DEAR AMY: I’m in my late 20s. I joined a sorority in college and afterward maintained contact with all of the members. I moved around a little bit and still maintained contact.
Recently a bunch of the girls got married. Everyone in our social group was invited except me. I was really hurt and didn’t understand why until recently. When my wedding came around, none of the group showed up or even sent congratulations.
I discussed this with a very close friend in our group. She said she experienced the same thing, and she was close with a lot of the girls.
We realized we had one thing in common. We had a disagreement with one of the girls, and we believe she started this alienation. She was also a bridesmaid at almost every wedding. The disagreement, though, was minor, and she still continues to talk to me as if nothing is wrong.
This bothers me so much because I feel betrayed. How do I approach this? I want to confront her because I don’t feel I should have to pretend that everything is okay. The friend I have been discussing this with says I should let it go and move on as if nothing has happened. -- Just Trying to Understand
DEAR TRYING: There are times when pretending that everything is okay might be called for. This isn’t one of those times. You should at least attempt to confront the “Queen Bee” — and then you should definitely move on.
But Queen Bee isn’t the only problem. Every single one of these women has done her part. I don’t know if there is some magical property to sororities that chains you together for life, but I do know about friendship. These women are not friends — they are people you shared experiences with at one time in your life. They are people you used to know.
Stop thinking of these women as a monolithic group, and start approaching them as individuals. If there are individual women you would like to stay in touch with, then do so. Catch up with the others at reunions.
DEAR AMY: I’m the mother of three children. My 10-year-old daughter started her menstrual cycle. The problem is she won’t discuss it with me or even acknowledge it, which I find strange.
I know she started because I saw her dirty clothes. When I approached her about it, she denied it. I told her all girls on the planet get this; it’s going to happen no matter what you do!
I know she’s young. I started at 10 also, and it was traumatic. I’m trying to not make it traumatic for her, but she won’t acknowledge it. Other than this issue, she’s a normal 10-year-old. -- Concerned Mother
DEAR CONCERNED: I think your daughter’s reaction to this hormonal bewilderment is very much in the normal range for a 10-year-old.
Don’t push too hard to get her to discuss this with you all at once — but provide her with information she will need, and be open and available for when the moments arrive. And make sure to tell her your own story; mothers don’t do this often enough, in my mind.
I recently watched the funny viral video “The Camp Gyno,” an advertisement for a company that will send feminine hygiene products to your home, packaged along with treats to make the experience more lighthearted. They offer a “Period Starter Kit,” including a “Get Ready Guide” for parents and girls (at helloflo.com).
One of my favorite girl guides for this tricky time of life is “The Care and Keeping of You: The Body Book for Younger Girls,” by Valorie Schaefer and Josee Masse (American Girl, 2012). This easy-peasy, honest and age-appropriate book is one your daughter can keep with her and refer to when she needs to.
DEAR AMY: I am still teary over the selfish expression from “Put Out,” who didn’t want to make airport runs for her parents twice a year.
I would literally give anything to be inconvenienced in this way by my own parents, now gone. -- Missing Mom
DEAR MISSING: My reaction, exactly.