Dear Abby: I have a friend who has recently separated from an abusive husband.

Dear Abby: I have a friend who has recently separated from an abusive husband. I’ve always had feelings for her, and I recently let her know about them. My problem is, it seems like I have to walk through broken glass just for her to talk to me. Last week, I had emergency surgery, and even though she said she would, she never visited. Now that I’m out of the hospital, nothing has changed. Must I just let her go and forget about her?

—Wants a Chance in Colorado

Dear Wants: You mentioned that this “friend” recently separated from an abusive husband. You did not say she was divorced. The woman you are trying to pursue has been damaged. She may not be ready for a romantic relationship for a very long time. Her actions show she is not interested in you, so, yes, let her go and look for someone who can reciprocate your feelings.

Dear Abby: I have a friend who is always late. She comes to my house once a week and I help her with phone calls and paperwork because she has disabilities. She says she’ll be here in 10 minutes, but it always ends up being at least half an hour. Another thing she does is tell me “I’ll be there between 3:30 and 4.” That gives her leeway, but it means I have to be ready at 3:30. She can arrive at my place at 4 and she’s still in her “leeway time period.” How can I get this friend to be on time? (I can’t go to her place because it’s too small and cluttered.)

—Frustrated Helper in New York

Dear Helper: Tell your friend you don’t mind helping her, but you need her to be more punctual than she has been. This means she should be at your place at a specified time because waiting half an hour for her is inconvenient for YOU. If she values your help, she’ll comply. If not, she should find someone else to help her with her phone calls and paperwork.

Dear Abby: Last year we attended my husband’s cousin’s son’s high school graduation. We gave him $100. Well, this year our son graduated. All he got from them was $20! Are monetary graduation gifts no longer reciprocal? I thought that if someone gave your kid $50, that when their child graduated, you would give them $50, too. Am I old-fashioned? Is this no longer how it works? I’m kind of offended that they thought so little of our son, especially since we gave their son so much.

—Miffed in Minnesota

Dear Miffed: I don’t think you are old-fashioned, however you may be presumptuous. I don’t know how wealthy your husband’s cousin and his family are (or aren’t). Since you didn’t mention it, I don’t think you do either. But it’s a mistake to count other people’s money because they usually have less than others presume they have. If someone gives less, another reason may be they have other relatives they must give to.

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.