Posted: Monday, May 11, 2009 8:01 pm
Dear Annie: I am a 24-year-old female and have been friends with “Danielle” for 12 years. In fact, she is the only friend I have. Recently, I expressed some personal frustrations to her about my in-laws’ lifestyle. I said these things in confidence. My husband is aware of my feelings, and we have reached an understanding. However, last week my brother-in-law came to visit and was extremely distant. He was obviously angry with me, but refused to say why.
My brother-in-law and Danielle converse often, and I am fairly certain she told him what I said. He is in the military, lives several states away and only comes around for holidays. I want our times together to be enjoyable for my husband’s sake, and that is all at risk now.
This isn’t the first time Danielle has done spiteful things to me. For the past four years, it seems she has been out to get me. She makes lots of snide remarks, and this last incident proves she holds me in disdain. I have even called these things to her attention, and she apologizes, but nothing changes.
In the past, I have overlooked Danielle’s underhanded behavior in order to save our friendship, but now I am at my wits’ end. I want to confront her about this latest incident, but don’t know how to do it without creating some very bad blood or hurting her emotionally. Please help. — Confidences Betrayed in N.C.
Dear N.C.: If this latest incident turns out to be Danielle’s fault and you confront her, at best she will follow custom and apologize but change nothing. This is a toxic friendship, where you think it’s necessary to appease her every time she hurts you. Apologize to your brother-in-law for whatever you may have done that upset him, and be cordial — nothing more — to Danielle. You need to branch out and find more trustworthy friends.
Dear Annie: I am getting married in August and trying to decide who my attendants should be. In order to save money, I would like only three — two bridesmaids and one maid of honor.
To be polite and not hurt anyone’s feelings, I was considering asking the same women who had me in their wedding parties. Unfortunately, I have been in four weddings. I am not sure who to leave out. What should I do? — Confused Bride
Dear Bride: Since the bridesmaids purchase their own clothing, we are not sure what you think you’d save by eliminating one of them. And it’s quite possible someone will refuse the honor. Even so, selecting your attendants should not be a matter of obligation. Many women choose sisters or cousins, but try to select the women you are closest to, regardless of who or how many.
Dear Annie: I strongly disagree with your advice to “Just Curious,” who asked about attending the future visitation of her ex-husband of 36 years. While I do think the situation needs a gentle hand, the visitation is supposed to be honoring the memory of, and paying respects to, the recently deceased. If a man and woman spent 36 years together, despite the fact that it didn’t work out in the long run, they shared many memories (and children).
While it is a painful time for relatives and friends, comfort can be found in the sympathy of those who attend the visitation. In the end, the event belongs to the deceased. They deserve to be remembered by anyone lucky enough to be involved in their life. — Honoring the Memories in Omaha
Dear Omaha: The event actually belongs to the survivors, which is why it is important not to upset them. If you can attend the funeral without doing so, it’s fine with us.
Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please e-mail your questions to email@example.com, or write to: Annie’s Mailbox, P.O. Box 118190, Chicago, IL 60611. To find out more about Annie’s Mailbox, and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.
Published in The Messenger 5.11.09