Dealing with a Nosy Nellie

Dear Ms. Demeanor:

I have a friend who likes to know how much I pay for things. It is particularly annoying when after I have bought something new (like a computer) she wants to know how much I have paid for it. I am not looking forward to telling her that we have bought our first house; I am sure she would like to know how much. I wouldn't mind so much if she kept the information to herself, but unfortunately she is a big gossip. In the past I have tried to ignore her question, but at times this isn't possible. What do you suggest?



Dear Henna0:

You'd think people would get the hint when they're out of bounds. When that happens to me, I usually say, "I don't remember." In the case of your new house, you'd be a ditz to forget such an expenditure, so that won't work. You can always say: "What a personal question! Why would you ask that?" That, one would hope, will stop her in her tracks.

If all else fails, say something like: "We're really pleased that we were able to do it. Frankly, we just don't discuss such personal matters outside ourselves." Period. No apology.

She might be an extreme busybody and look it up in the public records. When confronted with that, just smile brightly and say, "Yes! Isn't that wonderful?" Then drop her from your list of friends.


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