It is unlikely that she will ever be the woman you once knew. Can you accept her as she is, ignoring the negativity and focusing only on the good things? Would you rather limit contact, using Facebook to keep track of her, but without phone calls and visits? You don’t need to cut her off completely, but decide what her friendship is worth to you and respond accordingly.
DEAR ANNIE: In my community, there are a lot of “open house” parties, especially around the holidays. I was under the impression that we are invited to come and celebrate, have a glass of wine or whatever. But many of the people attending brought gifts for the hosts. I didn’t. Was this the proper thing to do? I believe your advice will help our retirement community. — No Present Guest
DEAR NO: Large, informal open-house parties where you drop by for a drink and leave do not necessitate a gift, but do write and thank your hosts afterward. Some people bring gifts anyway, and if this is the custom in your community (or if you would feel uncomfortable coming empty-handed), it’s perfectly OK to bring wine, candy or something small and holiday appropriate.
DEAR ANNIE: I read the letter from “Is There Hope for Me?” who said her husband shows no affection toward her after 27 years of marriage. Everything was the way he wanted it.
Her marriage sounds similar to mine. After 43 years, we are now in the process of divorcing. I have had more than enough of having it his way. I am a clergywoman and regret that I was not strong enough to make this move years ago. Yes, there’s hope. Do something. It’s your life. — C.
Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column.