An­nual trip loses its lus­ter af­ter friends be­gin to grow apart

The Tribune (SLO) - - Fun & Games - JEANNEPHILLIPS Con­tact Dear Abby at www. Dear­ or P.O. Box 69440, Los An­ge­les, CA 90069.

Dear Abby: A close friend and I usu­ally take a girls’ trip once a year— a long week­end at the same place. We drive there be­cause it’s close to where we live. She has asked me again this year about go­ing.

I don’t feel like do­ing it for many rea­sons. She spends a lot of time on her phone when we should be so­cial­iz­ing. I like to re­lax and have a cou­ple of drinks when I’m on va­ca­tion; she doesn’t drink. Our taste in restau­rants and food is com­pletely dif­fer­ent, plus she’s on a tight bud­get and can’t af­ford to spend like I can. (I usu­ally cover the cost of our stay in a condo.) She’s also neg­a­tive and en­joys feel­ing sorry for her­self, while I pre­fer look­ing on the bright side of things.

I don’t mind spend­ing an evening with her, but that’s it. She hates her job, com­plains about fi­nan­cial prob­lems and taking care of her par­ents, and her mar­riage isn’t the best— but she does have a big heart. I would rather save my va­ca­tion days from work and stay home with my hus­band and an­i­mals.

I take mul­ti­ple va­ca­tions year-round; she does not. I al­most feel ob­li­gated to go. I’m afraid I’ll hurt her feel­ings if I tell her I don’t want to do it any­more. I can’t use work, money or the place be­ing oc­cu­pied as an ex­cuse. What should I do? — Staycation In­stead Dear Staycation: Frankly, if you can tol­er­ate this woman’s com­pany for one evening only, your friend­ship may have gone from hot to tem­per­ate. Tra­di­tions don’t nec­es­sar­ily last for­ever, and it may be time to make a change.

Tell her that this year you would love to spend an evening with her, but you pre­fer to stay qui­etly at home with your hus­band rather than take the long week­end trip. Be as diplo­matic as pos­si­ble and tell her you know she’s car­ry­ing a lot on her shoul­ders, but the only per­son who can “fix” the things that stress her out or make her un­happy is her— by talk­ing with some­one who is bet­ter qual­i­fied than you are to lis­ten and ad­vise her.

Dear Abby: My moth­erin-law con­stantly asks me how much I weigh. I have been say­ing that my med­i­cal in­for­ma­tion is pri­vate, but she con­tin­ues to ask, even go­ing so far as to ask other peo­ple if they know my weight.

Telling her it’s pri­vate won’t keep her from ask­ing again. It re­ally makes me not want to visit her any­more. Any ideas?— Pri­vate Info in the South

Dear Pri­vate: Nei­ther of us knows the in­tent be­hind your mother-in-law’s per­sis­tence. She may think you are too thin or over­weight and be try­ing to open an un­wel­come con­ver­sa­tion on the sub­ject.

You asked me for ideas, and I do have sev­eral:

1. Ask HER, “Why do you keep ask­ing me that? It’s mak­ing me un­com­fort­able.”

2. Say, “My weight is my busi­ness, not yours.”

3. Tell her the next time she men­tions your weight will be the last time she sees you.

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