DEAR HARRIETTE: I am a stay-at-home mom who just moved to a new town. In an effort to meet friends, I joined the PTA and went to a mid-summer meeting of the mothers. I was greeted by a friendly woman who took me under her wing. We went out to lunch the next day, and she was incredibly charming. Today, I got a text from one of the other mothers that said that "Christy" has hurt all of them and has no friends. That's why she was so immediately drawn to me. I was told to watch out. I think I befriended the wrong mom at the PTA meeting. I just want to make friends, but I feel like I was thrown into a soap opera! How do I untangle this mess and make friends? -- New Kid on the Block, Raleigh, North Carolina
DEAR NEW KID ON THE BLOCK: Proceed with caution. This includes taking your time getting to know everyone. You do not need to sever ties with Christy. Instead, slow down. You can continue to get to know her, but make time to meet the other mothers as well. You can connect with mothers one-on-one by your invitation and as they invite you to do things with them. Listen to what they have to say about Christy -- up to a point. You can also state clearly that she has been kind to you, and you appreciate that. Be your own gauge for whether you develop a friendship with her. Just know that if you do, that bond may have to exist outside of other friend groups that you cultivate.