DEAR ABBY: For the last few years my family has rented the same beach condo. My friend "John" and his family have joined us there on many occasions. When I asked him his vacation plans for this year, he informed me last night that he has rented the beach condo for the same weeks we have historically occupied it.
I was floored. I think a more appropriate approach would have been for him to have called me first and expressed his interest in renting it, but he should not have rented the unit if it conflicted with our vacation plans. I understand the free marketplace -- first-come, first-served -- but I can't help feeling he undercut me. -- CONFUSED IN A TENT AT THE BEACH
DEAR CONFUSED: Your feeling is 100 percent accurate. That weasel DID undercut you, and real friends don't act that way. Now that you know what he's capable of, contact the landlord and make a long-term deal in advance if you want that unit in the future.