DEAR HARRIETTE: I met my best friend's ex-boyfriend the other day. She has talked about him for 20 years. Though she never told me exactly why they broke up, she certainly has told me endless stories about their time together. For some reason, he got married to somebody else. While he and my friend have remained close, I cannot figure out how they sorted out their relationship. Now that I have met him, I am curious all over again. Since my friend has talked about him for so long, I feel like I should be able to ask her. What do you think? -- Want to Know, Baton Rouge, Louisiana
DEAR WANT TO KNOW: I totally understand your curiosity. You are intrigued by this ancient love story that your friend has romanticized over the decades. There's also an element of just being nosy in there, too, you know!
If you can go to your friend completely transparently and tell her you are dying to learn more about this old beau and their time together, then do so. Make it clear to her that she has built up her stories for so long that you want the soap opera version of the saga, meaning with all the juicy details. Will she tell you? Who knows? But your honesty for why you want to know in the first place should help her to make a decision as to what she chooses to reveal.