DEAR ABBY: I have been living in a 55-plus community in Florida for several years. I’m a single woman, and I moved here for the weather and to meet new friends. In this community, there are “cliques.” One does everything together and never includes anyone else. The other is a combination of full-time residents and seasonal residents.
I’m “friendly” with almost everyone in each group. I work with them on committees, in clubs, etc. However, when it comes to socializing in the evenings or at the beach or parties, I’m seldom included by either group. One person told me it was because I’m single; another told me they didn’t want me to feel out of place because it was couples. Is this friendship, or should I look for friends elsewhere? — READY, WILLING AND ABLE
DEAR READY: No, this is not “friendship.” You wrote that one of these cliques isn’t open to new members. The women in the second group may not welcome you because they feel threatened by your single status, which is why you are welcomed to “work” with them but not socialize. It’s sad really, and more of a reflection on them than on you. By all means look for friends elsewhere, possibly in groups in which there are other singles. If you do, I’m sure you will have better luck.
DEAR ABBY: My son, daughter-in-law and 1-year-old granddaughter moved across the country two years ago and have not once come to see us. They promised they would come as often as they could or, I should say, as often as she went to see her parents, which is every four months or so.
They now have a brand-new baby we haven’t seen due to COVID-19. We bought them a special iPad to FaceTime with, but it hasn’t been used, nor do they ever call us. They actually didn’t speak to us for nine months over a perceived slight.
Now they want us to come visit them. We desperately want to see our grandchildren. They know us only as the “package people” because we send gifts. Please help us figure out what to do. Our son hasn’t spoken to his dad in seven months because of this perceived wrong. We feel it will be really uncomfortable for all of us. — TO GO OR NOT TO GO
DEAR TO GO: The longer this estrangement lasts, the more embedded it will become. You need to go, see your grandchildren and mend fences, if possible. Regardless of how the visit turns out, at the least you will have seen your grandchildren. If you make the effort, it may start your family on the path of healing.
DEAR ABBY: When dining out in restaurants I often see people stack their dirty dishes at the table before or as the server removes them. This has never seemed right to me. Do I need to change my view of table manners? — BINNIE IN IOWA
DEAR BINNIE: Try to be a bit less judgmental. Although what you describe is considered a breach of etiquette, there are people who are averse to having dirty dishes in front of them once they have finished eating. In a formal dining establishment, the server should be asked to remove the empty plates.
DEAR READERS: Daylight saving time ends at 2 a.m. Sunday. Don’t forget to turn your clocks back one hour at bedtime tonight. And while you’re at it, put fresh batteries in your fire alarms and smoke detectors. — LOVE, ABBY
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.
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