DEAR ABBY: My wife, "Tina," was very hurt by a friend recently. Her friend "Sally" called her "cheap" during a conversation ("she's cheap like you"). Sally didn't intend it to be hurtful, just an illustration -- but my wife is very upset about it.
We use coupons when we grocery shop or dine out; we also watch our thermostats, recycle, etc. On the other hand, we have sent our children to university without loans, our mortgage is paid off, we have traveled extensively and our net worth is north of a million dollars with no debt. How do I make Tina realize that Sally's comment should not upset her so? -- THRIFTY IN TEXAS
DEAR THRIFTY: What happened was unfortunate because the problem may be that Sally simply chose the wrong word. What she probably meant was that your wife is frugal. The difference between "frugal" and "cheap" is that being frugal is a virtue. Because Sally hurt your wife's feelings, Tina needs to tell her how it made her feel so Sally can apologize to her before it causes a permanent rift.