Ms. Mensicus: My husband borrows my car and brings it back with no gas. He’s like a teenager. What’s going on? Yes, I have arthritis – OA. But people with arthritis have real problems, too, so please  don’t throw this away. Runnin on empty.

Dear Runnin on empty, What a pain! It is especially frustrating when someone does not seem to care if you go through the added effort of filling up the tank each time the arrow approaches “E.” Depending on your geographic location, this time of year could prove even more difficult for you because of the ice-cold air affecting your OA. Without making any assumptions, if you have not already approached him about this matter, do it. Remember that communication is extremely important and can usually solve some of your most basic problems. If this applies, it could be your most simplistic solution. But if you have brought this issue up with him countless times, you might need to take more drastic measures. Take the keys hostage if he does not fill up – although this could make him upset, he might cave and agree to do his part if he can’t find the key chain. If he happens to be extremely price sensitive, find a reason to switch over to premium and make sure you announce it! He might assure you that you never have to fill up the tank again!  Alternatively, if you can manage to calculate how much gas you use, you could fill up exactly how much you will need to make your trip before he gets the car, forcing him to purchase gas to get where he needs. The function of filling an empty tank should be a shared responsibility, so encourage him to do his part and you’ll do yours.–M