DEAR ABBY: I recently reconnected with my best friend from high school. I moved out of state at the age of 30, and we lost touch. Turns out she lives about 70 miles from me. Neither of us married or had children.
Someone told me where she works and I called her. She called back the following weekend, and we talked for a couple of hours. It was a good conversation, and it ended with her saying she would be in touch in the next couple of months. We had discussed getting together for lunch.
It has been almost four months and I'm puzzled as to why I have not heard from her. Should I let it go or contact her once more? It bothers me that she doesn't seem to want to get together and hasn't told me why. Any suggestions? — RECONNECTING IN THE WEST
DEAR RECONNECTING: There could be any number of reasons why your old friend let this slide. Contact her again and "remind" her that you had discussed having lunch together. Her response — or lack of one — will tell you if she's really interested.
DEAR ABBY: An issue needs addressing regarding same-sex marriage, and I hope you will share this with your readers. When asking someone about his or her marital status, please keep in mind that when the person responds "married," it may not necessarily mean to a person of the opposite sex. It would be better to ask, "What is your spouse's name?" instead of automatically saying, "And her/his name is ...?"
While dealing with customer service recently, the service representative kept saying "your partner" every time I said "husband." After three corrections, I emphatically stated "my husband" and she begrudgingly finished our transaction. (Yes, I did speak to her supervisor.)
"Partner" implies being in a business of some type. I know some people refer to their spouses as partners, but not everyone does. Thanks for printing this, Abby. — "SPOUSES" NOT "PARTNERS" IN DELAWARE
DEAR S. NOT P.: The world is changing quickly, and not everyone has been able to keep up with it. The customer service representative should have picked up on the fact that you preferred she refer to your spouse as "husband" the first time you said it. You should not have had to remind her three times. However, because you did, you were right to talk to a supervisor so the woman could be counseled and will, one hopes, be more sensitive in the future.
DEAR ABBY: My 15-year-old granddaughter is being verbally abused by her dad, who has joint custody. He makes her cry every time she spends time with him. Also, there often is not enough food in the house. As a grandmother, what can I do to protect my granddaughter? — SHE NEEDS HELP
DEAR SHE NEEDS HELP: Your granddaughter's father may have joint custody, but because he is verbally abusive and doesn't have enough food in the house to feed her, your daughter may have to take him back to court and get a modification of the custody order. Because your granddaughter is now 15, she has a right to be heard on the subject.
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 www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.