DEAR ABBY: Twenty years ago, I reconnected with a childhood friend. When we were in high school together, she used to love telling stories, not all of them true. Most were harmless and cast her as the center of an interesting adventure.
After graduation, I headed off to college, she started a job and we lost touch for almost 30 years. We now see each other once or twice a year, but text almost daily.
She recently sent me a photo of a now-closed department store and told me she had worked there right after high school, in its pet department. She went on to say she got the job because she had raised tropical fish and was comfortable caring for the animals. The problem with her story is that it was I who had that job. I worked there throughout my freshman year in college.
Thinking maybe she had taken the job after I left, I asked a few questions. But it quickly became obvious that she had snatched my work experience as her own. I couldn't think of a kind way to challenge her, so all I texted was "Interesting." Now I find myself not believing any of her stories. I don't think she has dementia, but I can't understand why anyone would co-opt someone else's history like this. Should I challenge her at this late date or chalk it up to more of her "storytelling"? -- STOLEN LIFE IN INDIANA
DEAR STOLEN: For whatever reason, your old chum seems unable to separate fact from fantasy. She may do this because she has low self-esteem. I see nothing positive to be gained by confronting her, but it may be time to ask yourself how much you want to continue a relationship with a compulsive fabulist. She may do this hoping to impress others, or because she feels her life is so boring that others won't be interested in her if she tells the truth. It's sad, really.