Dear Abby: I told my friend the truth, but she’d rather believe the lie

Angry woman makes an accusation in the church parking lot and sticks to it, even after a denial.

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DEAR ABBY: A friend, “Marie,” approached me in the parking lot after church, raising her voice, flailing her arms and saying three people had told her that I told them to stay away from her and her husband. I told Marie it wasn’t true, and she and her husband were my friends. She reiterated that three people said it, shaking her hand and holding up three fingers in my face.

When I asked who they were, she wouldn’t tell me. I asked her if she would get the three people together at her house because I would like to talk to them in person — she said no to that request, too. I then stated that we were standing on hallowed ground in the church parking lot, and I was telling her the truth. Again, she insisted she heard differently from three people.

I was very upset to be accused of a total lie and at Marie’s refusal to believe me. When I suggested we go inside the church and I would put my hands on Jesus’ feet and swear I never said anything about her and her husband, she said she didn’t have time.

After I came home from church, I sent a text to the only two friends I had spoken to recently and asked them if I had said anything to them about Marie and her husband. Both replied no. I sent a copy of both texts to Marie so she could read them for herself. I thought it would be another way of showing I am not guilty.

How on Earth can I prove I am not guilty if Marie won’t let me talk to the three supposed people or swear on Jesus’ feet that I’m not guilty? What should I do? — ACCUSED IN IDAHO

DEAR ACCUSED: Because this unhappy scenario happened on church property, consider discussing it with your religious adviser. Marie’s actions were over the top. Could she have emotional problems you aren’t aware of? If members of the congregation are really carrying nasty and disruptive tales after church as she has asserted, your preacher may want to deliver a sermon soon about “bearing false witness.” You have my sympathy.

DEAR ABBY: For many years, my wife and I have donated items to charitable agencies. I have been a blood donor for many years. Sometimes, I get a “thank-you” item, such as a T-shirt with words on it indicating that I donated.

I’m not comfortable donating a shirt with such a message. The person who receives it might not be a blood donor. While wearing it, the person might be thanked by someone who sees the shirt. That person wouldn’t have the right to “steal the glory” and puff out his chest. It’s a shame to trash a shirt. Do you have a suggestion as to what I might do with such an item? — DONATING IN FLORIDA

DEAR DONATING: Because of your concerns about stolen glory, consider using the T-shirt(s) for house cleaning. However, if you cannot bring yourself to do that, donate the item to a homeless shelter and consider it publicizing a worthy cause that needs more attention.

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.

To order “How to Write Letters for All Occasions,” send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $8 (U.S. funds), to: Dear Abby — Letter Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)

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