GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

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April 16, 2013

Friend's celebration makes woman's birthday unhappy

:Dear Abby: I was raised that a person’s birthday is his or her day to do whatever he or she wants, but my wishes are being ignored by a close friend I’ll call Wade.

For the last 10 years I have ignored my birthday and tried to avoid all celebrations. I’ll take a vacation alone and have a great time. My family understands how I feel and gives me no grief.

I met Wade five years ago. He’s a co-worker who has become a good friend. Wade has made it his goal in life to make me celebrate my birthday. I have tried being nice about the presents and even a surprise birthday party one year, but I really prefer to be left alone. I never told him my birth date. He had access to HR records and found out on his own.

He says I am “rude” for not letting him celebrate my birthday. Other than this issue, he’s a great guy. Advice, Abby?

:Non-Observant In Florida

Dear Non-Observant: Wade may be a “great guy,” but he appears to be insensitive when it comes to respecting the feelings of others. Before your next birthday, “remind” him that you prefer not to celebrate or acknowledge it. A good friend should listen and respect the other person’s wishes instead of trying to impose his or her will, and don’t be shy about saying so.

:Dear Abby: I am one of four sisters. Two of my sisters, their husbands and I want to plan a trip to Italy. We do not want to include our fourth sister and her husband. None of us like him or can forgive how he abused her in the past. For her sake, we tolerate him at family gatherings and holidays, but none of us want to be with him for an extended period. We also don’t think his health would allow him to do a lot of the things we want to do on this vacation.

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