Reader says Abby came down too hard on friend’s mistake

Published 9:00 am Tuesday, September 28, 2021

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DEAR ABBY: I took exception to your response to “Former Friend in Oregon” (July 1), who vaped marijuana while visiting a friend in the presence of the friend’s 12-year-old future stepdaughter. The friend made a mistake, for which she apologized profusely. She had flown cross-country to visit her pregnant best friend, no small thing. Flying can cause both anxiety and nausea, and the woman said she uses vaping to relieve both of those issues. Further, it was legal in that state.
Pregnancy can cause hormones to be out of whack, and the pregnant friend might have been more emotional and reactive than usual. “Former Friend” stated she did not have experience with children. If her judgment was poor, she apologized for it and didn’t try to minimize it. I truly believe she should be forgiven and that one mistake should not end the entire friendship.
This incident could have been a teaching tool for the child, referencing bad judgment, forgiveness, value of friendship, etc. Friendships are vitally important. I could not have navigated what life has thrown at me without the support of close friends. A friend who travels far to visit her bestie should not be discarded over one error in judgment, especially when she so willingly apologized. — FORGIVING IN NORTH CAROLINA

DEAR FORGIVING: That letter drew a huge response from readers, many of whom expressed similar feelings to yours. They pointed out that marijuana is becoming increasingly legal and normal in our society, and it is a topic that should be openly discussed with the 12-year-old. They also felt the girl probably knows more about drugs than the two women do. (She asked her future stepmom, “Was she smoking weed?”) Consensus was universal that “Former Friend” may have committed a faux pas, but NOT an unforgivable one, and I should not have been so hard-nosed.
DEAR ABBY: I was married in a double wedding with my twin brother. Fast-forward: My husband and I will celebrate our 25th anniversary in three months. My brother and his wife divorced 10 years ago. Our three adult children want us to have a big anniversary celebration, as do my husband and I. My brother says that since it would have been his anniversary too, I’m being selfish and insensitive to his feelings. Our mother agrees! Both said if we have a party, they will not attend.
I think they are the ones being selfish. My husband and I have had our share of hardships, but we worked and talked through them. I feel we deserve this celebration not only for us, but also our kids and friends. Your thoughts? — SILVER ANNIVERSARY IN ARIZONA

DEAR SILVER: You are neither selfish nor insensitive. Celebrate your 25th anniversary (congratulations, by the way) in any fashion or at any time you and your family choose. It is regrettable that your self-centered twin brother and overly indulgent mother adopted the attitude they have and attempted to make the occasion all about him, but the choice was theirs. Graciously accept their refusal to attend, have the party and enjoy every minute of it.
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.)

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