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by Abigail Van Buren

Woman Who Loves Working Resents Talk of Retirement

DEAR ABBY: I had what I thought was a good friend, "Meg." We were part of a larger group that was very close. When my husband left me, Meg disappeared from my life.

I carried on with career, family and friends, and I am now remarried. My new husband is charming, affluent and well-known in our community. Now Meg has suddenly reappeared and behaves like her absence over the last four years never happened. I am sure she wants to be a part of our inner circle because of my husband's success.

When I encounter her socially, I am always cordial. I have politely declined her overtures and invitations, but she doesn't seem to get the hint. What can I say to nip this in the bud? I don't want to be rude, nor do I want to keep making excuses. -- TIRED OF HYPOCRISY

DEAR TIRED OF HYPOCRISY: What's wrong with telling your fair-weather friend the truth? You don't have to be mean about it. Just say that when she disappeared from your life, you went on with yours, you understand that life can take people down different paths, and you wish her well on hers.