DEAR ABBY: I have never written for advice before, but this really bugs me: A friend and neighbor of ours borrowed a very expensive gardening tool and broke a part on it.
My husband, "Walter," and I have always believed that when you break something you have borrowed, you repair it, get it repaired or replace it. Our neighbor brought the tool back and told Walter what had happened, but made no offer to pay for the repairs. So far, Walter has spent more than an hour on the phone trying to get information on repairs and parts. He'll have to travel at least an hour (there and back) to purchase the parts, and has been told they will cost at least $40.
When Walter approached our neighbor about the problem, the guy responded, "I don't have a problem!" Then he reluctantly offered to pay half the cost.
Walter is afraid that if he presses the issue, he'll lose this friend. Abby, I'm married to a nice guy, but I think he's being played for a sucker. I told Walter that if it were my tool, I'd have it repaired, forget about getting reimbursed, and never loan anything to this neighbor again.
We've been married almost 50 years and never had a problem like this before. All our friends have been real friends. I contend this neighbor is no friend, only a user. However, he is a neighbor, so that complicates the matter.
Is there a solution I'm overlooking here? -- MRS. NICE GUY
DEAR MRS. NICE GUY: No. Your gut reaction is right on target.