DEAR MISS MANNERS: We are lucky enough to own a vacation house in a highly sought-after locale (think island house) and we enjoy having visitors. However, the utilities are a bit delicate. Water is limited and somewhat expensive, and our septic system can be finicky.
We try to explain the situation to family and friends, and most are absolutely great. One person, however -- part of a couple -- is completely oblivious. I chided that I might need to skip running the dishwasher one night after an outrageously long shower (we have an easy on/off switch on the showerhead), and their response was "oops."
Another year, we were presented with a stack of huge beach towels (ours are certainly adequate) "to give an indulgence" to the house. I worry about how to wash them and about our lack of storage space. Shipping them home seems silly.
Now that the COVID-19 crisis might be lifting, I'm sure the innocent half of the couple will notice a cessation to invitations compared to others in our group. (Anyway, with social media, there is no privacy.) Advice on a graceful solution?
GENTLE READER: Not inviting them back is the graceful solution.
What you need from Miss Manners is an answer when either half of the couple asks how they have offended you. The graceful response is surprise and denial, to which you can append the innocent observation that you did not think they ever felt entirely at home in your old house with its rickety heating and piping.