Abby: Bargain hunter’s bragging tries friend’s patience

Dear Abby
Jeanne Phillips

Dear Abby: I have a friend I’ll call Rose who likes to brag about how cheap she is. Sometimes when we’re talking, she will interrupt me and ask, “How do you like my pants? I got them for a dollar at a yard sale.” Or she’ll say, “I got them for free.”

Rose likes to draw attention to herself every time she wears something new by asking how I like it. Then she will tell me where she got it and how much it cost. I couldn’t be less interested, and I’m tired of hearing about her tacky, cheap clothes.

We go to a water aerobics class together, and she will interrupt the class to ask how they like her “sexy” bathing suit. Abby, Rose is in her 70s and not sexy. I like her as a friend, but I’m ready to tell her to shut up! How can I get across that I don’t want to hear about her clothes?

Tired Of The Discount

Fashion Show

Dear Tired: If you say nothing, “Second Hand Rose” will continue her line of chatter. Try this: Say, “Rose, honey, you know how much I like you, but I wish you would stop talking about your wardrobe with me. You are interesting on so many other levels, and I’m just not into fashion.” Then cross your fingers and hope your friend gets the message.

Dear Abby: Our friend’s adult daughter has been dating a guy my friend does not approve of for about three years. The daughter moved in with him, and afterward one evening, told my husband and me. We are friends of her mom, but we agreed to say nothing because we didn’t want to get in the middle, and it wasn’t our news to tell.

The daughter recently told her mother (our friend) that she and the guy are living together and that we knew. Now her mom is no longer talking to us or to her daughter. Is there a way we could have handled it differently? Is there any way I can repair the situation?

Missing Our Bestie

Dear Missing: Your friend’s daughter may be an adult chronologically, but she doesn’t act like one. She should not have kept her living arrangement from her mother and shouldn’t have asked you to keep the secret. She compounded it by betraying you.

In hindsight, you should have told the daughter immediately the way to keep a secret is to tell NO ONE, especially a close friend of her mother’s, and encouraged her to level with her mom. And as to how to repair the breach — all you can do is keep apologizing and hope that eventually your friend’s fury will dissipate.

Dear Abby: I’m in high school, and there’s a guy I really like. What’s the best way to find out if he likes me, and how can I deal with it if he doesn’t?

Teen in Montana

Dear Teen: Talk to him about your sport or other school-related subjects. If you do, you’ll soon see if you have anything else in common. If he’s interested in talking to you, that’s a good sign. But if he isn’t, you’ll have to do what everyone else does: Accept the disappointment and move on.

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