Invite Only: Preventing drop-ins at your personal pool

by epi on February 27, 2012

Q: We are planning on having a swimming pool installed in our backyard. We are anticipating that kids (and perhaps some adults) may become more friendly and look for invitations to come swim. We want to be generally friendly, but what is the proper etiquette as a pool owner when kids (or adults) stop by and ask to go swimming with us (and we want to say ‘no’)?

A: You may tell your neighbors, friends, relatives, etc. that you want to be friendly but that you have a “rule” – swimming is by invitation only and ask for their cooperation and understanding. If someone still stops by and asks, you may simply say you rather they wouldn’t. You don’t owe them an explanation.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Victoria February 28, 2012 at 9:17 pm

A pool is considered an attractive nuisance, that present both an irresistible lure and hidden danger to youngsters. Don’t forget to fence it and make it impossible for stray kids to fall in and drown.


Sally Brown March 11, 2012 at 2:53 pm

We have a party every year, and invite mostly the same people. For the last couple of years one of the guests has behaved badly. I am not planning to invite her this year. Last year when I was late sending out invitations she called to ask why she was not invited.
What would you recommend?


Just Laura March 11, 2012 at 5:37 pm

Since she had the gall to call you and put you on the spot about it, some may feel that you are entitled to gently (and briefly) explain why she wasn’t invited (“Jane, remember last year when you had a bit too much wine and told Betty how bad she looked in her dress, before yelling at Tom for taking the last shrimp?”). That would be an honest friend’s approach, which would give her a heads-up on her behavior.

However, if you aren’t very good friends, I suggest keeping it simple: Tell her this year you scaled back and planned a smaller get-together. No other explanation would then be necessary.


Country Girl March 12, 2012 at 11:48 am

You say that last year she called to ask why she was not invited, but I assume since you said you were late getting invitations out, that she actually was invited last year?

Since you are planning not to invite her this year, at least you can prepare yourself for the possibility of a phone call. Laura’s suggestions are perfect, however I would warn you to consider that if she has the gall to call you on not inviting her, she may also have the gall to try to persuade you to invite her despite your reasoning. Ie. if you tell her it is because of her behavior, she may promise to behave better in order to still get an invitation. That may be all you are looking for in order to extend her an invite, but if you simply don’t want her there at all, I would consider giving her a more irrefutable answer.


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