I can see it both ways. Yes, this woman is taking advantage of the OP, but at the same time, I'm afraid that at some point, I'm going to end up in that woman's shoes. See, I have a spatial disability as a result from being born a breech birth--when I was born, not only was I about five weeks premature, I was also stuck feet first in my mother's womb, with the umbilical cord wrapped around my neck twice, which cut off the flow of oxygen to the left side of my brain, and almost suffocated me. If it hadn't been for the doctor who woke up in the middle of the night and rushed into the hospital to perform an emergency C-section at 2 a.m., I would have either died, or grown up severely mentally retarded, or as a complete vegetable. So, I'm extremely grateful to him.....but, the fact remains that even a "medical miracle" in 1984 doesn't guarantee perfection, and in my case, it didn't. Although the right side of my brain works a bit better than most people's, I've always been horrible at almost anything athletic (fine, I haven't had to do team sports since grade nine), I can't do math (also fine, I stopped taking that after grade eleven), and I'll likely never be able to drive a car. It sucks, but again, I'm really grateful for what I *can* do, thanks to that nice doctor who took the time to get out of bed and do the right thing. Every time I play my clarinet, or write another poem, or finish a painting, I think of how I wouldn't be able to do that if it hadn't been for him.
So, when I make plans with my friends, they always have to pick me up and drop me back off at home, if there's a distance involved, and I've had to ask for (and been freely offered) rides at times when I had no alternative. However, when I'm completely on my own, I know I'm going to make every effort to not have to rely on others, because I don't like it any more than they do. So, I'm going to try to live within walking distance of places I visit often (the gym, the music store, and wherever I end up working), and be familiar with the bus routes in the area.
The thing is, I know there *will* be emergencies at times, though, and I'd hate for people to think less of me for having to ask for a hand in those cases. But, I plan on reciprocating as best I can, by maybe inviting the people who help me out over for dinner, babysitting their kids, bringing them Powerade and Halls when they're sick, or just whatever they'd like best.