DEAR ABBY: My wife and I live in a small town in the Northwest. After many years here, feeling that a warmer climate may be better for us, we decided to retire and move to a 55-plus community. We researched and visited several, and recently bought a home in one with about 5,000 residents and a lot of senior activities.
After closing, we stayed around for several days to get better acquainted and got a rude surprise. Everyone we met was very friendly, but quite a few seemed to have a grudge about at least one other person in the community. We've always made friends easily. What can we do or say to be able to be friends with neighbors who have grudges against each other ("If you are friends with them, you can't be friends with us")? -- NOT TAKING SIDES IN THE SOUTH
DEAR NOT TAKING SIDES: It appears you not only moved south, but also into an "elementary school" complete with playground politics. Do not allow yourselves to be shanghaied into an exclusive relationship with anyone who tries to blackmail you this way. If your neighbors can't get along with each other, let it be their problem and see them separately. And when they put down the people they don't like, change the subject.