DEAR ABBY: I recently retired, but I haven't told anyone. I receive widow's benefits, so I'm comfortable financially. I like my privacy, and I'm afraid things will change if I tell people about my retirement. My father is dying of cancer.
My best friend says if I were her sister, she'd be mad at me. My sister lives a mile away and I don't want her dropping in on me. If she knew, she'd include me in everything she does. I feel this is my life and I want to enjoy it alone for the most part. Am I wrong? Am I hurting anyone?
I was widowed 20 years ago and have had no serious relationships since. I'm independent, attractive and have joined a few dating sites, but I'm picky and have not met a man who attracts me. I'm 66, in good health and look younger. Am I being selfish? Do you have any advice for me? -- LONER LADY OUT WEST
DEAR LONER LADY: If your sister has shouldered the responsibility of caring for your dying father by herself, thinking you are too busy working to help, then she would have every reason to be very angry. Even if that's not the case, her feelings will be hurt when she finds out -- and she will -- that you're avoiding her.
If she didn't love you, she wouldn't want to include you in her life. All you need to do is say no to her invitation if the activity isn't your cup of tea. And surely, you can find a tactful way to ask any drop-in visitor to make plans with you ahead of time instead of dropping in.
You say you want to enjoy your life alone for the most part, but you have joined dating sites. In this life, people have to give in order to get. It may be the attitude you're projecting that's keeping you from meeting men on those dating sites. And yes, I think you are selfish.