I'm usually good at this sort of stuff but I don't know how to handle this situation. I'll start from the beginning.
About 2-3 years ago, a good friend of mine, Henry, stole a grinder from another "friend" of his and gave it to me. I didn't want it at first but he convinced me to take it as he was "only going to throw it away" because he wouldn't be able to use it in front of the other "friend". Not being directly involved with this situation or the other "friend", I then took the grinder and used it myself for the next year and a half.
Fast forward to about 6-9 months ago, Henry and his "friend" are no longer friends and he decides he wants this grinder back. Now, Henry has been a really great friend to me and although I thought that asking for a gift back is pretty damn rude, I decided I'd give it back to him and buy myself a new grinder. I ended up buying the same model, which cost me €45.
It didn't bother me to buy a new one because I had plenty of money at that time. It did bother me that he asked for it back, but because Henry can be quite confrontational at times, I decided that arguing about how I felt wasn't worth it and it'd be all forgotten about shortly after.
Up until now, there was no issue. I had my grinder, and Henry had his. However, Henry decided to swap the top compartment of his grinder with mine - initially, this was just as a prank, but when I asked for the top part of mine back, he told me that he thinks it's fair that he keeps it because he gave me the grinder to use all that time ago. I mentioned to him how most people don't usually return things they get as gifts and that it was nice of me to even give it back. "F*** ***" was the response to that.
Now, I don't care about money, and the functionality of the grinder is identical, so as far as practical impact goes, it really doesn't make a difference for me. However, I can't help but feel completely disrespected from all this. I didn't want the grinder in the first place, and if he had told me the day he gave it to me that he was just going to ask for it back later, and try take a part of my new grinder as tax, I wouldn't have taken it - why would I make a deal with little to no benefit to me?
Regardless, this feels similar to entrapment and that is not okay with me. I'm losing out here and I've done nothing wrong.
The other important factors are that I do a lot with Henry. We both live in the same locality and attend the same college an hour and a half away. We're also living together for this year of college. He organized the house to live in and as I don't drive he's my only way of travelling up and down from college each week. This also saves me a phenomenal amount of money as public transport in my country is extremely expensive and unreliable, especially when living rural. This puts him somewhat in a position of power over me.
This is where I need some advice.
- I want to tell him how scummy and selfish I think it was of him to request what I thought was a gift back from me simply because it suited him best, and then stealing a part of my grinder and trying to pass it off as tax for something I had thought was over already. This will almost certainly end with him telling me about how he does so much for me, then him telling me to f*** off. I would then have to deal with an awkward house and pay 60% of my income on travel. Not the best outcome IMO.
- I say nothing, bottle it up and hope that this bottle doesn't overflow.
- An option where I can get my point across and not risk losing a friend or having an argument.
I'm probably going to go with option 2, because it creates the least hassle for me - but being in a position like this is grinding away at me and making me feel powerless - enough to the point I've come to ask the internet for help!
What's the right thing to do?
Just to clear some stuff up:
- Accommodation in my country is very, very difficult to get. There is a national housing crisis right now and students are some of the worst affected. The idea of being able to secure, let alone afford, a one-bedroom apartment is out of the question.
- Getting a car is pretty much out of the question too. Although I have almost obtained my full license, the price of insurance for a first time driver in my country is in excess of €3000 - not including the price of a car. It is simply not clever at this point in time to spend my entire savings on one.
- I don't drink or smoke. I just vaporize cannabis. This makes the habit very cheap for me.