DEAR HARRIETTE: My best friend, "Clare," has been dating her boyfriend for almost four years, and I honestly haven’t seen her at all. Clare’s boyfriend is very active and out there, and to put this mildly, she follows him around like a puppy. She spends all her time with him. My girlfriends and I never said anything to her because we were just happy that she was so happy with him.
I am also in a relationship, but my boyfriend and I have been doing long-distance for almost a year. I get to see him every three weeks. Because we switch off every three weeks, we like to buy our plane tickets in advance. I have a plan to see my boyfriend in two weeks, but that’s the same weekend Clare wants to celebrate her birthday. When I told her I would not be able to make it, she started yelling at me, saying that I see my boyfriend so much and that it’s her weekend, etc. I was taken aback by this. I know I should be the bigger person and apologize, but I want to confront her and tell her how hypocritical everything she said was because she doesn’t do anything without her boyfriend. Would that just be wrong of me? -- My Best Friend's a Hypocrite, Salt Lake City
DEAR MY BEST FRIEND’S A HYPOCRITE: Now is the time for you to have a voice. Your job is to tell Clare, without emotion, that she has spent the past four years putting her boyfriend before any of her friends, including you. Tell her that you are offended that she would snap at you about your plans with your boyfriend. Make it clear that you are sorry that you cannot be there for her party, but point out that she did not check in with you before scheduling the date.
Let Clare know that you realize how much of a challenge it is to be a good friend and a good girlfriend. Ask her not to judge you considering that you have worked hard not to judge her even though she regularly puts her boyfriend before you.
DEAR HARRIETTE: My dad just got a job offer in Australia, and my family and I are moving soon. I’m going to be entering my junior year of high school, so I am petrified, to say the least. High school is such an awkward age to transfer into a school. I know that many kids have to do it because of their parents' jobs, but I never thought that I would be one of them. I know I shouldn't be mad because it’s not my dad's fault and this is such a wonderful opportunity for him, but I am really upset. I have a strong group of friends here, and I know I’m not going to find the same thing over there. I haven't had to go out and make friends in forever because I grew up with my best friends. How am I supposed to make new friends when everyone will already have a set group of friends? -- Weird New Girl, Westchester, New York
DEAR WEIRD NEW GIRL: It is scary to move far away when you are a teenager. Your life already feels complicated. What you have to do is take each day at a time and trust that you will find people you will like. Keep your eyes wide open. As my mother used to say, “Notice the bright lights in the room.” Who stands out for you as interesting, compassionate, funny, likeable? Join clubs that focus on your interests, and notice the students there. Over time, you will make your way. I promise.
(Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.)