Woman in mod­est hous­ing dis­cour­ages drop­ping by

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - YOUR DAILY BREAK - 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.

DEAR ABBY >> I lost my long­time job but have re­mained in con­tact with a few for­mer co-work­ers, meet­ing for an oc­ca­sional lunch or din­ner. One woman in par­tic­u­lar has been push­ing to meet at my place. Abby, I’m not proud of where I live now, and I don’t want to have to ex­plain this to her.

So far, I have sidestepped by say­ing that I pre­fer to get out of the house, but I’m wor­ried that one day she will an­nounce that she’s “in my neigh­bor­hood” and ask to drop by. I’m re­ally un­com­fort­able with that, but I don’t know an ap­pro­pri­ate re­sponse that will keep our re­la­tion­ship cor­dial, be­cause I do value the times we see each other. Any sug­ges­tions? — Downscale in Delaware

DEAR DOWNSCALE >> There are var­i­ous ex­cuses you can use if she wants to drop by. Your place “might not be pre­sentable now,” or you might “not feel up for com­pany,” or you are “in the mid­dle of a project you need to fin­ish,” or you will be “leav­ing shortly and don’t have time” that day. If you ro­tate the de­flec­tions as needed, your friend may even­tu­ally get the idea with­out your hav­ing to say it di­rectly.

DEAR ABBY >> My wife and I were sit­ting in a restau­rant one night. A woman, her boyfriend and two chil­dren were at the ta­ble next to us. The boyfriend was loudly ver­bally abus­ing the chil­dren (5 to 8 years old) for not eat­ing “the food he had paid for.” It was truly ABUSE — his lan­guage was aw­ful — and it lasted for 20 to 30 min­utes. I wasn’t con­cerned about it ru­in­ing our night out, but rather what this guy must be like in pri­vate with those kids and that woman. Should I have called the po­lice? Would it have made it worse? — Night out in Florida

DEAR NIGHT OUT >> Yes, if you had in­ter­vened, it prob­a­bly would have made mat­ters worse. Un­for­tu­nately, the po­lice can’t ar­rest some­one for ver­bal abuse. How­ever, since the man was mak­ing a scene, the man­ager of the restau­rant should have stepped in be­cause he was dis­turb­ing the other din­ers.

DEAR ABBY >> “Break­ing With the Past” (Feb. 29) said she no longer wishes to “schlep” her par­ents’ wed­ding al­bum to yet an­other lo­ca­tion when she moves again. You wisely ad­vised her not to dis­pose of it hastily.

An­other op­tion might be for her to pre­serve the photos in a dig­i­tal for­mat, and then re­turn the al­bum to her mother or give it away as you sug­gested. That way, she can as­sure her sen­ti­men­tal mother that she still has the photos. In the fu­ture she may come to value th­ese keep­sakes be­cause they may con­tain im­por­tant in­for­ma­tion about fam­ily mem­bers, in ad­di­tion to her par­ents. — Cathy in Ore­gon

DEAR CATHY >> I had orig­i­nally in­cluded the op­tion of dig­i­tally scan­ning the photos in my an­swer, but sec­ond-guessed my­self while edit­ing my col­umn. Judg­ing by the num­ber of read­ers who wrote to sug­gest it, I should have left it in. It’s a com­mon-sense op­tion for “Break­ing” to con­sider. Thank you for writ­ing.

Dear Abby

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