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by Abigail Van Buren

Friend Ruins Birthday Celebration By Taking The Cake

DEAR ABBY: For the last 10 years, my friends and I have gotten together on a fairly regular basis. We always bring potluck to share. While "Marcia" and I were assembling a meal, "Cindy" would contribute a bag of chips. We finally told her we thought the offerings were unequal, so she shaped up.

We recently celebrated my birthday at my house, and Cindy "surprised" me with a beautiful blueberry crumble cake (her specialty). I was delighted and told her I had been craving that particular treat.

As the afternoon wore on, I asked if we should bring out the dessert, but she said she wanted to "wait a while." A half-hour later, she announced she had to leave and wanted to take the cake with her. (We often take leftovers home, but her dessert hadn't even made it to the table.) When I said, "But we have no other dessert!" she said she had company coming and needed to take it with her. Then she put it in the container she had brought it in and left.

Cindy is a close friend, and Marcia and I have put up with some of her quirks. But I'm thinking about confronting her about this latest gaffe because I'm afraid if I don't, my resentment will continue to build and our friendship will "crumble." Am I being petty? -- DESERTED DESSERT LOVER

DEAR D.D.L.: Petty? I don't think so. What she did took the cake -- and I'm not talking about pastry.

I don't know what qualities you look for in a close friend, but Cindy appears to be unusually self-centered. What she said was not only rude, but showed a distinct lack of empathy for your feelings.

By all means, clear the air, but don't count on Cindy to change. In fact, don't count on her for anything.

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