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by Abigail Van Buren

Couple Enjoying Good Life Is Getting Bad Reception

DEAR ABBY: For 10 years my husband and I worked hard in our careers, but didn't have much to show for it. Our house is shabby and old, we carpool to save money and have been extremely frugal.

Last year we got lucky. We changed jobs and our salaries increased greatly. We paid off our student loans and are now debt-free. We have now decided to move to a nicer neighborhood with better schools for our children and because we can afford a larger home.

When I told our friends about the houses we have been considering, they accused me of "showing off" and not being "myself." They say my news about trips we've taken and how happy we are with our new jobs is "boasting."

I am embarrassed that I came off this way to friends, but it's a relief to finally be free of financial stress and able to afford a lifestyle we have only dreamed about. I intend to watch what I say now, so as not to annoy them.

Abby, is it more about jealousy on their part, or is it me being a bore? -- MOVING UP IN NEW BRUNSWICK, CANADA

DEAR MOVING UP: Frankly, it's a little of both. But it's more about the lack of sensitivity you displayed when you started crowing. In the future, talk about things other than your good fortune or keep your beak shut.