General Question

MissAnthrope's avatar

At what point is it considered rude to not have my pan returned?

Asked by MissAnthrope (21399 points ) June 27th, 2008

I have some relatively new neighbors, I’d say they’ve lived there a month or two. Don’t know them very well, but have chatted a couple of times and they seem pretty nice. The other day, one knocked on my door and asked to borrow a baking pan and basically said she’d return it right away.

We’re on day 3 now, still no pan, even though I have seen them come and go multiple times.. even passed them on the stairs yesterday, and no word about the pan.

So I’m wondering at what point is it considered rude they haven’t returned it, and I can knock on the door and get it back?

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33 Answers

flameboi's avatar

Do the fine thing! prepare some lemonade, and go and knock at her dor, have a glass of lemonade w/her and ask your pan back a while after, mention that you’ll cook something over the weekend, you’ll have the chance to have a casual chat about the weather and the neighborhood, being a fine, nice neighbor is important :) and, it’s only 3 days, she won’t freak out, shel think that you are nice and cordial

Seesul's avatar

I would just go over and tell that you need to use it soon to prepare something and were wondering when will they be finished with it. If they have just moved in, they’ve probably forgotten all about it.

jballou's avatar

Flutherers have a lot of passive aggressive answers to questions like these for some reason.

They probably just forgot. Knock on their door and ask for it back. It’s not like they’re trying to steal it from you.

Seesul's avatar

I think it is a little less embarrassing for the both of them if she says she needs to use it, rather than just asking for it back. Sometimes passive aggressive is kinder than just coming right out with it, for BOTH sides.

If she was a confrontational person, she wouldn’t need to ask how to go about it.

MissAnthrope's avatar

3 days isn’t such a long time and I’m not afraid to knock on the door or anything.. it’s just when she said she’d have it right back, I was expecting to have it right back. Basically, I just want to know what everyone feels is an appropriate length of time to give them the benefit of the doubt (allowing them to save face and return it themselves) before I go over and ask. :)

jlm11f's avatar

I agree with what the others said about them forgetting. They are still probably trying to settle in. Even if they weren’t new neighbors, forgetting such things is very easy. Last year me and my neighbors exchanged cooking supplies ALL the time. We never had track of who had what, so we would always be asking each other “hey, did i return the….?” etc. It’s not a big deal. 3 days isn’t a long time per se but since she did promise to return it back soon, it’s longer than what she intended to borrow it for. So just go over, ask them how they are doing and say “oh btw, are you done with the pan? i wanted to use it”. she might be embarassed for a second but assure her that if she ever needs it again she should feel free to ask. i personally don’t consider this method “passive agressive”. humans in this day and age are busy and forgetful people. it’s no big deal and it’s the normal way of life.

Seesul's avatar

PnL put it better than I did, go over anytime. I wouldn’t ask for it when passing on the stairs, etc. because they may forget again. Go directly to their door. No hard feelings that way and you will have it back.

marinelife's avatar

Just to play devil’s advocate, once I got my pan back, I would have some qualms about lending to these folks again. It might be all sweetness and light like PnL says, but there are neighbors who are very one-way about this sort of thing and use it as an acquisition tool (Why buy when you can “borrow”?). Alena D has no way of knowing which kind these are.

(BTW, I like flameboi’s method, which is not passive aggressive, it allows both parties to save face. It is the purpose of etiquette—to oil the passage of social intercourse.)

cheebdragon's avatar

Just ask for it back…

cheebdragon's avatar

no need to make it all dramatic

scamp's avatar

cheeb said it all!

cooksalot's avatar

I usually give a week then “I have to make something that needs it” so I’ll ask IYKWIM.

MissAnthrope's avatar

I’m the least dramatic person ever.. it’s not about drama. I’m often curious as to what other people would do (I should start up a website asking my random questions). That’s all.

edmartin101's avatar

just knock on her door and say: “I’m sorry to interrupt you, I know you are probably too busy to remember…..” she will not let you finish your statement and go back and get your pan back. This is a straight forward approach, yet polite…so no hurt feelings

jacksonRice's avatar

i think if it’s been long enough that you’re wondering, it’s time to get it back.

jlm11f's avatar

@ Alena – did you ever get the pan back?

MissAnthrope's avatar

Haha.. yeah, I waited a week and they made no move to return it, or even acknowledge that they still had it.. so I went over, asked if they were through with it, and got it back. I think next time I may say I don’t have whatever they want to borrow. :P

charliecompany34's avatar

when you need that very pan to cook whatever cooks best in it.

Cruiser's avatar

I always make up something truly dramatic so they have no choice but to give back on the spot. Tell them your cat is about to have kittens again and that you always use that pan as the birthing pan and it will be like any day now….and you will be glad to borrow it back after the blessed event.

JLeslie's avatar

3 days is nothing in my book, it would take me two weeks to start feeling like a lot of time is passing, during the holidays I might even give it longer.

You can always take advantage of Christmas, and call her to say you need the pan to prepare one of your Christmas Eve dishes, so she gets a move on and returns it.

MissAnthrope's avatar

So, I know that 3 days, even a week, is not that long. I have OCD, emphasis on the O, so I have some brain weirdnesses. I couldn’t stop obsessing about the pan. I think it was because I knew they were going to knock on my door at some point and my brain was being driven crazy by the anticipation. I mainly wanted it back so I could stop thinking about it.

JLeslie's avatar

Oh. Well, it is not worth driving yourself crazy about it. Just give a knock at the door. Or, slip a note under the door, leave your phone number, and ask if you can get it back by Thursday. They’ll think you need it for something, and you still give them a day or two to return it at their convenience. :)

Kayak8's avatar

I am sorry to hear how this turned out, I was just sure they were making you a lasagna or something…

MissAnthrope's avatar

Hahaha – I wish!

Judi's avatar

A lot of well meaning people become airheads with stuff like this. Don’t take it personally, just go over and tell them you need it back. It has nothing to do with rudeness, it’s just forgetfulness most likely.

downtide's avatar

If she said “give it right back” I would say the appropriate time is next time she sees you. If that time has already passed then I would suggest just knocking on her door and asking for it back. But be nice about it. As everyone already said: moving in is stressful and she probably just forgot.

AmWiser's avatar

Although 3 days is not a long time to have someone’s pan (it could still have leftovers in it in the fridge), I would suggest going over to retrieve your pan on the pretext you need it to prepare another dish in it.:-)

JLeslie's avatar

She may have tried to return it, and you were not home. We don’t know she has not tried, do we?

MissAnthrope's avatar

Here’s the story..

I asked this question about 2½ years ago. I got my pan back. :)

Why this arrived in your “Questions for You” (and I’m sorry about that)... Today, I needed to pull a question of mine for testing purposes. Things were being buggy and I also wanted to see something else. I picked an old question, thinking no one would notice, but completely forgot that after being re-published, it gets sent out as QFY.

If I had remembered, I would have picked a much more fun and interesting question. :P

Again, sorry about that.

AmWiser's avatar

No apology needed. I had wondered too why it showed up in my QFY, but I answered it anyway and gave it a GQ, and woohoo, I got an award for answering an old question. So, thank you!

Judi's avatar

I didnt even notice how old this was!

JLeslie's avatar

I didn’t notice how old it was either. No problem :).

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