My friend "Sheila" is going through a rough divorce. She called one night and told me she was going to kill herself. When I tried to calm her and talk her out of it, she hung up on me. I tried calling her back for about 10 minutes. Then, fearing she had injured herself, I called the police.
When they went to Sheila's home and couldn't find her, they called me, and I suggested some other places she might be. They managed to locate her and took her to the hospital. She was released, and now she's mad at me. Sheila says I overreacted -- she wasn't really going to do it -- and that it's my fault she got bruised from the encounter. (It was storming and muddy, and they fell in the mud.)
I asked her for forgiveness. She said she wants nothing more to do with me. I love Sheila like family. I did what I was always taught to do in a situation like that. Did I do something wrong?
Needs to Know in Indiana
No, you did exactly the right thing. You did not owe Sheila an apology; she owes you one. By now, you must have realized that your friend is self-centered, overly dramatic and brought this episode upon herself. Divorces can make people hyperemotional and irrational. Once Sheila gets her feet back on the ground, I hope she realizes what a good friend you are. If she doesn't, the loss is hers.
I have an 8-year-old dog and a 5-year-old cat. Unfortunately, my new grandson is allergic to both.
I live only a few miles from my daughter and grandson and visit them every day, but the baby can't come to my house. My daughter is insinuating that I have chosen my pets over her baby.
Abby, I need a truthful answer: Do you think I should get rid of my pets, or tell my daughter to wait to bring her baby over until he is old enough to be treated for his allergies? Please help.
Wants to Do the Right Thing in Florida
I see no reason why you should have to give up your pets -- provided your clothing is free of dog and cat dander when you visit your grandson. Since you visit the baby every day, I see no urgency about visiting at your house until he is older. It is not that you have chosen your pets over your grandchild, but rather that your daughter shouldn't force you into the position of having to choose unless it's absolutely necessary. (And it's not.)
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)2004, Universal Press Syndicate