Dear Abbie | Friendship Derailed by Pandemic-Era Preferences

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DEAR ABBY: A dear friend of many years does not currently speak to me. She recently moved from California to Denver and had invited me to visit. We agreed on the dates, I took time off and booked the flights. Less than two weeks before my arrival, she abruptly canceled the tour, expressing no regrets or concerns about whether I would be able to get a refund from the airline.

She indicated that because I was not comfortable with the recently lifted mask mandates and other COVID precautions in her state and preferred to continue to avoid indoor dining, bars, etc., that she wanted to “postpone for a few months”, so that we could be able to enjoy more activities. When I expressed hurt feelings about being uninvited, she got angry and stopped communicating. Is this friendship over? How do I proceed?

— RISK WARNING IN THE WEST

DEAR RISK WARNER: I don’t know why your friend got angry and canceled your visit, unless she had planned activities that would take place in restaurants, theaters, etc. I’m also puzzled that she’s ending a years-long friendship. Because it’s recent, give him a little more time to calm down. Then hold out an olive branch and see if it has put this unfortunate episode into perspective.

** ** **

DEAR ABBY: I have a former colleague whose company I enjoyed while working with him. He really cared about my work ethic and we worked well together. For this reason, he has asked me to be a professional reference for him sporadically over the years, which I have always gladly accepted. The problem is that we haven’t worked together for six years. Because it’s been so long, I don’t feel like a good reference for him anymore. I also fear that recruiters will wonder why I was chosen after all this time. He only contacts me for referral requests, so it’s not like I’m hurting a long term friendship, but I still care about him and his feelings. How can I politely decline future requests?

RECITING REFERENCE

Dear Reluctant: In recent years, the amount of information that can be shared about former employees and colleagues is quite limited. I believe it’s limited to the dates you worked together. However, because you no longer wish to be a reference, you will have to grit your teeth and be honest about your feelings and why.

** ** **

DEAR ABBY: The wife of a married couple who my wife and I are friends with revealed a few years ago that before she met her husband she had an affair which produced a child whom she immediately placed up for adoption. It was 40 years ago. This surprised us all, including her husband.

I think she should have told her husband before they got married. My wife says because that was before she met him, it was none of her business. Well, now it’s his business because, thanks to DNA ancestry sites, this “child” is now in his life, which has become an embarrassment for him. What do you think?

— HIS AFFAIRS IN THE EAST

DEAR ITS BUSINESS: I think you should take care of your own beeswax and definitely stay OUT of his family business!

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