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Dear Abby

Dear Abby

DEAR ABBY: My sister "Blanche" and her husband moved to the small town where my husband and I settled 23 years ago. My husband and I like our space, but we do spend time with them.

Over the past three years they have not made any friends here in town to socialize with. They are now contacting my friends because we don't go out on weekdays and see them multiple times a week. Frankly, it's driving a wedge between all of us -- my family and my friends. I'm very resentful that they can't find their own friends. Am I wrong? -- GO FIND YOUR OWN FRIENDS

DEAR GO FIND: Feeling resentful is a waste of your time and energy. You can't control the social lives of other adults, nor should you expect to. Your sister hasn't kidnapped these individuals, so they must be socializing together willingly. Your friends are still your friends.

DEAR ABBY: I love to cook. Problem is, when I cook for people coming over for dinner, my wife likes to sample the food before they arrive. What really upsets me is when I make a cake or something that needs to be served whole, she cuts into it.

To me, the presentation is important. If I mark it "Do Not Eat" or hide the food, then I'm "wrong" or "going too far." Help! -- FOOD FIGHT IN NEW YORK

DEAR F.F.: Of course the presentation is important. Ask yourself why your wife would deliberately do something to ruin the meals you prepare for company.

What she's doing is inconsiderate and disrespectful. Because you must go so far as to hide the dishes you don't want "sampled," then I have to disagree with your Mrs.

DEAR ABBY: My best friend since childhood, "Jeff," died eight months ago; he was in a 57-year marriage. I have known his still-attractive widow, "Della," since they were newlyweds. I have been divorced for decades.

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I have long admired Della at a distance, quietly, out of respect for Jeff. It helped that over the years we lived in different states. I believe she sensed my admiration for her.

How long should I wait before I begin showing my interest in her as a potential partner in our golden years? -- WISHFUL IN THE EAST

DEAR WISHFUL: Did you reach out to Della to express condolences when you learned of Jeff's death? If not, do it NOW. If she responds, follow up with a phone call -- and possibly a visit to her community and dinner if she's agreeable. Once you are in regular contact with her, you will be able to determine if the interest is mutual.

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