Dear Annie: My wife and I have a close friend whom, in nonpandemic times, we invited over for dinner or cocktails at least once or twice a week. We’ve spent many holidays together over the last 10 or so years. We love her like a sister.
The only problem is she never brings anything to our house, and I mean never. She also has never invited us over to her house for drinks, dinner or anything, except to take care of her animals when she is gone on shopping trips. Once in a while, like on holidays, we’ve tried asking her to bring a dessert or something like that, and she’s acted like it’s a real pain. The one time that she agreed to bring a dessert, she asked us to pick up the ingredients and said she’d make it at our place. How do we bring up our frustrations with this? We don’t want to hurt her feelings. But come on, enough is enough. – Hosed Host
Dear Hosed: With friends like you, who needs restaurants? Seriously, though, you shouldn’t be shy about expressing your feelings; she’s certainly had no problem expressing hers. It doesn’t have to be a dramatic confrontation. Just let her know that you love spending time with her, but it’s a lot of work for you two to always host, and that it would be a big help if she could bring over food and/or drinks whenever you get together. No good friend would react badly to that.
Dear Annie: Just to add to your advice to “Not a Fan,” who was tired of her husband’s off-key singing around the house. She should join him every chance she gets: Either they will make beautiful music together or he will realize how bad it is. – Susan D.
Dear Susan: You get points for creativity. Thanks for the laugh.
Send your questions for Annie Lane to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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