DEAR ABBY: I moved to a new state two years ago, mostly because I had a friend who lived here part-time. I have distanced myself from many of the people she has introduced me to because they all talk about each other behind their backs. They also don’t work many hours and start drinking very early in the day.
The other night I had my friend and her husband over for dinner with my boyfriend and me. For most of the night she was on the phone Facebooking and texting pictures of my dinner table to people I don’t bother with. There was absolutely no conversation between the two of us that night. When I said something about her being on the phone, her answer was that she was answering her Facebook messages. I found it extremely rude.
Because I have distanced myself from others around here, I’m not sure if I should say anything to her because if I do, it will mean I won’t have any friends around at all. What do you think? — AFTERTHOUGHT IN FLORIDA
DEAR AFTERTHOUGHT: Birds of a feather flock together. You made a huge mistake in giving up your old life to follow this “friend,” who appears to not only lack basic manners, but also to be indifferent to your feelings. It’s time to either start making new friends with people who think and act more like you do, or return where you came from so you can be with folks with whom you have more in common.
DEAR ABBY: I am a happily divorced mother of two and have a wonderful life. I have a great relationship with my ex. He’s a wonderful father, and I’m grateful for that. We never fight and I always try to keep the peace.
He is remarried to a lovely woman and has another child with her, an adorable little boy. I consider him to be my children’s brother and make sure to buy him birthday and holiday gifts. I ask my children which milestones he has conquered and FaceTime with him, too.
I’m writing because my grandmother, whom I love dearly, thinks I am not being nice and that I should go inside when I pick up my children and visit with the baby. She constantly asks me what my ex and his wife are doing. I always tell her I have no idea, and that it’s not my business.
I respect and want boundaries. I want to raise our children together and see them at our children’s events, birthdays, etc. How can I get my grandma to understand that I’m in a good place and glad that my ex is, too? I’m not interested in knowing where he is every second. Grandma is a very tough, strong, wonderful lady who loves your column. — MOVED ON IN THE SOUTH
DEAR MOVED ON: You seem like a healthy, well-adjusted woman. Point out to your grandmother that the good relationship you enjoy with your ex and his wife is based on the fact that you don’t ask questions or meddle in their lives. Suggest that if Grandma wants to know how they are and what they’re doing that she pick up a phone and ask them herself. That way, the person they will avoid will be her and not you. Repeat that message as needed.