Dear Annie: I have had a best friend for nearly 20 years. However, in the past six or seven years, "Gloria" has become very self-absorbed and selfish. She refuses to show any reciprocity for favors or kindnesses. She seems to have time only for doctors, workouts and different physical therapies. She says she wants others to take care of her and threatens to hurt herself if she doesn't get enough attention.
Gloria says she values my friendship, but I guess it's only when I am doing her a favor. I have decided that I've had enough and will break off all communication with her. Do I owe her an explanation, or should I simply be unavailable when she makes her once-a-month phone call? In the past, I've told her how she makes me feel, but she shrugs it off and does nothing. I don't want to be mean, and I worry that telling her off would only make me feel better. What is the right thing to do? — Soured on Her Friendship
Dear Soured: Is Gloria well? If she spends all her time seeing doctors and getting physical therapy, it sounds as though she has medical issues. This, of course, does not excuse her from behaving like a caring human being, but it may explain why she is so self-involved. Since you are ready to terminate the friendship anyway, it would do no harm to ask Gloria about her health, and also let her know that her attitude has eroded the relationship. We hope she is willing to work on this.
Dear Annie: I read with interest the letter from "J" about a remedy for seasickness. I had a similar experience that may be of interest to your readers.
Years ago, I was a young Air Force officer in navigation school. I was on a training flight with instructors, two pilots and 12 students when we encountered severe turbulence. Almost immediately, you could see people turning green and starting to get sick. The pilot apologized for the turbulence, saying it would last a while, and if anyone was not feeling well, they should take a piece of newspaper and open their flight suit and stick the newspaper next to their stomach. He said it would "stabilize your body temperature."
Almost immediately, everyone grabbed a newspaper, opened their flight suits and pressed the paper next to their stomachs. We endured the turbulence for over 30 minutes, and not one person got sick.
Whether it was a psychological ploy by the pilot or a valid solution, it worked. In over 4,000 hours of flying time, I have used this remedy now and then and have never gotten sick. Thought you might want to pass it along. — Dave S. in Plattsmouth, Neb.
Dear Dave: We've never heard of this, but if it works, we're all for it. And it should keep printed newspapers in business. Win-win.
Dear Annie: The letter from Karyn, the server who insists on calling her customers "honey" or "sweetie," absolutely infuriated me. She said they love it and life is too short to worry about such things. Well, respect is eternal.
Such familiarity has bothered me my whole life. I am not your honey or sweetie. It does not convey proper respect to someone who is paying good money to eat in your establishment. I also have always disliked being referred to as "you guys" when I'm dining with my husband, who will promptly smile at the server and say, "My wife is NOT a guy," getting his point across without being a jerk about it.
If Karyn has regular customers who don't object to such names, fine. I have no problem with that. But please reconsider how you greet people you don't know. Some of us take deep offense at this. I would never leave a smaller tip, but I would certainly think twice about returning. — Melody
This Classic Annie's Mailbox column was originally published in 2014. To find out more about Classic Annie's Mailbox and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit Creators Syndicate at www.creators.com.