Dear Snarky – HoCo Dress Drama

dear_snarky_logo-1Dear Snarky,

My daughter, who is a junior in high school, let a friend borrow a fancy dress for Homecoming and when the girl returned the dress it was a hot mess. Not only did she bring it back wadded up in a ball and stuffed in a plastic shopping bag, but she left the bag on your front porch in the rain!!!!

Then when I took the dress out of the bag it had a stain and the back zipper was broken. I was furious so I told my daughter to call her friend and tell her she needed to either get the dress cleaned and repaired or reimburse us for the cost of the dress. The girl ignored my daughter so I called the mom. The mom totally blew me off and said, “she doesn’t believe in helicopter parenting” and was letting her daughter “deal with it” and then hung up.

I’m so angry I’m researching if I can take the family to small claims court. Is this the way to go?

Signed Furious,

Dear Furious,

I understand your dress rage, but I hope some of your angry is directed at your daughter. Yep your daughter, because she has some of the responsibility for this fashion fiasco. Did your daughter have your permission to loan out what I’m guessing was an expensive dress? Did your daughter take into consideration the character of the person she was loaning the dress too? And has your daughter really try to get her “friend” to do some sort of dress triage or is she letting you do all the heavy lifting?

As for dealing with the girl who borrowed the dress and her family please do not waste your time on small claims court. It’s not worth the emotional price tag.

What I would do instead is use the dress as a teachable moment with your daughter on being a better judge of character and to rethink her friendship with a girl who has zero problem taking advantage of her. I would even open it up to a bigger discussion about why your teenager would let someone treat her in such a disrespectful fashion. I would also tell your daughter she’s out of the clothes lending business – permanently. 

Yes a dress was ruined, but in the end the discussion you have with your daughter maybe even more valuable. She’ll be in college soon and before she segues to the “what’s mine is yours” free for all that can be dorm life she needs to know the value of saying, “no you can not borrow my belongings.”

* If you have a question for Dear Snarky – “21st Century Advice With an Attitude” email me at or private message me on my Snarky FB page. 😉