one time she even took jewellery from her roomate's room only to find out the roomate had borrow it from ME and then LOST IT! of course I never saw a replacement item. but of course I just quietly stewed on it. But thankfully it's never happened bad to roomies were always fairly good. The sister and roomate in the story above seem like real pieces of work though. Obviously their mother never taught them manners!
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