DEAR ABBY: I’m a busy woman. My friend “Adele” was calling me excessively on my cellphone. She would call up to three times every day, even when I was at work. When I would take her call, she’d start questioning me, asking me what I was so busy with. At times she would lecture me about things she thought I should be doing.
Her perfectionism and nonstop phone calls were smothering me. I finally asked her, as graciously as I could, to please stop the excessive calling. Now she no longer speaks to me at all.
We were friends for years, but the constant contact was stressing me out. Do you think I have ruined this friendship, or is this something that will blow over? — SMOTHERED ON THE EAST COAST
DEAR SMOTHERED: Adele should not have been calling you multiple times every day, especially while you were at work, which could have had a negative effect on your job performance. It was not rude to ask her to stop and to explain why.
It appears that while your friend had no hesitation to lecture you about what you “should” do, she was hypersensitive when it came to receiving some constructive criticism. You haven’t heard from her because she is trying to punish you. Consider yourself lucky. You haven’t ruined the friendship; she has.
DEAR ABBY: I am a gay man. I moved to this city to be with my boyfriend six years ago. We have since broken up and gone our separate ways.
When I moved here, I left behind my family, friends and all I had ever known to be with him, but something just never felt right here. Since the breakup, this city has felt less and less like home, but the problem is, I never really felt at home in the town I grew up in either. It was a small, repressed community where if you even said the word “gay,” most people were ready to shun you. Only some of my closest and dearest friends and a few family members really accepted me.
I guess my problem now is, I just don’t know what to do. I’m trying to find my place in this world. Any advice you can offer or help you can give would be greatly appreciated. — NO PLACE FEELS LIKE HOME
DEAR NO PLACE: Go on the internet and start researching cities that have a sizable gay community in which you can meet other gay people. Your next step should be to see what employment opportunities are available there for someone with your skill set. If you make the move, I predict it won’t take you long to feel at home because you will find the emotional support you are looking for. I wish you luck on what I am sure will be an exciting and rewarding step forward in your life.
DEAR ABBY: I sent a VERY nice watch to my grandson for his 23rd birthday. The first thing he did was have it appraised for value and authenticity. The second thing he did was let me know he did it. I am flabbergasted and somewhat offended.
Additionally, this grandson and his siblings seem never to have been taught the importance of a handwritten thank-you note. Am I wrong and old-fashioned? — NOT SO SURE IN THE SOUTH
DEAR NOT SO SURE: Not in my book. Good manners never go out of fashion. But don’t blame your grandson or his siblings for the breach of etiquette. Parents are supposed to teach their children the social niceties, and it appears theirs fell down on the job.