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OPINION | DEAR ABBY: Old friend brings others along on outings without asking

by Abigail Van Buren | January 7, 2022 at 1:00 a.m.

Dear Abby: I have a friend, “Tara,” I have known for a long time. Early in our friendship when we made plans, she would bring her boyfriend along (without asking or telling me she was). When she began dating her now-husband, it continued. I did grow to like him and appreciated the chance to get to know him, but it could have been handled better.

She’s married now, and a mother, and now every time we hang out, she brings along her rambunctious 6-year-old. Tara’s mother is older and lives with her, and sometimes she comes along with them. I’m the boy’s godmother but that doesn’t mean I don’t want some alone friend time with Tara.

I am a planner. I dislike getting railroaded with babysitting when I’m anticipating a fun girls’ day out. Tara usually waits until right before we’re getting together to say he’s coming, changes our plans or waits until she’s on the way. I find it rude and disrespectful of me and our time together.

I hate to lose a longtime friend, but I never know what I’m getting with her and am now hesitant to make plans with her. What would you do in this situation? — Simmering In South Carolina

Dear Simmering: I would tell my friend that once in a while I don’t mind an occasional change of plans, but when I have “a fun girls’ day out” planned with her, I don’t appreciate what she has been doing. Your feelings are valid.

Dear Abby: I have been invited to a wedding. I’m close with the bride and want to attend. However, more than 400 people have been invited, and I’m not comfortable attending an event where social distancing will be impossible. I’m torn between protecting the health of others and myself, and preserving my friendship with the bride. She thinks the coronavirus is a hoax and God will have it go away completely by her wedding. I need to RSVP. Please help. — Uneasy In Oregon

Dear Uneasy: Tell your friend that you are sorry you will miss her wedding, but that you are not comfortable traveling at this time or being in large groups while the covid-19 virus is still an issue and the omicron variant is more contagious than delta.

The covid virus is not a “hoax,” and none of us has such a close relationship with the Almighty that He (or She) will make it disappear so a bride can have a large wedding. The bride-to-be is entitled to her opinion, and you are equally entitled to yours, so send your regrets and the reason for them, and do not allow yourself to be sucked into a debate about it.

P.S. A nice wedding gift might “soften” the blow of your absence.

DearAbby is written byAbigailVan Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact DearAbby at P.O.Box 69440,Los Angeles,CA 90069 or visit


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