DEAR ABBY: I would like to make the public aware of something that is the result of the poor economy.
When someone who is hurting financially is invited out to a restaurant, bar, movie, etc., and the person declines your invitation, please don't take it personally. He or she may be watching every penny. Every cent matters if it's needed for food, shelter, bills, etc. A person in this situation simply cannot afford to "splurge" on these kinds of activities.
Believe me, I know what I'm talking about. I have been invited to participate in various social events, and I can't afford to go. This is not something that I want to broadcast either. Some of us may be keeping quiet about it.
Let's face it -- it's an awful situation to be in, but one we hope will not last forever. -- IN THAT BOAT IN ILLINOIS
DEAR IN THAT BOAT: I'm sorry you're experiencing tough sailing, and I hope you will be out of rough waters soon.
Folks, this person is giving you a timely heads-up. If someone suddenly starts declining social invitations, it does not necessarily indicate that he or she has become antisocial. It may mean the person is financially unable to do so.