DEAR ABBY: For 52 years, I am fortunate to have met a friend, "Kimberly." Teachers described her as a "social butterfly." My father described her as a "phony." I am also an introvert, but I have a few excellent friends. We both have a wonderful relationship.
I moved from our hometown 28 years ago, but we have remained in touch. Kim will call me on my birthday, etc. When I go back to visit, we talk on the phone every few months and meet for lunch. She describes me as her "oldest and dearest friend."
Kim attended all four of my kids' weddings, but she didn't attend, and she wrote them gifts. (Kim has anxiety and isn't like to travel.) I was not invited when her younger son got married two years ago, but I received a generous gift. Now, her younger son is married, and again, I'm not invited.
Kim's joy is appreciated by people attending a conference. I feel like a fool. Do you think my dad was right about Kim? When I thought I was "A"-rated? I feel like a 12-year-old girl who was excluded from a slumber party. Should I tell her how hurt I am or continue the next 20 years in this "phony" relationship? SUCKER-PUNCHED IN KANSAS
DEAR SUCKER-PUNCHED: Do NOT quietly nurture a grudge that may put you to an end in your long friendship with Kim. Have a conversation with your old friend about your feelings. Depending on who paid the price for these shindigs, you may be blaming the wrong person.
Many brides pay for their daughter's wedding, but more recently, happy couples pay for it themselves. It may have been difficult for you to narrow the guest list, which is why you didn't receive it. Also, the young couple may have preferred to include more friends, which could restrict the number of invitations the groom's parents might issue.
DEAR ABBY: I am a senior citizen who lives alone. I was married many years ago, but it ended in divorce. I was unable to adopt a child.
My brothers and sisters all have spouses and children. I am an aunt to many people. My problem? When I was young, it made me feel as a little as possible. It made me feel humble and respected. Now that they are grown with their own children, they call me by my first name.
Is it silly to be bothered by this? These same nieces and nephews still call their parents "Mom" and "Dad." I shortened my aunts from the title until they died. Abby, is it old-fashioned to keep my title in a world in which respect is a common sense? MINNESOTA: FOREVER AUNTIE IN MINNESOTA
DEAR AUNTIE: I'm not sure if you are old-fashioned (or not) is beneath the surface. Tell your nieces and nephews how much you appreciated being called "Aunt" and ask them to resume using the title. If you had a close relationship with them while they were growing up, I'm sure they will respect your wishes, especially when you tell them why.
Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, wrote Dear Abby, and she was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.