DEAR MISS MANNERS: We live in Florida near the beach. How do I handle a guest who sits on my furniture with suntan oil or a wet swimsuit?
This is our home, not a hotel, and we want to keep our furniture nice. It is amazing how many people actually do this.
GENTLE READER: Yes, but while Miss Manners has a certain sympathy for your situation, she cannot allow you to declare a public preference for furniture over the comfort of your guest. This is what got us into the great Shoe vs. Flooring debacle of this generation -- and you are not going to get Miss Manners to budge on that.
"Oh, let me put a towel down so that you don't get stuck to the seat" would be the polite deterrent. And while perhaps not strictly accurate, it should be enough of an indication of what you're truly protecting for your guest to understand that there is a problem.