ADVERTISEMENT

Dear Abby: For the last few years my family has rented the same beach condo. My friend “John” and his family have joined us there on many occasions. When I asked him his vacation plans for this year, he informed me last night that he has rented the condo for the same weeks we have historically occupied it.

I was floored. I think a more appropriate approach would have been for him to have called me first and expressed his interest in renting it, but he should not have rented the unit if it conflicted with our vacation plans. I understand the free marketplace – first-come, first-served – but I can’t help feeling he undercut me.

– Confused in a Tent at the Beach

Dear Confused: Your feeling is 100 percent accurate. That weasel DID undercut you, and real friends don’t act that way. Now that you know what he’s capable of, contact the landlord and make a long-term deal in advance if you want that unit in the future.

Baby shower snafu

Dear Abby: My daughter-in-law is having a baby. My mother and I told her we would have a shower for her. She registered at a local store for baby gifts, let us start planning the shower, and then informed us that she would not be opening gifts at the party. My son has sided with her. He said he didn’t know her reason, but felt like it was no big deal.

Why would she act that way? We think it’s peculiar. The shower has now been canceled at her request.

– Mystified in California

Dear Mystified: Your daughter-in-law may have been trying to be considerate of any guests whose gifts might not have been as expensive as those purchased or crafted by other guests. Or she may have felt self-conscious about being the center of attention.

While I agree that one of the pleasures of attending a shower is seeing the expression of joy on the mother-to-be’s face as the presents are unwrapped, look at it this way: Because the shower is canceled, your problem is solved. Now forget about it.

Cellphone rudeness

Dear Abby: I am part of a group of neighbors who often go out to dinner together. However, one woman often talks loudly on her cellphone at the dinner table, and it makes the rest of us feel uncomfortable and insignificant. It has gotten so bad we have stopped inviting her.

I feel sorry for her and wonder if I should explain the reason she’s being excluded. What is the best way to handle this dilemma?

– Friend in the Neighborhood

Dear Friend: If done discreetly and kindly, it might benefit the woman to know why she’s no longer included. Frankly, you’d be doing her a favor because her behavior was rude.