Dear Abby: For the past two summers, my husband and I have traveled out of state to visit my best friend from high school, "Grace," and her live-in boyfriend. Our other girlfriend, "Dina," joins us with her live-in boyfriend.
Dina hasn't been getting along with her boyfriend and seems to have emotionally latched on to my husband. (We've been married two years.) During the last visit, Dina wouldn't drink a glass of wine unless she shared my husband's glass. She laughed at everything he said, complimented his looks, took photos of him nonstop, and fawned all over him.
My husband is flirtatious with all my friends and, although he didn't do anything inappropriate during the weekend, I felt threatened and told him so.
I feel Dina's actions were disloyal and disrespectful of our 30-year friendship. For sure, I don't want to do the couple thing again next summer. Is this a friend I should keep? —Furious in Roswell, Ga.
Dear Furious: You may have known Dina for 30 years, but a friend like this you need like poison ivy. After the performance she put on, it's no wonder she's having trouble with her boyfriend. Although it's possible she may have been trying to make him jealous, I wouldn't blame you if you and Grace decided to limit your visits to a foursome from now on.
Dear Abby: My close friend of 20 years, "Martha," recently obtained her real estate license. She went to work for an agency out in the suburbs about an hour from my home.
When I decided to sell my house, I listed it with a large agency that specializes in my neighborhood, with an agent I have also known for 20 years who happens to live a few blocks away. When Martha heard about it, she went ballistic because I didn't list with her. She said it was a slap in her face.
I tried to explain that listing my home with an agency out of the area that doesn't "work" this neighborhood or advertise in the local newspaper made no sense. Now I have lost a friend.
Was I wrong to list with the best agency — which, by the way, sold my home in 10 days? Or should I have listed with Martha on the chance that the right buyer might happen to find my home for sale? —Miserable in Houston
Dear Miserable: You made a business decision that turned out to be the right one for you for a couple of reasons. Not only did you sell your home quickly, but you also found out that your "friend" was more interested in a commission for herself than what was good for you. Please don't be miserable. I'd say you're a very fortunate woman.
Dear Abby: I am a special education teacher. I see on a daily basis what happens when pregnant women abuse drugs or alcohol. Fetal alcohol syndrome can have devastating effects on unborn babies, and the victims are the children.
What is an appropriate thing to say to a visibly pregnant woman who is seen smoking or drinking? I don't want to sound hostile or unnecessarily offend anyone, but I feel that saying something to the mother would be in the best interests of the child. —Concerned Teacher, College Station, Texas
Dear Teacher: An appropriate thing to say to the mother-to-be would be: "I am a special education teacher. I see every day what happens when pregnant women abuse drugs or alcohol during their pregnancies. Their babies are born addicted or underweight and brain-damaged — and the damage can last their entire lifetime. You may not be aware of it — but I am sure your obstetrician can give you more information on this subject."
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Write Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069. © Universal Press Syndicate