DEAR ABBY: I'm throwing a holiday party. About six weeks ago, I told my friend "Shirley" about the party and that I was inviting her ex-fiance, "Tom." She replied that if Tom would be there, she would not.
I sent invitations to both of them. Tom RSVP'd that he and his new girlfriend (the one that came between him and Shirley) would attend. I then informed Shirley that "you know who" was coming. She is now very upset with me and accuses me of choosing him over her. She's questioning my friendship and says I'm purposely tormenting her.
I understand Shirley is upset. But don't you agree that she needs to understand my position? My husband is close friends with Tom, and wants him to attend. Shirley knew I was inviting him. Now, less than a week before party time, she has called me five times to cry and make me feel bad. I want everyone to enjoy the party, but there's bad blood between those two and I'm afraid no one will enjoy anything if they're in the same room. -- TORN IN TWO IN SOUTH CAROLINA
DEAR TORN IN TWO: Shirley should not dictate who's to be invited to and/or excluded from your party. Remind her what she said when you first told her that both she and her ex would be invited. Your husband has a right to include anyone he wishes. Tell Shirley that you'd love to have her there, but if it's too painful for her to see Tom and his new love interest, you'll invite her to another soiree. The choice is hers.