DEAR ABBY: A few months ago, I offered to help a longtime friend with some landscaping. The area to be landscaped is tiny. I was concerned a professional landscaper would overcharge her. She contacted a landscaper anyway -- not to hire him, but to pick his brain.
When he arrived, it was obvious he didn't want the job, and she didn't offer it to him. She took me up on my offer. She then procrastinated for a couple of months, during which time I got busy on other projects. But I carved out time for her, and we sat down to look at her project. She confessed she had no experience with landscaping and plant selection, and she needed my help with that, too.
After she pooh-poohed the most viable suggestions I offered, we proceeded to look at plants -- LOTS of plants -- none of which she liked. After a few frustrating hours, she mentioned she'd just plant what she had originally thought about planting. I told her if she did that, she did not need my help. She told me I needed to be more patient, and had she known I wouldn't help her she would have hired the landscaper after all. (It wasn't true. She never had any intention of hiring him.)
I told her she needed to be more decisive, and even though she had told me she needed my experience, she wasn't accepting of it. She also couldn't see that she had wasted hours of my time. We've barely spoken since. So, am I in the wrong here? -- GREEN THUMB IN TEXAS
DEAR GREEN THUMB: No, you are not in the wrong. No good deed goes unpunished. Consider yourself lucky that you have barely spoken since. And then do not broach the subject again unless you want to experience more frustration.