Q. We are still in shock about the state the two newlyweds in their late twenties left our $150,000 house, which was lent to them for their honeymoon. We'd left several bottles of liquor on the tiered shelf behind the Jacuzzi in the bathroom. We suggested that they feel free to help themselves. There were at least 10 bottles of top-grade liquor, plus a case of beer in the kitchen.
We wouldn't have minded finding empty bottles after their two-day, one-night stay, but there was no sign of the bottles anywhere in the house. I'm sure if someone had broken in, they would have taken these, plus the stored case as well, in a convenient cabinet. So burglary was ruled out. There was also no sign of a break-in, which I had pointed out to the groom as an occurrence not too many months before.
The house was in beautiful condition, beds made, covers folded, etc., but the area was swept clean of bottles left out. Only one empty liquor bottle had been left on the kitchen sink.
Suddenly, the 35-year friendship with the parents of the groom went down the drain. This was something I could not mention to his parents without causing a rift after all these years. It would be as shocking to his parents as it was to me. The groom's mother is very honest, as I am sure the father must be. The bride has impressed us as a lovely girl, as did her family, and theirs was a church wedding. The groom had been gentlemanly in every way when he was growing up.
It doesn't seem worth mentioning this to our friend (groom's mother). Neither mother nor son seemed to be heavy drinkers. Would our solution to this be to have no liquor on hand if there is a repeat performance? My husband has brushed this aside, but because the mother and I have been friends since college, I am deeply hurt and confused. Do you have some advice for us?
A. Indeed, Miss Manners always has some advice for everyone; when have you known her to send anyone away with empty ears?
In your case it is that people who lend their houses to newlyweds are not supposed to speculate as to what takes place while they are there. You got your house back in perfect shape by your own testimony, except for an item to which you expressly invited your guests to help themselves.
P.S. What on earth do you suppose they did? Drank it all at once themselves? Invited 40 friends in to share their wedding night? Packed it in their car with plans to support their married life by opening a liquor store?