One nice turn grows awk­ward when friend asks too much

The Day - - NEWS - By Abi­gail Van Buren

DEAR ABBY: About a year ago, a good friend, “Beth,” went through a vi­o­lent tragedy that de­stroyed her fam­ily. My hus­band and I own a small wa­ter­front prop­erty, so dur­ing the months fol­low­ing, I took Beth away for the week­end to hope­fully al­low her some heal­ing and emo­tional re­cov­ery. She then asked me to go again and, when I couldn’t go, asked if she could go with her friend (whom I had met but don’t know well). She asked again to go with her new boyfriend.

I agreed to both of these trips, even though this is our pri­vate va­ca­tion home. We never rent it. No one has ever used it without us, not even fam­ily. Now she’s ask­ing again to use our place with her friend.

I feel like a heel to refuse if we’re not us­ing the place, but I’m start­ing to feel a lit­tle used. Is it OK for me to tell her no be­cause I am un­com­fort­able with her re­peated re­quests, or am I just a bad friend?

— TAKEN AD­VAN­TAGE OF?

DEAR T.A.O.: You have been gen­er­ous to Beth. Un­less you have ex­plained it to her, she may not re­al­ize what a spe­cial fa­vor you did her by let­ting her use your wa­ter­front house. From what you have writ­ten, your friend ap­pears to be get­ting on with her life, so if you de­cline now it shouldn’t shat­ter her. To do so is NOT be­ing a “bad friend.”

DEAR ABBY: Please set­tle this be­tween my sis­ter and me. My sis­ter car­ries about 25 credit cards in her purse. Re­cently she re­placed the card­holder she keeps in her purse. I use an RFID wallet and purse, and I ex­plained to her why I chose them. These prod­ucts pro­tect my iden­tity from scam­mers. She says I’m be­ing ob­ses­sive and worry too much. In to­day’s world, you can’t be too cau­tious. Abby, what are your thoughts on this?

— PRO­TECT­ING MY IDEN­TITY

DEAR PRO­TECT­ING: I agree you can never be too se­cu­rity con­scious. Why your sis­ter would carry 25 credit cards with her at once is sur­pris­ing, and I’m not sure it’s wise. If some­thing should hap­pen to her purse — Ra­dio Fre­quency ID-block­ing wallet or not — she would be up a creek. I hope she keeps copies of her cards and num­bers in a sep­a­rate, se­cure lo­ca­tion in case she needs to can­cel them.

DEAR ABBY: A wo­man I know has ALS, and I want to help. I write med­i­cal ar­ti­cles, so read­ing and ex­plain­ing new re­search is a use­ful skill I have. She has told only a small num­ber of friends that she has the con­di­tion, and I learned about it by ac­ci­dent.

It seems silly to me to keep pre­tend­ing I don’t know when ev­ery­one else around her does. When I showed her a sum­mary of a re­search ar­ti­cle on ALS, she said she didn’t know why I was show­ing it to her. As long as I know any­way, I wish I could be let in on the se­cret so I can be help­ful. Any ideas?

— HELPER IN CAL­I­FOR­NIA

DEAR HELPER: Yes. You may be well in­ten­tioned, but you need to back off. When you put your foot in the door, it was shut firmly in your face. Now it’s time to re­spect her pri­vacy.

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