DEAR ABBY: I thought "Arlene" was a close friend until I heard that she and another "friend" had arranged a trip to the theater. Several other women were also invited, but I wasn't. I should point out that when Arlene and I attended shows in the past, I was always the one buying the tickets.
I paid for her golf dues last October because she was a little short, and she still owes me about $1,000. I provided her transportation to the golf club for the last four years because she doesn't have a car. Arlene and I have shared many shopping trips together, and I have always picked up the tab for lunch.
What's your take on this? I'm crushed!-- LEFT OUT
DEAR LEFT OUT: If this was a one-time event, then it's time to straighten up and "uncrush" yourself because, regardless of how much money you have invested in your relationship with Arlene, you don't "own" her. My take on this is that in your zeal to be a good friend you have gone overboard.
If being excluded is an ongoing problem, then you and this woman are not as close as you assumed, or she has decided to take a breather. In that case, my advice is to work out a payment plan for the golf dues you are owed and widen your circle of friends.
DEAR ABBY: We have a large condo in Florida and are thrilled to have family and friends visit. I keep a small calendar of our appointments, events, etc. in the corner of my kitchen. A few of our visitors have made it their business to read the calendar and ask me who and what these events are all about.
My husband and I have been having some marriage problems and are seeing a therapist. One relative noticed these appointments and wanted to know "what that was all about"! Abby, isn't it rude to read someone's personal calendar and ask these kinds of questions? I must leave the calendar where it can be seen or my husband doesn't remember medical appointments, etc. -- CALENDAR GIRL
DEAR CALENDAR GIRL: Of course it's rude to read someone's personal calendar. (It's called snooping.) Before the next houseguests come to visit, relocate the calendar to a private area. Then remind your husband about his appointments. That way he will know the schedule, and there will be nothing to arouse anyone's curiosity.
DEAR ABBY: Why can't bakeries slice English muffins and bagels completely through? Nobody eats either one without toasting them and slicing them first.
Along the same line: Why do loaves of bread have "ends"? Everybody throws them away and they are wasted. -- MINA IN KELSO, WASH.
DEAR MINA: English muffins aren't meant to be sliced. To prepare them at their best, they should be purchased whole and the perimeter perforated using a fork so the muffin can then be torn apart before toasting. This leaves lots of irregular nooks and crannies so when they are buttered, they are even more succulent.
As to the ends of bread loaves (called "heels"), not everyone throws them away, just as not everyone cuts the crusts off. Some people enjoy the heels because they make for a chewier sandwich.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Write Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.
What teens need to know about sex, drugs, AIDS and getting along with peers and parents is in "What Every Teen Should Know." Send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $7 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby, Teen Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)