Enterprise-Record (Chico)

Offer of rides turns into taxi service

- Contact Amy Dickinson via email, askamy@ amydickins­on.com.

DEAR AMY >> About five months ago my friend “Stacy” fell on some hard times. I offered her rides to her job so that she could save up for another car, as her transmissi­on went kaput.

Stacy has been very good with reciprocat­ing favors, contributi­ng gas money, buying us groceries, etc.

Reciprocat­ion isn’t my issue. But my husband and I seem to have become a permanent taxi service for her.

Now it includes rides to the store and to run errands related to her job.

I just learned that

Stacy is going on a week’s vacation to visit a friend.

I immediatel­y stated that she would need Uber to get to her friend’s place because my husband won’t do inner-city driving.

I’m all about helping someone for a temporary period of time, but now I feel like my whole life revolves around Stacy’s needs for transporta­tion.

Now that she is going on vacation, it occurs to me that she could have had a replacemen­t car by now.

I don’t want to lose a friendship, but I want our lives back!

What’s the nicest way to end our taxi service?

Appreciate any suggestion­s!

— Tired of Driving in


DEAR TIRED >> You might start with a question: “How’s your search for a new car coming?”

No matter how “Stacy” responds, you should say: “I’m giving you a heads up, here. We’ve been happy to help you out, but it’s been six months now and our transporta­tion help is going to stop at the end of the month.”

You should not have to invent an excuse or a reason for this, but it might help you to keep a statement in your pocket: “We hope you can find a working vehicle. If you find one you’d like to look at, we’d be happy to take you to a car lot.”

It sounds as if your town has people who use their cars for “ride hailing” purposes. This might work for Stacy until she can get another car.

DEAR AMY >> “In Need of a Pet” was looking for advice about whether to adopt a cat or a dog. You should have advised this person to volunteer at the local shelter!

At the very least, In Need should foster before adopting.

— Animal Lover

DEAR ANIMAL LOVER >> “In Need of a Pet” described having extreme social anxiety, so I’m not sure if volunteeri­ng would be realistic, but I agree that fostering before adopting is a great way to help animals and to also gain experience.

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