How Not to be “That Guy” When Invited to Use a Neighbor’s Pool

published Jul 18, 2016
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(Image credit: Monica Wang)

Among such blessings as an in-law with a rent-controlled apartment and a friend with the same shoe size, you’re truly lucky to know a warm neighbor with an even warmer pool. Here’s a short guide to navigating this social minefield with grace—five basic rules that ensure you don’t blow it.

Know Their Offer is Not an Empty Promise…

You’re reading this because, at some point, your neighbor suggested that you could come over to use their pool this summer. Here’s a translation of what their offer means: They’d like to have you over. It’s that simple. You’ve passed their creep test over the weeks (or months, or years) they’ve known you, and they might even want to get to know you better and perhaps even become friends.

…But You Can’t Show Up Unannounced

They want to have you over, not bankroll your summer activities. Treat their offer like any other invitation: RSVP. The next time you run into them say you’d like to take them up on the pool time and arrange a way to get in contact with them.

(Image credit: Jacqueline Marque)

Offer to Bring Over Snacks or Drinks

Once you’ve arranged a good time, make sure you don’t show up empty handed. They’re providing the pool, so you should offer to bring some burgers to grill or a cooler full of beers.

Bring Your Own Towels and Toys

As you’re packing the cooler for your neighbors day out, pack a beach bag, too, with anything you, your partner or your family might need while you’re there. The last thing you want to do is leave your gracious hosts with more laundry.

Keep an Eye on the Kids

If you are bringing kids (or pets), you’ll want to keep an extra close eye on them. Pools can be a dangerous situation, and your neighbor’s pool might not be equipped with the safety equipment (and the full-time lifeguard) that a public pool has. An injury—and the resulting insurance claim—would be a quick way to introduce weird vibes and sour gossip into the neighborhood.

So stay safe, have fun, and make sure that before you leave you set up a time to do it all over again!