Dear Abby: My wife and I know a couple whose daughter has been our daughter's playmate since they were 3 months old. They are pleasant and welcoming. We all get along well and have gone to dinner, ball games and musicals together. However, when we go to their home for a gathering, the father will slip off with a few of his old friends and smoke pot on the back porch while the kids are playing inside. It's their home, and marijuana is legal in our state.
Their daughter's 4th birthday party took place last weekend, and once again, with numerous children running around, they slipped out for a toke before the cake was served. This may seem prudish, but I don't want my daughter in a situation where she might be exposed to this, or think that we think smoking marijuana is perfectly normal.
I enjoy spending time with this family, but I don't think I want to visit their home if this is what I can expect. What should we do?—Mystified in Massachusetts
Dear Mystified: Because you prefer your little girl not be exposed to the kind of behavior you have observed in this couple's home, call a halt to her going there to play. Invite the other child to your home instead. If your friends ask why, explain it just as you explained it to me.
As parents, it's your job to protect her from influences you feel are not healthy or appropriate for her. Because pot is legal in your state, this will be something you may have to revisit again in the future.
Dear Abby: "Fred" and I have been in a relationship for 10 years. During that time he has broken up with me six times. It's always over something trivial, and it's always my job to smooth things over and get us back together.
When we are together we have a good time, but I never know when the next breakup will happen. I love Fred, and he claims to love me. What's your opinion of a man who constantly does this?—Perplexed Widow in Florida
Dear Perplexed: Fred may love you, but his definition of love and yours are different. He may be afraid of intimacy or not want to marry you—which is why he breaks up with you when he feels you are getting too close.
If all you want is a good time, and you're willing to do all the work in the relationship, this may be enough for you. However, if it isn't, then 10 years is more than enough time to invest in someone who treats you the way Fred does.
Dear Abby: About five years ago, a co-worker married a woman with four kids. Now, all he does is talk about one of the kids or his wife. He tells anyone who will listen about them—even total strangers.
When I pointed out to him a couple of years ago that he was constantly talking about one of the kids, he stopped for a week, and then started talking about another one. Lately it has been all about his wife. I'm sick of it. How do I tell him we're ALL fed up without damaging a 30-year friendship?—Stumped in Kentucky
Dear Stumped: You can't. Obviously, the man's wife and children are the center of his life, and he may not have much else to talk about. Be grateful it isn't politics.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.
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