DEAR ABBY: I am a day-care provider working out of my home. Most of the children I watch belong to friends. One friend -- I'll call her Jodie -- announced that she was quitting work and would no longer need me to care for her infant son.
Then Jodie had a family emergency and asked me to baby-sit for a few hours. She had five other so-called emergencies over a two-week period. She left her child here about five hours each day, during my normal working hours.
My question: Should Jodie have offered to pay me for the time her son was in my care? My husband calls me the Good Samaritan and thinks Jodie took advantage of me. I say we're friends, and I wouldn't have taken the money anyway. What do you think? -- GOOD SAM IN NEW JERSEY
DEAR GOOD SAM: I think you have been a sympathetic friend and Good Samaritan long enough. You are also a businesswoman who deserves to be paid for her services. It's time to draw the line -- and don't feel guilty for doing so. Jodie may be a friend, but your husband is your BEST friend.