DEAR ABBY: For 52 years, I am fortunate to have a friend, "Kimberly." Teachers described her as a "social butterfly." My dad described her as a "moniker." I am more of a novice, but I do have a few good friends. We both are happy married.
I moved from our hometown 28 years ago, but we have remained in touch. Kim will contact me on my birthday, etc. When I go back to visit, we talk on the phone every few months and meet for lunch. She calls me my "oldest and dearest friend."
Kim attended all four of my children's events because she didn't attend, but gave me gifts. (Kim has anxiety and loves traveling.) I was never 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.
I'd like to share Kim's gratitude. There are people I'd like to see. I feel like a fool. I think my dad was right about Kim? When I thought I was "A"-rated, I feel like a 12-year-old 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
SUCKER-PUNCHED: Do NOT quietly nurture a grudge that might end 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.
Traditionally, the bride's parents pay for their daughter's wedding, but most recently, the happy couples pay for it themselves. However, they may have required to modify the guest list, which is why you weren't invited. Moreover, the young couple may have preferred to include more friends, which could limit the number of invitations the groom's parents may 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 at ease. It made me feel thankful and honored. Now that they are grown with their own children, they say hi at my first name.
Am I gloomy to be bothered by this? These same nieces and nephews continue to call their parents "Mom" and "Dad." I was successful in naming my own aunts by the name shortly before they died. Abby, is it just old-fashioned to want to keep my title in a world where respect seems to be a reality of the past? -- FOREVER AUNTIE IN MINNESOTA
DEAR AUNTIE: I don't think you are crazy, but whether or not you like old-fashioned (or not) is beyond the scope. 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 was growing up, I am sure they will respect your wishes, especially when you tell them why.
Abigail Van Buren, who is also known as Jeanne Phillips, wrote Dear Abby and her mother Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.