Old sweethearts’ meeting reopens a few old wounds

Published 9:49 am Tuesday, January 16, 2024

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DEAR ABBY: After 35 years, I recently ran into my first love, “Cliff.” His sister lost her son, and I went to the wake. She and I were good friends growing up and stayed in touch occasionally through the years. Neither of us ever brought up her brother. 

Cliff and I broke up during my senior year of high school. I suspected a very good friend of mine was seeing him behind my back at the same time I was confiding in her over my broken heart. Turns out they got married. They are still married to this day.

When I saw Cliff, he looked at me from a distance with a huge smile on his face and his hand over his heart. We hugged for a good five minutes. He held me the way he did when we were together. I never got closure from our breakup because his girlfriend (now wife) wouldn’t allow it. 

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It turns out she wasn’t happy that he and I were speaking that evening. I really want closure even though all these years later I have moved on and am married to the love of my life. I need to heal that part of my heart and know if he still has feelings for me. I have gone through all these years feeling he hates me. Please help. – BITTERSWEET MEMORY IN NEW YORK


DEAR BITTERSWEET: I think you already have the answer to your question. When your old beau saw you, his smile lit up the room and he touched his heart. To me, it sends a strong message. That his wife wasn’t thrilled the two of you spent five minutes hugging makes me wonder if she may have sabotaged your high school romance all those years ago. PLEASE go on with your life and stop looking back. You already have the closure you seek.


DEAR ABBY: My family and I love to go camping and invite friends and family to join us. No matter how large the group is, I tend to be the one cooking all the meals all the time. I actually love to cook, but some of our guests take advantage and don’t help out with food prep or clean up, or the setup or take-down of camping equipment. They don’t even pick up after their children. 

One of them is a co-worker and good friend, and I don’t know how to approach her so that there are no hard feelings. I have actually considered not inviting that family again. I’ll miss their company, but my family and I think it’s rude not to help in any way. – NOT A HAPPY CAMPER


DEAR NOT A HAPPY CAMPER: I agree it’s rude not to offer to help one’s host in the situation you have described. Before inviting your good friend and co-worker on the next campout, have a chat with her. Explain that if she and her family decide to come along next time, you’ll NEED her to assist you with those chores. That way she’ll be warned and can refuse the invitation if it is not to her liking.


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 www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.


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