My friends only speak to me when I initiate the conversation

DEAR ABBY: What’s your definition of a “buddy”? I hardly ever, if ever, hear from buddies I’ve had my whole life. And after I do, it’s often in response to a contact I’ve initiated. My late mom felt that so long as you’ve gotten somebody you may depend on in a aggravating time, that’s a buddy. I disagree. I feel buddies ought to make an effort to take care of contact and maintain the connection alive. 

Wasn’t the first attraction of issues like electronic mail and social media that it might be simpler to remain in contact with individuals? (I keep in mind the times when making a long-distance telephone name was an enormous deal.) So I ask once more, Abby. Objectively talking, how do YOU outline “friendship”? — FEELING ALONE IN NEW YORK

DEAR FEELING ALONE: It relies upon upon the people concerned. Some individuals want fixed contact. Others, significantly busy individuals, don’t. Because you requested for my private bias, I’ll let you know I agree along with your mom. Not all relationships have the identical quantity of depth. People who’ve been there for me throughout the occasions when the going bought tough — and there have been some — are these I contemplate to be actual buddies. Whether or not we’re in fixed contact or not, we all know we’re there for one another. To me, that’s friendship.

DEAR ABBY: A 12 months and a half in the past, a newly married younger couple moved right into a home down the road. Just a few weeks after they moved in, my husband, my daughter and I went over with a present to introduce ourselves and welcome them. They have been tremendous pleasant. My husband instructed them in the event that they wanted something to tell us. Shortly afterward, the husband contacted my husband and mentioned since they have been newly married, they couldn’t afford a garden mower and requested if they might borrow ours. “In fact” was our reply. 

It’s a 12 months and a half later. They nonetheless borrow our mower, together with different gadgets like a leaf blower or a weed whacker. They typically go on weeklong or weekend journeys to costly locations. Whereas they’re gone, they often ask my husband to mow their yard for them, which he does. 

They’re at all times grateful. Nevertheless, I’m to the purpose the place sufficient is sufficient. It doesn’t really feel neighborly anymore. It appears like we’re being taken benefit of. How will we politely say, “It’s worthwhile to get your priorities straight. Give up occurring journeys and purchase your self a mower”? — HAPPY TO HELP TO A POINT

DEAR HAPPY: Within the curiosity of neighborhood concord, chorus from giving this couple journey recommendation or directing them to straighten their priorities. The following time they ask to borrow your gear, merely inform them no, as a result of it is advisable to use it. Then point out the identify of a house and backyard retailer the place they’ll purchase what they want at an affordable value. The identical goes for mowing their garden whereas they’re touring. After just a few refusals, they’ll get the thought. 

Expensive Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also called Jeanne Phillips, and was based by her mom, Pauline Phillips. Contact Expensive Abby at or P.O. Field 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

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