To say no to my friend using my shower?

(58 Posts)
HugeLaurie Tue 26-Feb-13 16:30:17

One of my closest friends lives on the same street as me. Her boiler has broken down probably 10/12 times over the last year. It was last fixed a week ago and broke again on Saturday evening.

Each time the boiler has broken over the last year it has been out for two to three days at a time and every time it breaks she asks me to use my shower, either in the evening after I have finished work or before I go to work.

Unfortunately she doesn't just shower and then go home. For example last night she came for a shower and stayed for two hours before she even had her shower. I said that after she had washed I needed to go to bed because I was tired (it was 10.30pm) and she said she wanted a cup of tea before she left, which I made for her. She left at 11.45pm.

I am always in a rush in the morning and have to get me and my son ready for work and school and I haven't got the time to accommodate her showing in the morning.

She has just text me asking if she can bring a bottle of wine over tonight and use my shower again. I have said no, it's not convenient tonight, but I feel guilty. Very guilty.

My boiler has broken several times in the past and I have had strip washes, boiled kettles etc to make sure my son can have a shallow bath and wash his hair.

AIBU to say no if it's not convenient?

lashingsofbingeinghere Tue 26-Feb-13 16:32:33

Tell her to get a new boiler! FGS no one's boiler breaks that often surely.

lashingsofbingeinghere Tue 26-Feb-13 16:34:47

Also (sneaky thought) she isn't just saving money is she?

HugeLaurie Tue 26-Feb-13 16:35:00

Unfortunately the house is rented. Her landlord has a homecare agreement with British Gas but they can't seem to fix it on a long term basis. It has packed up four times in the last two months or so.

manticlimactic Tue 26-Feb-13 16:35:31

No YANBU! She wanted a cup of tea before she left? WTF? Did you ask if her kettle was broken too?

Wrt the bottle of wine. Say of course and when she gives you the bottle say 'Ooh that will be great for this weekend, so kind of you to get me a thank you gift'.

You need to tell her straight.

Nancy66 Tue 26-Feb-13 16:36:44

you aren't being unreasonable...BUT if you say no to tonight she'll prob ask if she can use it inthe morning.

Shinyshoes1 Tue 26-Feb-13 16:38:20

Why does it break so much . She needs a new boiler , unfortunately they don't come cheap

Difficult one , as long as she can use yours she is going to be in any rush to get hers fixed .

I wouldn't say no completely but that's just me . But I'd certainly wouldn't let her use it all the time .

As a friend I'd be inclined to let her use it SOMETIMES but enough to let her know she needs to get hers fixed

noisytoys Tue 26-Feb-13 16:38:34

At first I thought YABU thinking it would just be a quick shower for a friend but she is taking the piss and it will get worse. She sounds lonely

Jibberoo Tue 26-Feb-13 16:38:48

sorry but YBU - she's a friend so help her out. Just be more forceful when it comes to her staying longer

NinaHeart Tue 26-Feb-13 16:38:56

Tell her your shower has broken from overuse.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Tue 26-Feb-13 16:39:28

Ooh I was all ready to say that you were being unreasonable, but she is taking the piss.

Has it really broken or is she just looking for some company? The cup of tea thing is weird, surely the boiler being out doesn't mean she can't boil a kettle??

NinaHeart Tue 26-Feb-13 16:39:48

Or help her compose a stern letter to her landlord demanding a new boiler.

StickEmUp Tue 26-Feb-13 16:40:09

It's never unreasonable to not want someone to use your stuff.
However, it seems a little bit mean. Staying for tea and wine, maybe she is lonely as well.

I feel pretty sorry for her really.

That said, how well do you know eachother?

I also think about the strip washes, that's all very self sufficient but other people do have the nouse to ask for help too.

DontmindifIdo Tue 26-Feb-13 16:41:45

You need to either say no or give her time slots - you are doing her a favour remember.

coldcupoftea Tue 26-Feb-13 16:43:58

You just need to be more upfront about it- I would be inclined to say yes, but only if you come between 7 and 8 as I have to go to bed/go out/ insert appropriate excuse!

HugeLaurie Tue 26-Feb-13 16:44:58

No, she's not lonely. She's very happily married. Her DH is a paramedic so he showers at work.

Every time the shower has broken she has used mine. Every day. I have never said no before but it's just becoming too much. I really don't want company every night. I have said previously that she can come and shower if it's quick, because I'm busy etc but it always turns into a long chat with a cup of tea or wine and I'm not getting anything done, for example housework etc.

Plus, I want to spend time with my son. I work full time and I'm also a single parent so time is always in short supply. I hardly see my son as we don't get home until six and he goes to bed at eight. If she is there every night then I don't get any time with him at all.

Please don't get me wrong here, I love her to bits. She is lovely. But it's getting to be every night when it breaks down, which is a lot at the moment.

lashingsofbingeinghere Tue 26-Feb-13 16:45:02

Her problems should not be your problems. Help her write a stiff letter to the LL demanding a new boiler. In the meantime perhaps make it clear to your DF that this is happening so often you can't accomodate her any more and she needs to make alternative arrangements - as you yourself have managed to in the past.

StickEmUp Tue 26-Feb-13 16:45:15

Sorry I see the bit more clearly about this impinging so much on your life.
I ask for help and might be the friend in this scenario (as in I would do what she has done) but not over stay my welcome and I would ask humbly.

She doesnt sound like she is doing either very well.

If I asked this and someone said to me 'sure please use, but be aware the last couple of times it impinged on my life, and I can't have that happening again.' with a smile

doctorhamster Tue 26-Feb-13 16:46:19

Can you tell her to come for her shower at 6 (or whatever) and that you have to go out at 6.30 so she will need to be gone by then?

She also needs to give her ll hell...she clearly needs a new boiler!

HugeLaurie Tue 26-Feb-13 16:49:33

I said to her last night that I can help out and I'm more than happy to help out but that her landlord can't rely on me always being around so that she can shower at my house. It isn't always convenient. Her landlord has actually given her notice over this issue as apparently she is being a pain by complaining about the boiler. She is in the process of buying a house but realistically there could be another two months of this.

I have tried saying you can shower if you just shower and then go home but it never happens and I don't want to upset her by telling her to hurry up.

HugeLaurie Tue 26-Feb-13 16:50:27

doctor - she works until seven so that's not possible I'm afraid. I have to wait in until she arrives.

Viviennemary Tue 26-Feb-13 16:52:43

I too was ready to say YABU. But you are certainly not. She needs a new boiler not all this messing about. She is putting on you too much. A one off is OK and most people would do that for a friend but not all the time. She could use the showers at the local swimming baths. But it is going to be hard telling her no. But all this bottles of wine and staying for hours. That's just cheeky. Best compromise she has to be in and out in 20 minutes as you're going out or having guests round.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Tue 26-Feb-13 16:55:33

You have to wait in until she arrives?

Fuck that.

Ruprekt Tue 26-Feb-13 16:57:31

I would turn off the phone, close the curtains and go to bed. Really I would. Ignore the calls completely and pretend to not be in!

Alibabaandthe40nappies Tue 26-Feb-13 16:57:48

And good luck to her landlord renting the place out without a properly working boiler!

almostanotherday Tue 26-Feb-13 16:57:59

I think your friend might just want some company and is using your shower as part of an excuse.

Is she lonely or has something important she wants to talk about?

HollyBerryBush Tue 26-Feb-13 16:58:40

If she is that good a friend, can't you give her the key?

And, if you are that close surely she wouldnt take offence at 'use the shower by all means, but I want you in and out in 20 mins, I'm tired tonight'

GhoulWithADragonTattoo Tue 26-Feb-13 16:59:16

I would tell her not to come around until after your DS is in bed then it doesn't impact your time with him. Then say I've got lots of housework to do so I'm afraid I won't be able to chat but happy for you to shower quickly.

I would help her out but if it's a regular thing she needs to realise it turning into a long chat isn't on as it's stopping you getting on. Perhaps you could be embroiled in some paperwork or housework and not be able to stop.

The fact she is moving out so shouldn't have this problem for very much longer would also make me more inclined to help her out. It's not good enough from her landlord though.

As for the long chats do you think she feels bad about using you as the local baths so feels she has to make it more of a social thing. Perhaps repeat you are no offended by her going quickly as you have things to do.

Willow36 Tue 26-Feb-13 17:01:02

Hmm, difficult. First thought was YABU but that'd piss me off too.

I'm wondering if this is about more than just a broken shower though. I think she may want the company too. Are you sure she's "happily" married?

Anyway, I think to be a good friend you should allow her to use your shower but just say "Look, I'm really ok with you using the shower but I've had a tough day/not feeling 100%, I need some quiet time on my own so it's fine for you to use the shower but tonight I'm not in the mood to chat/share a bottle of wine" If she's a good friend she'll be so grateful you've let her use the shower and she will understand how you feel.

Unless she has the skin of a rhino. grin

WeAreEternal Tue 26-Feb-13 17:03:22

If she is a close friend I would just be brutally honest.
I'd say that I am happy to let her use the shower but I don't want her staying for ages because I'm tired and not feeling sociable at that time of night.
If the tries to start talking before her shower just tell her to go and have her shower that you are too busy mumsnetting to talk and don't engage her. After her shower just tell her to go home. If she ask for a cup of tea tell her to get one at home, you are wanting to get to bed, can have tea and a chat at another time.

If she is your friend you can afford to be a little rude, after all you are doing her a favour.

GrowSomeCress Tue 26-Feb-13 17:05:20

That is a difficult situation sad

Can you possibly sit her down next time and talk to her about it, maybe mention how tired you are and how she needs to be quick?

Stinkyfeet Tue 26-Feb-13 17:05:25

Could it be that she would feel rude by just using your shower then buggering off? Maybe feels she has to stop for a chat to justify it.

Goldmandra Tue 26-Feb-13 17:06:09

You could let her use the shower but carry on with the housework. She would be free to follow you round and chat while you got on with the things you need to do.

You could even rope her in to help with some things like drying up or folding sheets.

You'll get more done and she might not want to stick around so long. Tow birds with one stone if it works smile

expatinscotland Tue 26-Feb-13 17:10:48

FFS, where do people meet all this piss takers? Her boiler isn't broken, she's getting free showers on you.

Repeat after me, 'No, this doesn't work for us. You need to make other arrangements.'

The end. Over and over.

QuickLookBusy Tue 26-Feb-13 17:13:43

I think she should tell the LL she isn't paying her rent this month unless a new boiler is fitted. 12 times in 12 months is very unreasonable.

On the other hand are you sure she's telling the truth?
We have home Care with British gas, they always fix our boiler problems and when they couldn't they actually told us we needed a new boiler as they couldn't get the parts any more. It all sounds a bit fishy to me.

kalidanger Tue 26-Feb-13 17:16:08

it always turns into a long chat with a cup of tea or wine and I'm not getting anything done, for example housework etc.

Mate, this is your fault. You say one thing, do another. She's obvs quite hard-headed to ignore you but if you're rolling over EVERYTIME then I suppose I don't blame her. You're friends, right? As far as she knows you're having a lovely time.

Just how upset would she be if you say "25 mins only. I've got stuff to do"? Are you scared of her?

EuroShaggleton Tue 26-Feb-13 17:18:53

I'd let her use the shower but just be firmer "sorry I don't have time for a cup of tea/glass of wine tonight, I need to get on with X." And the guide her towards the front door.

mathanxiety Tue 26-Feb-13 17:19:01

I have been in the situation of taking up a neighbour's very generous offer of her bathroom for my family (including loo) when my drains all backed up on a Friday afternoon and she and her family were heading off for the weekend. We each took a 5 minute shower on Sat, and Sun and I left a bottle of hooch for her and her DH and cleaned her bathroom. Plumber arrived at mine on Monday and sorted things out. I felt I was really overstepping the bounds of neighbourliness using her bathroom but she wouldn't hear no (and our alternative was to head to the library every time we needed to use the loo).

I suppose my point is that this friend doesn't understand what the word intrusive means (or she has some sort of massive loneliness problem or her heat isn't working either).

Is her boiler really broken or has she stopped paying her bills and been cut off several times? I don't think a LL can evict someone because they are complaining about faulty house basics.

kalidanger Tue 26-Feb-13 17:23:34

I guess if the LL knows she's leaving soon he's not bothered about fixing the boiler properly? It's not right, but it explains it, I guess.

Plumpcious Tue 26-Feb-13 17:37:17

If her boiler isn't working then presumably the central heating isn't working either? So perhaps she prefers to spend the evening in your warm house rather than huddling around an electric heater in her own cold house.

Yotamsrazor Tue 26-Feb-13 17:37:20

YANBU. I think I'd let her have a shower but when she rings to ask, give her a time to come round. When she arrives, tell her she won't be able to stay on afterwards or whatever, because you are expecting guests/going out/going to bed/feeling tired etc etc. It's a bit more complex because if it's rented property she can't just sort the boiler out herself, once and for all. I'd be withholding my rent though if it were me, until the landlord replaced the knackered article.

HugeLaurie Tue 26-Feb-13 17:51:52

Thank you for all of your responses. Without outing myself completely the job she does depends on her having a clean credit rating. If she gets a CCJ for non payment of rent then she won't be able to work. Plus she is getting a mortgage so doesn't want to jeopardise that.

The LL has no intention of sorting the old boiler or replacing it. She has told my friend that she is going to sell the house when she moves out.

I know that the boiler isn't working properly because three weeks ago I went and sat in her house for two hours to wait in for the British Gas engineer. So I know she isn't making it up.

I am more than happy for her to use my shower a few times a week, just not every day. I am quite blunt and have told her to bugger off because I'm tired but then the same thing happens the next night and so on. I know it's shit when you are cold and have no hot water but it really is getting me down. I have said no for the first time in a year and I feel bad.

NeverWinsMNComps Tue 26-Feb-13 17:54:27

What Plumpcious said--It's bloody freezing outside and if the heating is also buggered, it will be really unpleasant at home. If that's the case I'd take pity on her.

letseatgrandma Tue 26-Feb-13 17:55:00

Grow a backbone! Did she stand there and say, 'I'm not going until I've had a cup of tea!'? Does she open your fridge and start pouring out wine?

mathanxiety Tue 26-Feb-13 17:56:43

How about complaining to the LA about her basically uninhabitable rental house then? Don't LL's have responsibilities? Good luck to the LL trying to sell a house without a boiler in good working condition.

Did the engineer ever show up the time you went and sat in her house for several hours?

Pagwatch Tue 26-Feb-13 17:58:00

Can I say - my boiler is broken and I have no water but, more importantly i am fucking freezing
Is she hanging around at yours because her house is really cold?

I am managing without going to anyones house but I am spending ages in cafes etc rather than being at home.
It's is bloody miserable but I woukdn't impose on people like she is.

HugeLaurie Tue 26-Feb-13 18:03:00

Yes he arrived, took the boiler to bits and put it back together again. He said it was a crappy make of boiler and was on its way out.

She isn't lonely honestly. We went out on Friday night, went out for dinner on Saturday evening (big group of us) and on Sunday she went to dinner with her in-laws. I have basically said that I can't help tonight but I have sorted out another friend to let her use her shower.

teacherandguideleader Tue 26-Feb-13 18:08:59

I was going to post about the heating too. A few years ago my boiler was out of action for the entire winter and my landlord refused to accept there was anything wrong with it. The temperature inside my house was 5 degrees. You couldn't stand in the floor without shoes as the floor was so cold. I used to stay at work until they kicked me out and would go home and get straight into bed under 3 duvets with a coat, hat and scarf on. I couldn't sleep properly as it was so cold. No one came to visit me as my house was so cold no be could stand it.

I joined the gym (an expense I couldn't afford) just so that I could have a shower each day as I didn't have anyone to ask if I could have a shower (and no one offered despite knowing my predicament).

As much as I appreciate its a bit much for you, if its only for a bit longer I'd bite my tongue. Unless you've lived for any period of time in the winter with no boiler you have no idea what it's like.

greenandcabbagelooking Tue 26-Feb-13 18:11:48

Can she go to the pool/gym to shower? I alternated between that and borrowing a friend's shower when ours broke.

BreadForMyBREADGUN Tue 26-Feb-13 18:15:25

She's one of your closest friends and its only going to be for another couple of months. She's taking the piss a bit, but I bet she doesnt even realise it bothers you.

What's she like if you need a favour from her?

oldraver Tue 26-Feb-13 18:19:26

Well I would give her a time its convenient ie after your son has gone to bed and you have had time to yourself but specify you are going to bed at x time (even if its a fib).... give her a time frame of half an hour

kalidanger Tue 26-Feb-13 18:22:11

I don't understand why you can't talk to herOP She's your closest friend!

I would say "Sweets, it's always lovely to see you of course and the shower is at your disposal but just come in for a shower. I've got DC and stuff to do and can you just run in, use it and run out again? We'll do XYZ at weekend but I like (most of) my weeknights quiet"

It's not hard. You didn't confirm whether it not her being 'upset' is actually scary or not...?

HugeLaurie Tue 26-Feb-13 18:38:00

God no! She is lovely and not at all scary! She just doesn't seem to appreciate the fact that I can't sit night after night waiting for her to come and then spending two to three hours chatting and waiting for her to shower. I have told her this but it doesn't seem to register if you see what I mean.

As for helping each other out, she spent two weeks living with me when she split up with her first DH. She helped me after I was burgled. I have sat with her until all hours talking when she was being bullied at work. She is a very, very close friend and I love her to bits. Hence not wanting to upset her. I just want a night to myself tonight. That's all.

saulaboutme Wed 27-Feb-13 10:50:19

Ruprekt, good idea. Bet any money she will hound you down though and not understand what the problem is.
OP she isn't listening to you, some people just don't listen. It's not convenient for her to use your shower any more and mainly because she is intruding and overstaying her welcome. You don't want to upset her, but why should you be upset?
Can't stand people who overstay their welcome!! (See recent posts)

Animation Wed 27-Feb-13 10:54:48

Well if you've established that the boiler really is broken - as I think you have then I'd persevere a bit longer if she's cold and unshowered. Been freezing weather for days now.

MummyPig24 Wed 27-Feb-13 11:02:29

Yanbu! My landlord also has a home are agreeing with British gas, our boiler went twice since Christmas and he arranged for a new one to be put in last week. Tell her to sort it out with her landlord!

KindleMum Wed 27-Feb-13 11:12:45

I'm deeply curious about how British Gas price Homecare packages as we're in a similar position to your friend - we're renting a house as we've sold ours and are buying and doing up our next home so renting in-between. Our boiler has broken down 4 times since we moved in in November and looking at the Homecare record, it is over 25 years old and has been breaking down regularly for a long time now. THe LL thinks he's being reasonable as BG come out within 24 hours each time, and to that extent, yes he gets it repaired, and that's good. But to my mind, the premium he's paying must be too cheap if he'd rather have the boiler break down every 5-6 weeks rather than get a new one. Sometimes they're here for 3 hours fixing it.

We're not that bothered as this is strictly temporary for us, but we've just managed when it breaks down, we haven't bothered friends - and I have a 5 and 2 yo in the house.

Animation Wed 27-Feb-13 11:13:14

Yes she does need to sort it out with her landlord. She obviously likes you and your company a lot - I get that impression. smile

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