Older sister

Dear Queenie,

  I have an expensive vacuum cleaner that my sister keeps wanting to borrow. I keep saying “no” but I think she borrowed it anyway when I was away for a few days and she was looking after the house and feeding my dog.

  She can’t afford to buy one of her own and now she wants to borrow it again.

  Queenie, how do I say “no” and make it stick? And how do I keep her from borrowing it if I have to go away again?—Older sister

Dear Sister,

  You could let your sister borrow the vacuum cleaner, but give it to her without a bag and tell her she will have to buy her own vacuum-cleaner bags – and ask her to take out the bag when she is done so you will not have to clean up after her.

  And if you think she might borrow the vacuum cleaner without your permission while you are away, you may have to find someone else to look after your house and feed your dog.

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