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Sat, Aug. 24

Dear Annie: The push and pull of friendship

Dear Annie: “Susie” and I are long-term friends. We’ve known each other for 40 years. My husband and I moved to another state a few years ago, and Susie subsequently followed me. I introduced Susie and her husband to another friend of mine, “Linda,” and Linda’s husband. We enjoyed many good times together, the six of us.

As time went on, Susie’s husband and Linda’s husband became the best of friends, pushing my husband out and excluding him altogether. I decided I no longer wanted to associate with Linda’s husband as I thought he instigated the estrangement of my husband. Linda, in turn, got angry and unfriended me on social media and in real life. Now, Susie — a friend of 40 years — has resumed her friendship with Linda, and I feel that she is disloyal to me and does not value my friendship as she knows this hurts me. What say you? -- Pushed Out

Dear Pushed Out: Friendship is not about owning or owing one another. The fact that Linda’s and Susie’s husbands get along well doesn’t mean they’re excluding your husband. It just means they get along well. Why begrudge them that?

Instead, I encourage you and your husband to get out and meet new people: Join a community league; pick up a new sport or hobby — anything that offers a social aspect. The more people you meet and the larger your circle becomes, the smaller the current drama will look. There are as many fish in the sea of friendship as in the sea of love.

Dear Annie: I have always considered myself a gentleman and was taught from an early age to open doors for women, and let them through first. This is where my pet peeve comes in.

I arrive first to the door of my local coffee shop. I wait for a woman who is making her way to the door. As a gentleman, I open the door for her and let her through first. Nine times out of 10, that same woman thoughtlessly snags my rightful place in the coffee line! What’s with that? And if your response is that if I were a true gentleman I would let women go in front of me in a line, consider that it could take me all morning just to get a coffee. — Just Saying

Dear Just Saying: You minded your manners; they missed their cue. It happens. As a poet wrote nearly 1,000 years ago, “The test of good manners is to be patient with the bad ones.” Hopefully, some line-cutters will see your letter and not try others’ patience quite so much.

By the way, I believe it’s always polite to hold the door for someone who’s following close behind you, regardless of gender. Nobody likes having a door shut on his or her face.

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