Dear Abby

DEAR ABBY: I had a friend I adored. She was someone I had known for over 20 years, but I had to say goodbye to her. I realized she is a shoplifter and also doesn’t tip at restaurants. When she shoplifted, I was with her. I had no idea she was doing it until we got back to the car and one of the items fell out of her bag. I was appalled. I told her to never do it again when we were together, and I have tried not to shop with her since. I realized she wasn’t leaving tips when her receipt blew away with a gust of wind. She was in the restroom when I picked it up and saw there was no tip for the server, who was working very hard. I told her I didn’t feel comfortable going places with her under these circumstances, especially with how things have changed during COVID. The last straw was when I caught her trying to sneak into a musical event. There are musicians in my family, and I know how they and others have struggled during these hard times. She has more than enough money to cover these costs. I don’t understand why she does it. The problem is I feel guilty. Should I reach out and suggest we do things that don’t involve music, restaurants or shopping? Maybe we can just go for walks and talk? I miss her friendship. — TAKEN ABACK IN CALIFORNIA

DEAR TAKEN ABACK: I don’t advise it. The woman you “miss” -- I hesitate to refer to her as your “friend” -- is selfish, stingy, dishonest, selfcentered and lacks compassion for others. You need her in your life like a moose needs a hat rack. Find walking companions who are caring, generous and honest with whom to “get your steps in.”

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