DEAR ABBY: I am a 16-year-old girl, and I'm having a conflict with my mom over my car. Her car broke down and she needed to use mine, which is completely understandable, and I agreed. However, I have a work schedule I have to stick to, and I need my car to get to and from. I pay all the bills for it, and the title is in my grandfather's name.
I asked her to let me use my car to get to and from work and for Valentine's Day with my boyfriend. She seemed extremely upset by it, and now she and my stepdad continually tell me that should she EVER need the car, I have to give it to her.
While I understand she needs it to get to and from work, and I'm willing to be flexible so she can, her demand that I not use it the entire time hers is in the shop (majority of this time is on a weekend when she's not working) is completely unacceptable because I also have responsibilities.
How do I help her understand that while she can use it for work because that is important, when I need it after her work hours, I should be able to use it because I pay for it? Must I just suck it up and let her continue using it (putting my relationship with my boyfriend at risk and possibly having to walk five miles to work in bad weather) or tell her the days I need it are absolute, and since it is my car, I will be using it? -- CONFUSED IN MISSOURI
DEAR CONFUSED: While I agree with the concept of "yours" and "mine," there are times when family has to pull together.
On the grand scale of things at this point, your mom's responsibilities as an adult are more important than your love life. If your boyfriend thinks so little of you that your being carless on a special occasion will destroy your relationship, then that relationship isn't destined to last forever.
If lacking access to your car means you would have to trudge five miles in bad weather to and from work, ask your stepdad or your grandfather if -- in an emergency -- one of them can transport you. But do not attempt to lay down the law to your mother, or I guarantee you will not like the consequences.