DEAR ABBY: "Charlotte" and I have been friends for 16 years, ever since we met in college. She lives several states away, so we see each other only once a year when she and her family come to town for a long weekend. Beyond this annual get-together, we never chat on the phone, and communication is pretty much limited to social media.
I have known Charlotte's (now) husband for 16 years as well, and never cared for him. When they became engaged, none of our friends thought she would actually marry him. He seems to get worse every time I see him, and it has reached the point that I can barely stand to be in the same room with him.
Unfortunately, Charlotte's kids take after their dad. They are spoiled, nasty, mean children and a bad influence on my young son. Charlotte and her family were in town for their annual visit recently. Afterward I told my husband I didn't enjoy it and dread the next one.
Charlotte's husband has now suggested they tag along on our next family vacation! Abby, it would ruin our trip. I don't want to go on vacation if they come with us. Charlotte is still as sweet and lovely as ever, but I do not want to see her husband or children again. What should I do? -- HANGING ON FOR NOW
DEAR HANGING ON: Ignore the "suggestion" Charlotte's husband made. Because the two of you talk so infrequently, the subject may not come up again. A solution to your problem might be as simple as suggesting to Charlotte that the two of you have a "girls' weekend" together rather than a family vacation. Then cross your fingers that she's receptive.