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by Abigail Van Buren

Friend Who Threatens Suicide Has Tragic Example in Her Past

DEAR ABBY: I appreciate frugality, especially now that we all have to watch our spending. However, my neighbor is incredibly frugal. She often asks if she can "borrow" something instead of buying whatever it is she needs.

Her latest request was for socks -- yes, socks! -- for her daughter's dance recital. I put socks in the same category as underwear, something a little too personal to be lending out. Before that, it was leggings, a CD -- the list goes on and on. She always returns the items, but enough is enough!

I work, she doesn't. I feel as though I'm expected to provide for them because I have a job. I don't know if I should say anything to her about her constant borrowing or simply say "no" to all future requests, which, of course, there will be. Please share your thoughts. -- WHAT NEXT?

DEAR WHAT NEXT?: If your neighbor isn't working because she chooses not to, then say no. If she's not working because she hasn't been able to find a job -- a circumstance in which millions of people in this country find themselves -- then treat her as you would want to be treated if you were in her shoes.