DEAR ABBY: How do you break up with a friend? "Jenny" and I have known each other since high school, more than 30 years. Over the years we've both moved far apart and see each other every couple of years. We were each other's bridesmaids, supported each other as our parents passed away and celebrated graduations and wedding anniversaries.
I no longer enjoy her company the way I did, and I sense that she doesn't enjoy mine either. During our last visit we had a significant disagreement, after which she didn't apologize. Since then she has emailed and texted me frequently, saying how much she enjoyed the trip and values our friendship. I don't know if she is trying to make amends.
Relatives who know of our long relationship say I shouldn't let the friendship go. But I see no reason to stay in the friendship having been treated poorly. How do I convey to Jenny that our friendship has run its course? Do I drop her cold turkey and not send any more of the usual greeting cards? Or should I send cards but no gift? Do I not answer the phone when she calls, or answer but not engage enthusiastically in the conversation? — WANTS OUT OF THE FRIENDSHIP
DEAR WANTS OUT: Feeling as you do, you have two choices. Distance yourself little by little, stop sending gifts and be "too busy" to talk when she calls. Or, simply level with Jenny and tell her that the disagreement you had during your last visit was hurtful, and in spite of the fact that you have known each other for three decades, you feel your friendship has run its course. Then, if she apologizes, forgive her and move on.
DEAR ABBY: I am one of two housekeepers at a very nice (not cheap) bed and breakfast. In every room, suite and cottage, the owner puts an envelope that's pre-addressed to "Housekeeping. Thank you." B&B guests put money in these envelopes assuming we will receive it. However, the owner goes into the rooms before we do, takes the money and keeps it. He calls it his "play" money.
I feel it's dishonest. Is it even legal? I'm afraid if I confront the owner, I'll lose my job. If the guests knew who really was getting the tips they leave, they might not be so generous. Should I just keep quiet? — WHO'S REALLY CLEANING UP IN VIRGINIA
DEAR WHO'S: What your employer is doing may not be illegal, but it is definitely unethical. If you confront him, you have nothing to gain and something to lose. Check with your state labor department wage and hour division for possible recourses.
It's time you and the other housekeeper start looking for a job at another establishment — or even open a cleaning business of your own. Good housekeepers are hard to find, so getting work shouldn't be too difficult. I wish you both the best of luck.