DEAR ABBY: My best friend is going through a divorce and has moved back in with her parents, who are driving her crazy. She doesn't have enough money to live on her own, so I offered to have her move in with me.
The more I think about it, the more I regret having said it. I enjoy living by myself. Also, she wants us to move to an area of the city that I don't care to live in. In addition, she has a male friend who is also going through a divorce and I dislike him. They spend a lot of time together, and I don't want to be around him.
I'm having second thoughts, but she's desperate to get out of her parents' home. I feel like a terrible friend. Should I suck it up and be there for her? If not, how do I break it to her that I like being her friend, but don't want to be her roommate when she's counting on me to get her out of a difficult situation? -- HAVING MISGIVINGS IN CALIFORNIA
DEAR HAVING MISGIVINGS: It is not your responsibility to help your friend escape from her parents. That responsibility should be hers. Because you like living where you do, tell her that "on second thought," you don't think moving someplace else would be a good idea for you.
The last thing you need is a roommate who will be entertaining someone you dislike, because you will have no privacy, a lot of anxiety and a lease you won't be able to break that guarantees you have to put up with it for a year. For your own sake, speak up and don't allow her to guilt you into doing something you know you'll regret.Read more in: Friends & Neighbors | Marriage & Divorce
DEAR ABBY: My fiance and I are in a long-distance military relationship. We have discussed eloping to Las Vegas so I can move with him. My mother isn't enthusiastic about it. She would like to be there for my wedding, but my fiance comes from a large family. Eloping would be our way of not excluding anyone.
I feel guilty for wanting this to be just the two of us. Should I plan a small wedding for my mother's sake, or have a reception when we get back from Las Vegas? -- AMBIVALENT IN TEXAS
DEAR AMBIVALENT: Why not do both? Explain to your parents -- and your fiance's -- that you would like to be married quickly and are thinking of doing it in Las Vegas. Offer them the opportunity to meet you there. Then have a reception for the extended family later, after you both return.Read more in: Love & Dating | Holidays & Celebrations
DEAR ABBY: I bring a hostess gift when I'm invited to someone's home for a dinner or a party. If it's a birthday party or shower, I bring a gift for the honoree. Should I bring one to a "purchase party," where a company rep sells products, kitchen gadgets or clothing? The hostess provides her home and food, and she usually receives thank-you gifts in the form of products from the company rep, based on how much the guests purchase.
Is it OK to show up empty-handed, knowing that I'll be opening my wallet to purchase something at the end of the party? -- UNSURE GUEST
DEAR UNSURE: Absolutely. When invited to an event the purpose of which is to get you to buy something, your presence is present enough!Read more in: Holidays & Celebrations | Etiquette & Ethics