Dear Abby: I thought "Arlene" was a close friend until I heard that she and another "friend" had arranged a trip to the theater. Several other women were also invited, but I wasn't.
I should point out that when Arlene and I attended shows in the past, I was always the one buying the tickets. I paid for her golf dues last October because she was a little short, and she still owes me about $1,000. I provided her transportation to the golf club for the last four years because she doesn't have a car.
Arlene and I have shared many shopping trips together, and I have always picked up the tab for lunch. What's your take on this? I'm crushed!
- Left Out
Dear Left Out: If this was a one-time event, then it's time to straighten up and "uncrush" yourself because, regardless of how much money you have invested in your relationship with Arlene, you don't "own" her.
My take on this is that in your zeal to be a good friend you have gone overboard. If being excluded is an ongoing problem, then you and this woman are not as close as you assumed, or she has decided to take a breather. In that case, my advice is to work out a payment plan for the golf dues you are owed and widen your circle of friends.
Conceal the calendar
Dear Abby: We have a large condo in Florida and are thrilled to have family and friends visit. I keep a small calendar of our appointments, events, etc. in the corner of my kitchen. A few of our visitors have made it their business to read the calendar and ask me who and what these events are all about. My husband and I have been having some marriage problems and are seeing a therapist. One relative noticed these appointments and wanted to know "what that was all about!"
Abby, isn't it rude to read someone's personal calendar and ask these kinds of questions? I must leave the calendar where it can be seen or my husband doesn't remember medical appointments, etc.
- Calendar Girl
Dear Calendar Girl: Of course it's rude to read someone's personal calendar. (It's called snooping.) Before the next houseguests come to visit, relocate the calendar to a private area. Then remind your husband about his appointments. That way he will know the schedule, and there will be nothing to arouse anyone's curiosity.
Regaining lost trust
Dear Abby: Is it possible to earn someone's trust back, and if so, how would I do it?
- Wondering in Ohio
Dear Wondering: Much depends upon what you did that destroyed the person's trust. If it wasn't too egregious, a sincere apology is the way to begin. And if it is accepted, walking the straight and narrow in the future would be helpful.