I have a 16-year-old son, "Jordy." He has a lot of guy friends who occasionally sleep over on weekends, listening to CDs and playing on the computer. They are all good kids. They talk to me and are respectful of the house.
A few weeks ago, on a Saturday night at about 11 p.m., Jordy and three other guys were in the driveway playing basketball. A neighbor called the police to complain about the noise. Two officers showed up and spoke to the boys. The kids were quick to apologize. The police never spoke to me -- I was in the house with the door open, but was unaware of the incident.
I was angry that a neighbor would call the police before talking to me or the boys first. Eventually, I found out which neighbor made the call; I confronted him. Now he's put out with me for "making a big deal" out of the fact that the cops were called.
Jordy and his friends never meant to cause trouble. They were having fun and got carried away with their laughter. The arrival of the squad car embarrassed them.
Frankly, I'm glad I can provide a safe place for them to hang out, so they're not wandering around town being bored.
I wish neighbors would be just that -- neighbors. I thought we were supposed to look out for each other. I'm trying to let this go, but I won't be satisfied until that neighbor apologizes to Jordy and his friends. Am I right, Abby?
Pitman, N.J., Mom
I don't know your neighbor; however, it is possible he is the kind of person who dislikes confrontation -- and that's why the police were called. Police routinely investigate noise complaints. The fact they stopped by isn't going to mar anyone's record.
It's unfortunate that the neighbor didn't complain to you or the boys first, but I don't think an apology is called for.
Now that you know you have a noise-sensitive neighbor, have the boys in the house by 10 p.m., or ask him to let you know when the boys are too loud.
My husband, "George," and I have been married 36 years. During that time I have disagreed with some of the choices he's made, but his latest escapade tops them all.
A year ago, George expressed a desire to rekindle a friendship with a woman he'd had a crush on in high school. (I'll call her Kate.)
Kate said she wondered what had happened to some of their old classmates, so George suggested they attend their 40th class reunion together. I didn't care to go, so I agreed it might be fun for them to see the old gang.
Since then, the three of us have enjoyed dinners and movies.
They're now planning a seven-day Caribbean cruise together and say they want to share a room to save money. I was invited, but I don't plan to go.
George insists there is no sexual attraction -- but I'm becoming uncomfortable and annoyed with the situation.
The chosen few to whom he's confided his vacation plans say I'm crazy for allowing things to escalate this far. I'm beginning to agree.
My husband recently had a heart attack and takes numerous medications. I have stuck by his side all these years while he was in and out of the hospital with various ailments. I don't understand why he now wants to spend so much time with a friend, while neglecting a faithful wife.
As I sit typing this letter, George has gone for yet another one of their "friendship visits."
Abby, what's wrong with this picture? We're the talk of the neighborhood. Any suggestions?
Deserted Wife in Missouri
Yes! Spouses should be playmates as well as helpmates.
If you haven't already realized it, you're playing with dynamite. Reorganize your priorities immediately, and stop enabling your husband to spend so much time alone with his old high school crush.
Kate reminds your husband of the time when he was young and healthy.
After his heart attack, he is living life to the fullest -- however, he should be living it with you.
Since your husband has told you you are welcome to be with them, make it your business to go on the cruise.
You, not Kate, should be the one sharing his stateroom.
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, Calif. 90069.
(c)2002, Universal Press Syndicate