DEAR ABBY: I have a friend, "Tara," I have known for a long time. Early in our friendship when we made plans, she would bring her boyfriend along (without asking or telling me she was). When she began dating her now-husband, it continued. I did grow to like him and appreciated the chance to get to know him, but I thought it could have been handled better (a planned event where we all hung out occasionally, not her dragging him along to everything we had planned together).
She's married now, and a mother, and now every time we hang out, she brings along her rambunctious 6-year-old. Tara's mother is older and lives with her, and sometimes she comes along with them. I'm the boy's godmother (we are close, he calls me Auntie and I love him dearly) but that doesn't mean I don't want some alone friend time with Tara.
The child is not well-behaved, so taking him out in public isn't always pleasant or easy. I am a planner. I dislike getting railroaded with babysitting when I'm anticipating a fun girls' day out. Tara usually waits until right before we're getting together to say he's coming, changes our plans or waits until she's on the way and says, "I hope it's OK 'Bobby' is coming with me." I find it rude and disrespectful of me and our time together.
I hate to lose a longtime friend, but I never know what I'm getting with her and am now hesitant to make plans with her. What would you do in this situation? -- SIMMERING IN SOUTH CAROLINA
DEAR SIMMERING: I would tell my friend that once in a while I don't mind an occasional change of plans, but when I have "a fun girls' day out" planned with her, I don't appreciate what she has been doing. Your feelings are valid.