Dear Urban Diplomat,
My partner and I recently had friends and their two boys over for dinner. While we ate, the kids played in the basement, and one of them threw the other into the wall, badly denting the drywall. The parents seemed vaguely embarrassed but mostly amused, and didn’t offer to pay for repairs. We’re incensed. What should we do?
—Double Income, Definitely No Kids, Davisville
The parents should have offered payment, which you, as polite hosts, should have refused. Since neither of those civilized responses were forthcoming, you now have two choices. The nuclear option is to send them the repair bill. Do this and you won’t ever have to worry about them coming over for dinner again. In addition, you’ll gain a reputation among your circle of friends as a tactless tightwad. Option two is to opt for restaurants or their place for future engagements until such time as the boys are no longer expected to accompany their parents to dinner parties.
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