Dear Abby: My best friend’s priorities have changed — now I have to watch football alone

Fan of American football
Dear Abby weighs in on an individual whose passion for watching the NFL on Sundays and how their best friend's priorities changing have affected their relationship.

DEAR ABBY: My best friend since the 9th grade and I have always watched NFL football on Sundays. We have watched through the births of my children (he is the godfather to both; they are now adults), deaths in the family — everything. He has never married or had a significant other. He is very family-oriented, though. He has two sisters and two brothers.

Two years ago, his siblings moved to other states. It was a very sad time for him. The bond I thought would never be broken now has been. I completely understand his visiting them during Thanksgiving, Christmas and any special event, but my view is, besides those visits, he could see them at any time during the entire six-month offseason from football.

When I said this, he told me things have changed, and although he has been back both summers, he tells me it’s cooler and more pleasant to visit them in autumn. Of course, I am the one who drives him to the airport every time. I truly miss my best friend on those Sundays. I’m hurt and would like your advice on what I can do. — LONELY SPORTS FAN OUT WEST

DEAR SPORTS FAN: I understand your sadness and hurt feelings, but it’s time to start accepting reality. Your friend has explained that his family circumstances have changed, and you must accept it. The changes in his circumstances have nothing to do with you and everything to do with his desire to stay connected to his siblings.

It’s time to become proactive. Your next step should be to find another sports fan who can watch (or attend) these sporting events with you, which will help to fill the void that now exists on football Sundays.

DEAR ABBY: My friends of 20-plus years bought their “dream home,” and they’re now 90 miles away. They have not cleaned the place even once since they moved in. Ten years ago, I lived with the wife and her parents for six months. I quickly realized that she and her family never cleaned their home.

I understand she had an injury from an accident several years ago, but I have chronic pain from arthritis and still find a way to clean my apartment. Her husband was enabled by his mother for the first 35 years of his life, so he never learned to do anything except pay bills and save money.

The moment you walk into their home, you are hit with a smell. And forget using the bathroom — the toilets have brown rings, and their shower is so cruddy I wait to return home to shower. I can hardly eat there because of the smell and the dirty tables and kitchen. Would it be awkward to send them a gift card for house cleaning? Also, how do I decline an overnighter? — METICULOUS HOUSEGUEST

DEAR HOUSEGUEST: Why this couple hasn’t thought of hiring a cleaning service is anybody’s guess — unless the husband is so intent on saving money that he’s too cheap to spend it. By all means, send them the certificate, and after you do, postpone any return visits until you know it has been used.

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 or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.