Dear Annie: I am a single older woman who has been friends with another single older woman for a few years. Neither of us has family, so I have sort of come to think of her as family. A couple of years ago, this friend started riding motor scooters. She loves it and waxes enthusiastic all the time about it. I had thought about getting a scooter before I even knew her, and I finally told her I would be interested in finding a scooter for myself. I knew nothing about scooters, never even sat on one, so I was relying on my friend for advice.
Before I even had a chance to look for a scooter to buy, my friend announced she had found the perfect scooter for me -- and purchased it!
The cost of the scooter was several hundred dollars. When I first saw the scooter, I thought it was a piece of junk, but my friend said she had a friend who was going to fix it for me and all would be wonderful. I had grave doubts and tried to get her to take the scooter for herself, but she wouldn’t hear of it. And I convinced myself that maybe I should give it a chance. I felt a little guilty that she had laid out the money, so I paid her for a scooter that I didn’t want and hoped for the best.
Well, over $1,000 later, the scooter was towed to the junkyard. I am angry with myself for being such a moron, and I am angry with my friend for throwing me into such an expensive mess.
I know she meant well, but she really messed me over. For someone else to assume she could indebt me for such a sum is mind-boggling. I know I have a choice -- lose a friendship or forgive her and go on with a lesson learned -- but how can I forgive someone who doesn’t think she has done anything wrong? -- Betrayed
Dear Betrayed: It is ridiculous that your friend bought you a scooter without even asking you and expected you to reimburse her. Let her know that though you appreciate her passion about the hobby and her wanting to get you involved, that wasn’t OK. Then I would write this unfortunate situation off as tire tracks under the bridge and move on. In other words, forgive, but don’t forget.
The next time someone crosses a boundary like that -- well, don’t let it happen. You don’t have to pay for anything you didn’t agree to buy in the first place.
Dear Annie: I enjoy reading your column daily, but your response to the senior woman who is considering moving away from her children leaves me wondering.
You suggested that before making plans to move, she talk to her three grown kids and ask why they are not speaking to one another. So far, so good. But then you suggested that she “repair those roots.” Do you really think a parent can do that? I think a parent can encourage grown kids to try to make those repairs, but beyond that, there is little more the parent can do.
The writer did not mention any efforts on her part to spend time with her grown children and grandchildren. I was a bit disappointed that you did not encourage this woman to make phone calls, send cards and invite her children and grandchildren to her house more.
My two daughters, who used to be close, are presently not speaking to each other. They have both told me their sides of the story. This hurts me immensely, but I have no idea what I can do to help. (If any of your readers have any ideas, Annie, I would love to hear them.) -- Relating
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