Greenwich Time (Sunday)

Longtime friendship collapses amid lies, drugs

- DEAR ABBY JEANNE PHILLIPS 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: The first Christmas my future husband and I were dating, he gave me an angel ring. I asked him to take me to a bar where my best friend worked so I could show it to her. When I showed it to her, she told me her cancer had come back. I gave her the ring and told her to hang onto it, hoping it would give her the strength to fight another round. Twenty years later, she became angry with me and wanted to end the friendship. I told her that it was OK and asked her to return the ring. Abby, my entire family saw my husband give it to me. But now she has made up this story about how she had put it on layaway for a year, and it never belonged to me. Even worse is that she played me. She never had cancer in the first place. While we were at school, her parents emptied their house, except for the contents of her room and disappeare­d. My mom offered her a home, but she declined. She was into drugs. Yes, she had some tough breaks, but so have a lot of other people, and they haven’t stolen or lied to their friends. We had each other’s back for 40 years and now this has happened. I am heartbroke­n. She doesn’t seem to care — the layaway lie is her story and she’s sticking to it. What do I do?

— Lost My Ring in the South Dear Lost: Accept that the ring is gone. Your drugaddict­ed “friend” stole it and may have sold it. You may not yet realize it, but you are fortunate that she’s now out of your life. You may have thought she had your back, but you were mistaken. She is dishonest and vengeful. If you’re looking for friendship, you need to look in another direction. You couldn’t do worse than this.

Dear Abby: My sister, “Chris,” has two adult sons; I have an adult daughter, “Dori.” My husband, Dori and I are close and happy. Chris doesn’t believe in having only one child and never misses an opportunit­y to point out to me what a hardship it is to be an only child — e.g., “It will be so hard on Dori when you die.” Chris doesn’t know why we had only one child and I will never discuss such a private decision. It infuriates me every time she implies that we have somehow denied my daughter complete happiness by not providing siblings. Dori has given no indication of being unhappy as an only child. What do you think about this?

— Bothered in New York Dear Bothered: Iamso glad you asked. Your sister’s behavior all these years has been relentless and heartless. For whatever reason, she has it in for you and can’t resist the urge to “stick it to you” whenever she sees the chance. I think you should distance yourself from Chris. Some people choose to have only one child and manage to raise a happy and well-adjusted offspring, as you have done. Others have just one child because they CANNOT have another.

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