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Reader says Abby came down too hard on friend’s mistake

DEAR ABBY: I took exception to your response to “Former Friend in Oregon” (July 1), who vaped marijuana while visiting a friend in the presence of the friend’s 12-year-old future stepdaughter. The friend made a mistake, for which she apologized profusely. She had flown cross-country to visit her pregnant best friend, no small thing. Flying can cause both anxiety and nausea, and the woman said she uses vaping to relieve both of those issues. Further, it was legal in that state.

Pregnancy can cause hormones to be out of whack, and the pregnant friend might have been more emotional and reactive than usual. “Former Friend” stated she did not have experience with children. If her judgment was poor, she apologized for it and didn’t try to minimize it. I truly believe she should be forgiven and that one mistake should not end the entire friendship.

This incident could have been a teaching tool for the child, referencing bad judgment, forgiveness, value of friendship, etc. Friendships are vitally important. I could not have navigated what life has thrown at me without the support of close friends. A friend who travels far to visit her bestie should not be discarded over one error in judgment, especially when she so willingly apologized. — FORGIVING IN NORTH CAROLINA

DEAR FORGIVING: That letter drew a huge response from readers, many of whom expressed similar feelings to yours. They pointed out that marijuana is becoming increasingly legal and normal in our society, and it is a topic that should be openly discussed with the 12-year-old. They also felt the girl probably knows more about drugs than the two women do. (She asked her future stepmom, “Was she smoking weed?”) Consensus was universal that “Former Friend” may have committed a faux pas, but NOT an unforgivable one, and I should not have been so hard-nosed.

DEAR ABBY: I was married in a double wedding with my twin brother. Fast-forward: My husband and I will celebrate our 25th anniversary in three months. My brother and his wife divorced 10 years ago. Our three adult children want us to have a big anniversary celebration, as do my husband and I. My brother says that since it would have been his anniversary too, I’m being selfish and insensitive to his feelings. Our mother agrees! Both said if we have a party, they will not attend.

I think they are the ones being selfish. My husband and I have had our share of hardships, but we worked and talked through them. I feel we deserve this celebration not only for us, but also our kids and friends. Your thoughts? — SILVER ANNIVERSARY IN ARIZONA

DEAR SILVER: You are neither selfish nor insensitive. Celebrate your 25th anniversary (congratulations, by the way) in any fashion or at any time you and your family choose. It is regrettable that your self-centered twin brother and overly indulgent mother adopted the attitude they have and attempted to make the occasion all about him, but the choice was theirs. Graciously accept their refusal to attend, have the party and enjoy every minute of it.

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.


Actress Brigitte Bardot is 87. Actor Joel Higgins (”Silver Spoons”) is 78. Movie writer-director-actor John Sayles is 71. Actress-comedian Janeane Garofalo is 57. Actress Mira Sorvino is 54. TV personality/singer Moon Zappa is 54. Actress-model Carre Otis is 53. Actress Naomi Watts is 53. Country singer Karen Fairchild (Little Big Town) is 52. Rapper Young Jeezy is 44. TV personality Bam Margera (”Jackass”) is 42. Pop-rock singer St. Vincent is 39. Actress Hilary Duff is 34.


Plunge into opportunities without hesitation and learn all you can as you strive to be at the top of your game. Impress those around you with your stamina and undying desire to make a difference. Proceed with enthusiasm, an open mind and hope for a better future.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 23) — Don’t give up; see what you can do to make your dreams come true. Show passion in all that you do, and you will surpass your expectations and gain respect and support as you move forward.

SCORPIO (Oct. 24-Nov. 22) — Beware impulsive spending. Draw up a sound budget and stick to it. Knowing where your money is going will make you feel better about your future and eager to plan and set new goals.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 23-Dec. 21) — Take care of all the details yourself, and you will not be disappointed in the outcome. Speak up and position yourself for advancement. A diligent yet unique approach will pay off.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19) — An emotional incident will make you look bad if you are insensitive. Take a moment to put yourself in someone’s shoes before you say something you regret. Romance is favored.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 19) — Think twice before purchasing something you don’t need. Organize your bills and reconcile your bank account. Knowing exactly where you stand financially will bring you peace of mind.

PISCES (Feb. 20-March 20) — Follow your heart, do something creative and fix up your space. Make yourself comfortable and set goals that encourage happiness and peace of mind. Commit to someone you love.

ARIES (March 21-April 19) — Don’t stop until you reach your destination. Falling short will lead to criticism or an emotional scene that will leave you feeling down. Don’t overreact.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20) — Get together with someone who boosts your morale and encourages you to follow your heart. A change of plans will play out in your favor by allowing you to do something you’ve been putting off.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20) — Impulsive spending won’t make you feel better. Use your knowledge and intelligence to help you make better decisions. Be open to suggestions, but do what works best for you.

CANCER (June 21-July 22) — Say little and do a lot. Change your outlook to help overcome any adversity you face or trouble that someone causes. Anger will solve nothing, but actions will speak louder than words.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22) — Minimize health risks. Avoid crowded events, regardless of who is attending. Spend more time with close friends and family who look out for your best interests. Refuse to let a job disrupt your plans.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22) — Make adjustments to how you deal with friends and relatives. Be ready to compromise if necessary, but don’t give in to emotional blackmail. Try to enforce equality and fair play.


By Chuck Sheppard

Seems Obvious: Milford, Maine, has been fighting a problem with rats for the past several weeks, but the possible solution only came to light during a select board meeting on Aug. 3, the Bangor Daily News reported. According to fire chief Josh Mailman, the town health officer and assistant fire chief Chris Liepold discovered that one resident had been providing a veritable feast for wildlife in her backyard — a pile of corn and sunflower seeds 20 feet wide and about a foot deep. A neighbor installed a game camera near the pile and found that along with deer, coyotes and bears, “a lot of rats” were visiting the spread. Griffin Dill, an integrated pest management professional at the University of Maine, explained: “If there’s one person who’s not keeping up their end of the bargain (in fighting rats community-wide), the problem is going to be an immense challenge.” The generous feeder may be asked to pay for the removal of the pile, but their actions don’t appear to break any laws.

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