Time, dis­tance cause fast friends to drift apart

The Progress-Index Weekend - - AMUSEMENTS -

DEAR ABBY: I’m a 15-year-old girl and a sopho­more in high school. Last year I went to school across the coun­try. While I was there, I be­came best friends with this girl, “Amelia.” We did ev­ery­thing to­gether, and Amelia even flew back here to visit my fam­ily when school ended and I had to go home.

It has now been a few months since I’ve seen her, and so much has changed. She doesn’t make time to text or call me hardly ever, and when she does, it’s al­ways a quick con­ver­sa­tion. Be­cause of the time dif­fer­ence and our sched­ules, I get that it’s dif­fi­cult, but shouldn’t she make some time for her best friend?

Amelia and I were as close as sis­ters, and I can’t stand the thought of los­ing her. I have al­ready called her out a few times, and we are good for a few days, but then she goes right back to pre­tend­ing like I don’t ex­ist. I’d rather not call her out again. Any thoughts? — FAR­AWAY FRIEND IN MARY­LAND DEAR FRIEND: Rather than “call her out,” it’s time to lighten up. Stop try­ing to make Amelia feel guilty for not giv­ing you the at­ten­tion she was able to when you were ge­o­graph­i­cally closer. If there’s one thing I have learned about friend­ships, it’s that they tend to ebb and flow.

Be­cause you now live apart, con­cen­trate on build­ing other re­la­tion­ships with peo­ple close by. This doesn’t mean you can’t re­main friendly with Amelia; it sim­ply means you are ex­pect­ing more from her than she’s able to give you.

DEAR ABBY: The hol­i­days are ap­proach­ing, and with them a prob­lem. I re­cently moved back to my home­town af­ter be­ing away for many years, and I was ea­gerly look­ing for­ward to spend­ing the hol­i­days with my daugh­ter. She has just in­formed me that she’s join­ing a re­li­gion that doesn’t cel­e­brate hol­i­days, not

even Thanks­giv­ing or birth­days. I would never stand in the way of her cho­sen path, but I’d still like to be able to in­clude her in fam­ily get-to­geth­ers. I just don’t know how. Any sug­ges­tions? — MISS­ING HER AL­READY DEAR MISS­ING HER:

Al­though you will no longer be able to cel­e­brate the hol­i­days with your daugh­ter, you and the rest of the fam­ily can still see her and so­cial­ize. Talk to her about it and let her set the ground rules. As long as you are re­spect­ful, I’m sure she will be glad to give you sug­ges­tions about what you CAN do to­gether.

DEAR ABBY: Early this year my son was killed in an ac­ci­dent. A few weeks later I be­came ill and was hos­pi­tal­ized. My son’s widow looked af­ter me all those weeks. She was known at the hospi­tal by her name and also as my daugh­ter-in-law.

One of my doc­tors, stand­ing close to her and right next to my bed, asked for and was granted per­mis­sion to ask her a per­sonal ques­tion — “What hap­pened to your hus­band?” Was it in­sen­si­tive of him to ask that in my pres­ence? — UN­SURE IN OK­LA­HOMA DEAR UN­SURE: Please ac­cept my deep­est sym­pa­thy for the loss of your son. The doc­tor asked for per­mis­sion to in­quire about some­thing per­sonal and it was granted. That said, if the doc­tor was aware that you had lost your son a short time ago and your daugh­ter-in-law was a widow, the ques­tion could have been asked pri­vately be­cause death is of­ten a sub­ject that’s painful to dis­cuss when a per­son is griev­ing.

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. For an ex­cel­lent guide to be­com­ing a bet­ter con­ver­sa­tion­al­ist and a more so­cia­ble per­son, or­der “How to Be Pop­u­lar.” Send your name and mail­ing ad­dress, plus check or money or­der for $7 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby, Pop­u­lar­ity Book­let, P.O. Box 447, Mount Mor­ris, IL 61054-0447. (Ship­ping and han­dling are in­cluded in the price.)

Jeanne Phillips

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