Recently, a friend came over and took me to lunch. She has a small, 50-year-old vintage car that was very popular in the '60s. She had come from Marin County over the Golden Gate Bridge to my house.
As she drove us to the restaurant, her car stalled twice. It was underpowered and, in my opinion, rickety. After she dropped me home, I sent her an email strongly expressing my concern that she is driving an unsafe car. I was worried for her safety. She took offense, so I apologized.
She has plenty of money to buy a safe used car like anyone else, but she says, "I like driving vintage." I don't want to get into her car again. Was I wrong to tell her I felt her car was unsafe?
- Nervous passenger in Frisco
DEAR PASSENGER: You weren't wrong to warn her. However, you may have been wrong to assume that she has "plenty of money to buy a safe used car." Nobody has as much money as others assume they do. Because you don't want to get into her car again, you should provide the transportation from now on or meet her at the restaurant.
Doesn't want to raise her neighbor's kids
DEAR ABBY: My across-the-street neighbor and I have become friendly. She has a 15-month-old and a newborn. Not only is she not married to the baby's daddy, but they don't even live together.
She has been asking me to help her a lot now that the baby is born. I'm 10 years older and raising three kids, all in their teens.
Abby, I don't want to raise anyone else's kids. How can I politely tell her that I have my own family to care for? She has a tendency to overreact.
- Keeping Distance
DEAR KEEPING DISTANCE: To tell your neighbor you "don't want to raise anyone else's kids" may be accurate, but it's a bit rough. When she asks you to do things for her, be pleasant and say - consistently - that you are busy, you don't have time, you have other plans, etc. If you do, she will soon realize that you are not to be depended upon.
Is it OK to ask for honeymoon cash?
DEAR ABBY: My son has lived overseas on and off for six years. He's getting married to a wonderful young woman where they met, in Wales. Needless to say, not everyone can attend, so we are having a reception for them in the States.
My son already has a fully furnished house overseas and doesn't need anything, plus the cost of taking gifts back would be astronomical. Anyway, he is thinking of asking for monetary help with the honeymoon. Would this be all right to do and, if so, how do you ask people for it?
- Help for the Honeymoon