Change in dinner party guest list draws an angry response

Published 11:00 am Monday, December 21, 2020

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DEAR ABBY: I’ve known my friend “Ashley” for a lot of years. She is single. Several years ago, I introduced her to another couple, the “Smiths.” We all have a lot in common and take turns inviting each other for dinner. This group and a couple of other couples are the only people in my social circle I have seen periodically during this pandemic.
Two weeks ago, Ashley invited my husband and me and the Smiths for dinner. Three days before the dinner, Ashley sent me a text that the Smiths will be bringing another couple, and she wanted to be sure it was OK with us. I called her immediately and told her that with the spike in COVID cases, I wasn’t comfortable having a close dinner with a couple who wasn’t in my social circle. She said she was “sorry,” meaning if I didn’t like it, my husband and I could stay home.
I’m extremely hurt and angry and am losing sleep over this. I feel Ashley should have asked us BEFORE adding this other couple to our dinner. I feel like sending her a letter saying that no friend should treat another friend like this, that I guess she’s not really a friend and end the relationship. My husband is stopping me from sending such a letter. Am I overreacting? — ANGRY IN OREGON

DEAR ANGRY: Yes, you are. You have blown this out of proportion. Be glad you have a husband who advised you as he did. Ashley did the right thing by telling you the guest list for the dinner had grown so you could opt out if you wished. Because she was the host, she was not obligated to ask permission to include the extras.
DEAR ABBY: I’m a truck driver who is on the road for weeks at a time. My girlfriend got a new job and is working every day. On the weekends she goes out to bars.
I feel jealous because I’m working and even when I can get a weekend to be with her, she doesn’t want to be intimate. Also she promises to call me but rarely does. Should I just end it? I’ve been married twice and thought we would be a couple and marry. I don’t know what I should do. — ON THE ROAD

DEAR ON THE ROAD: Allow me to steer you in the right direction. You are apart from this woman weeks at a time, and when you do manage to be together, she isn’t interested in intimacy. After promising to stay in closer touch with you, she fails to follow through. This should tell you that when you’re out of sight, you’re not on her mind.
Take the hint. End the “romance” — what little there is of it. Then thank your lucky stars she isn’t your wife, and you’re not heading to divorce court for a third time.
DEAR ABBY: I am a stepgrandma whose 4-year-old grandson desperately needs a haircut. Is it OK for Santa to get him a gift card for a haircut? — CLEAN CUT IN FLORIDA

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DEAR CLEAN CUT: The child’s parents may like their son’s hair the way it is. If the reason they are leaving it long is financial, a gift card might be appreciated. However, if that’s not the case, your gesture would be interpreted as judgmental, and it would not be appreciated.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.
For an excellent guide to becoming a better conversationalist and a more sociable person, order ‘How to Be Popular.’ Send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $8 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby, Popularity Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)