Dear Abby | Daughter tired of indulging mom’s proselytizing friend
Dear Abby: There’s this woman I’ve known since I was a child. She’s a Jehovah’s Witness I’ll call Beatrice. She comes by my house every so often to share pamphlets and talk about her religion. She is a casual friend of my mother’s (who I live with), so I feel I have to let her inside when she’s at the door. If it were anyone else, I’d say a polite “No, thank you, goodbye,” and shut the door. But because it’s Beatrice, I’m roped into listening to her spiel.
More often than not, Mom’s not even home when Beatrice comes over with her pamphlets because they work similar hours.
Not only am I non-religious, but I am a member of the LGBTQ community, and I know for a fact that Beatrice shunned a family member after he came out as gay.
I don’t want to keep pretending I’m interested in listening to her scrip.
Is there a polite way to tell Beatrice that, with all due respect, I don’t want to hear about her pamphlets, and she should come by to discuss them only when my mom’s home? – Not Interested in New England
Dear Not Interested: No rule of etiquette demands that you listen to Beatrice’s religious diatribes. All you need to say to her is, “My mother isn’t home, and I’m not interested in taking your pamphlets or hearing you preach. Because you’re a friend of Mom’s, come back when Mom is home, and be sure to call first.”
Dear Abby: I am really upset about something my best friend did involving a cruise that’s planned for next February. Because of financial setbacks, we can no longer afford the trip. She went ahead and paid for our cruise. I was so upset I called the travel agent and tried to cancel the trip but was informed it was nonrefundable. So now we are locked into a cruise that’s still going to cost us $1,500 or more in other expenses while we are on the cruise.
Am I ungrateful? She’s been my best friend for more than 40 years and I don’t want this to affect our friendship. What should I do at this point? – Expensive “Gift” in the West
Dear Expensive “Gift”: Your generous friend acted on impulse, without considering the fact that even with her paying your fare, the cruise would still cost you money. Forgive her for her mistake, take the trip and do your best to enjoy it so you don’t ruin the trip for her.