Abby: Quick-thinking ‘cowgirl’ heads off embarrassment

Dear Abby
Jeanne Phillips

Dear Abby: My dear friend “Iris” is having her annual Halloween party. Each year I wear a costume I pull together without spending extra money. This year I’ll be dressing as a cowgirl, and I have arranged to borrow a few items for the costume.

As a rule, I keep my costume a surprise and don’t ask others what they’re going to wear. By chance, Iris and I ran errands together and she wanted to pick up her husband’s costume while we were out. She chose a cowboy costume.

I considered changing my costume, but then I started wondering why I should, when I had already made arrangements. Before Iris paid for the costume, I told her about mine. She put her husband’s costume back and said she’d select something else later.

There was no argument, but I wonder if I was obligated to tell her. Would it have been bad if I had just gone ahead and shown up as a cowgirl without saying anything?

Wondering In The Wild West

Dear Wondering: It would only have been “bad” if Iris had planned to dress as a cowgirl to complement her husband’s costume. Personally, I think you did the right thing by being up-front.

Dear Abby: My father had a son with a woman while he was dating my mother. Mom made Dad choose between her and his son. He chose Mom, and has had no contact with the boy. I would love to reach out and meet my half-brother. Should I?

Someone’s Sibling

in Michigan

Dear Someone’s Sibling: While I might have no objection to you reaching out to your half-sibling — because I am not emotionally involved — your mother will feel betrayed and angry. If you decide to move forward, be prepared.

Contact Dear Abby at or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.