Tilting the scales of goodwill and friendship

My kids and I were having a talk about friendship. Real friendship is always 50-50 on the give and take. The minute it’s out of balance, the relationship is in jeopardy.

I bring this up because my hippie roommate has revealed himself to be a taker to the nth degree. He never learned the rules of friendship. Either that or he is simply an entitled socialist at heart. If he needs something he takes it. No one else is using it, why not? There is nothing of his I want so I don’t go asking him for things, or taking things of his assuming that the friendship allows such a thing.

He is moving back to Europe in a few days. That should be a sad thing, but his welcome wore out several weeks ago. He has broken my dishes, eaten my food, used my car, filled the garage to the ceiling, demanded of me for rides all over town and doesn’t offer anything in exchange. He doesn’t offer to replace, fill up the tank, ask for permission, work with me on compromises. He just moves through, fulfilling his agenda.

He sat down with me yesterday. “I think we should talk about what we need from each other before I leave.” I told him, I have no idea what you mean, what needs are you thinking of? He needs: a ride to sell his car, me to conduct a garage sale after he leaves, me to forward his mail to Hungary and pay his bills if anything comes up, me to work with a professional organizer to sort his things in storage, me to find that professional organizer and contract him/her, me to find an accountant to prep for his taxes for last year, me to care for his dog which, after four months, he hasn’t begun to look for a permanent or temporary home. We didn’t get back to me and what I might need, because after that long list, I did think of something I needed: to hurt him.

There ought to be a way to nip this kind of thing in the bud. But this bud has gone full blossom and I’m afraid it’s too late for me to alter it’s development.

Interestingly, at dinner last night, his girlfriend offered to give us their tent. A tent they had to buy because I was so thoughtless as to not have one they could borrow. You could see by the look on his face he didn’t want to give to us. He hesitated. So now I really wonder….

How quickly can I move him along?


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