Dear Abby: A devious couple sabotages a long friendship

DEAR ABBY: I have a gay friend who I will call “Allen.” We have been close friends for 13 years. Allen has often visited me with his friends from England, and two years ago, when I was finally able to afford to visit him, he invited me to stay in the house he shares with his boyfriend, “Rupert”. Rupert took an instant dislike to me. He treated me rudely and he made fun of my American accent the whole time I was there. I let it be and focused on the beautiful scenery, the beautiful people I met and my old friend.

On my last day there, Rupert offered to give me a ride around London, which surprised me. But he was happy to get to town, so I agreed. It was extremely unpleasant. He berated me loudly in public, called me old and ugly, and yelled at me at the top of my lungs in a gift shop.

I texted Allen later that day asking if I could stay the last night at a hotel instead of his guest room. He responded by telling me all the things Rupert had sent him that day about how he had been treating him badly. I was shocked. I hadn’t mentioned anything about Rupert, just asked him to take me to a hotel near the airport for my last night in England.

Since then, I have tried to contact Allen to explain my side of the story, but he continues to ignore me. Any advice on how to proceed would be helpful. — SAD TRAVELER IN NEVADA

DEAR SAD TRAVELER: For some reason, Rupert viewed your long friendship with Allen as a threat, so he took advantage of the afternoon in London to cut off your knees. As long as Allen continues to ignore his efforts to mitigate the damage, consider him unattainable. As time goes on, he may finally realize how cunning Rupert is, but this is a conclusion he must come to without his help. Please accept my condolences on the loss of your friendship, which I am sure was important to you.

DEAR ABBY: Everywhere, it seems, there are books and guides for caring for aging parents. But what about older siblings? The age difference is minor, so you can end up with the elderly taking care of the elderly, especially if there is no next generation of relatives to rely on.

As baby boomers reach our 70s, we may find ourselves caring for siblings in our early 80s, and they’re even less likely to be listened to than our parents. Frankly, some of us are already exhausted from caring for elderly parents. We are at the point of concern for our own health and that of our spouses. When you have a 73-year-old trying to care for an 80-year-old who doesn’t have kids and lives 700 miles away, and they just say, “I’ll let you know when I need you,” it’s alarming. any guide? — HEARTBREAKING IN THE SOUTH

DEAR LOVER: Yes, I think you should follow your 80 year old brother’s directive and wait for them to ask for help instead of “loitering”. Become familiar with the senior services available in your community and cross your fingers that they are not needed. Also, grab whatever relevant guidance you can from parenting books, because in many ways, there can be great similarities.

Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, aka Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at or PO Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

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