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by Abigail Van Buren

Different Political Views Bring on Family's Scorn

DEAR ABBY: I'm a 25-year-old woman who moved in with a friend, "Natasha," who is also 25, after her boyfriend of seven years kicked her out three months ago.

One of the conditions of my moving in was that I'd get to use her car for work and errands because I'd be moving out of my mother's house and had shared Mom's car.

Well, I accidentally spilled a drink in Natasha's car while I was using it, and she revoked my privilege to drive it. I'm looking for a car of my own, but I have already spent a great deal of money to move in with Natasha and help her in her time of need.

I understand that the car is Natasha's property, and she can do with it as she pleases. But I'm concerned that she went back on her word so quickly into our living situation. She has now started leaving me nasty, belittling little notes and is scathing with her choice of words. She refuses to talk to me and will communicate with me now only through writing. I'd like to take the high road, but I'm having a hard time finding it.

Until now, I enjoyed living with her, and I don't want to end our arrangement. How can I have backbone but still be a good friend and roommate? -- STRANDED IN A SMALL TOWN IN ILLINOIS

DEAR STRANDED: Because of the way your roommate is acting, it may not be possible. While I can understand Natasha being upset about the drink you spilled in her car, it appears she has gone a little over the top -- unless there are other things about you that also make her angry. (Was the vehicle cleaned to her satisfaction after the mishap?)

It would be helpful if you could have a frank, face-to-face discussion. You need to hear what's on her mind, minus the nastiness. If she is unwilling, then you should look for other living arrangements as soon as possible.

P.S. Wouldn't it be interesting if the reason for her change in attitude is a desire to reunite with her boyfriend?