Ask Amy: My neighbors canceled my party. What if they reappeared?


dear Amy: My husband and I have lived in our neighborhood for about 10 years. We are friendly and good neighbors.

A house has always been a “troubled” house. Loud arguments are heard, the SWAT team showed up to arrest a grown son (yikes), neighbors accuse the kids of stealing tools from their shed, and recently the police were here again, with reports of shots fired.

Last summer we threw a party in our backyard and set up a bar in our basement. The mother of this house passed by uninvited. Not wanting to be rude, we welcomed her. She then brought her son and his girlfriend, who settled in our bar.

They all seemed friendly enough, but when the guests left they asked to stay. I said, “Last call.” They wanted to stay longer, offered to help clean up, tour the house, use the bathroom (they live a block away!). I finally got them to leave by sending them drinks to go. They already asked me once, in passing, if we are hosting again (they can see into our yard from their house).

I don’t have a good feeling about them back home. Should I arrange, and if they show up, say “private party”?

I don’t want to be friends, but we are neighbors. To help!

— Hospitality has limits

Limits: If those neighbors approach you asking if you’re planning on having a party – any party – you should say, “No. No project.”

And then you should throw any party you want to throw. If these people show up, greet them outside the entrance, say friendly “Hi, I can’t speak at the moment because I have guests here”.

If they try to invite each other, you’ll need to be friendly but firm, and tell them it’s a private party and you’ll meet them another time.

dear Amy: About six months ago, I had to place my 64-year-old husband in an assisted living facility, due to mental and physical decline.

He adapted very well. I visit him every day. I also adapted to my new life alone, with the help of our children and grandchildren, who visit her every week. I am lucky to have caring and friendly neighbors and friends. However, there is one problem that bothers me and bothers me a lot.

Of our married friends (very few remaining couples), very few have even phoned since the very beginning of all this. My best friend, whom I’ve known for over 50 years, has never visited me, rarely calls me, and only once invited me to her house for coffee.

I feel like I’ve been abandoned by my closest friends at a time when I need them most. What happened? What did I do? Am I a threat to them? If yes, why? I heard from my widowed friends that the same thing had happened to them.

I realize that I need to make new friends, and I do. I am active in church and community activities, but I am disappointed in my “old and true forever friends”.

Any ideas on what’s going on – and why?

Research: Sounds like you’ve adapted very well to this huge life change. It’s a shame you have to do this without the company of some of your closest friends.

You didn’t do anything wrong. I don’t believe you are a “threat” to your friends either. Your situation, however, is threatening. For some it is a tender reminder of the possibility of difficult times ahead. The geometry of your life has changed, and that change has upset the balance with your friends who are in a relationship.

You could try being a little more proactive with these friends. You could ask them if they would visit your husband with you and then you could have lunch together.

Be candid with your “best friend” – tell her you miss her and that you hope your friendship can get through this adjustment.

dear Amy: Grrrr. This letter fromMother-in-law in the middle” regarding his stepson’s condom use and his girlfriend not using birth control! I didn’t appreciate how birth control seemed to be her responsibility.

If a condom isn’t enough and this guy doesn’t want kids, maybe he should get a vasectomy?!

Appalled: To be fair, this family’s position was that birth control should be the responsibility of both partners. I appreciated that they discussed it, but I agree that in the end it is not their choice to make.

©2022 by Amy Dickinson. Distributed by content agency Tribune.

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