DEAR ABBY: My friend "Brooke" knows everyone in town. It creates a huge distraction when we dine in a restaurant because she is constantly looking around to see who else she knows. When she spots someone, she leaves me sitting at the table to go and say hello to the person.
If this happened once, it would be acceptable. But it occurs continually throughout the meal and interrupts our conversation. The fact that Brooke is constantly scouting the room for others to greet makes meaningful conversation impossible because her mind is never fully present.
I have reached the point of no longer wanting to dine with her although she is a good friend. How would you recommend resolving this? -- ALONE AT THE TABLE, LAS CRUCES, N.M.
DEAR ALONE AT THE TABLE: Have a frank talk with Brooke, and explain how her rudeness has made you feel. If her behavior continues, then socialize with her in places where there are no distractions -- like her home or yours.
She may be insecure and feel a compulsion to ingratiate herself with others, but constantly leaving you alone at the table shows lack of consideration for your feelings. Also, I find it curious that all those people she knows do not come by your table to greet her -- and possibly be introduced, don't you?