DEAR ABBY: I thought "Arlene" was a close friend until I heard that she and another "friend" had arranged a trip to the theater. Several other women were also invited, but I wasn't. I should point out that when Arlene and I attended shows in the past, I was always the one buying the tickets.
I paid for her golf dues last October because she was a little short, and she still owes me about $1,000. I provided her transportation to the golf club for the last four years because she doesn't have a car. Arlene and I have shared many shopping trips together, and I have always picked up the tab for lunch.
What's your take on this? I'm crushed!-- LEFT OUT
DEAR LEFT OUT: If this was a one-time event, then it's time to straighten up and "uncrush" yourself because, regardless of how much money you have invested in your relationship with Arlene, you don't "own" her. My take on this is that in your zeal to be a good friend you have gone overboard.
If being excluded is an ongoing problem, then you and this woman are not as close as you assumed, or she has decided to take a breather. In that case, my advice is to work out a payment plan for the golf dues you are owed and widen your circle of friends.