DEAR ABBY: My brother-in-law, "Dale," was planning a surprise 40th birthday party for my sister, "Linda." I found out about the party one week before it happened. Dale made a point of telling everyone he invited not to tell me about it because he knew I would tell Linda and spoil the surprise. My husband was also in on it and said nothing about it until the week before the party.
Linda is my sister, and I know how much this party meant to Dale and the surprise was also important. However, I cannot forgive my brother-in-law for going out of his way to tell people not to tell me. In the end, I heard nonstop comments about it, and wasn't even involved in the planning of my only sister's big party.
When Linda found out, she was also upset with Dale. I no longer speak to him. I'm still angry at being excluded from the planning and the fact that he made it a point to tell everyone why. All of us have problems keeping some secrets, but a secret like a surprise party could have been kept from my sister. This whole issue is causing tension between Linda and me, and Dale has made no effort in reconciling this issue. Am I wrong in feeling this way toward Dale? Should I continue to dislike him about it? -- FURIOUS IN NEW YORK
DEAR FURIOUS: You stated clearly that you have a reputation for not keeping secrets. It was important to your brother-in-law that the party be a surprise. I think he acted prudently in keeping you out of the loop as long as he could. If you are looking for someone to blame, look in the mirror.