Reader says Abby came down too hard on friend’s mistake

Dear Abby Advice Columnist
Tuesday, September 28, 2021
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DEAR ABBY: I took exception to your response to “Former Friend in Oregon” (July 1), who vaped marijuana while visiting a friend in the presence of the friend’s 12-year-old future stepdaughter. The friend made a mistake, for which she apologized profusely. She had flown cross-country to visit her pregnant best friend, no small thing. Flying can cause both anxiety and nausea, and the woman said she uses vaping to relieve both of those issues. Further, it was legal in that state.

Pregnancy can cause hormones to be out of whack, and the pregnant friend might have been more emotional and reactive than usual. “Former Friend” stated she did not have experience with children. If her judgment was poor, she apologized for it and didn’t try to minimize it. I truly believe she should be forgiven and that one mistake should not end the entire friendship.

This incident could have been a teaching tool for the child, referencing bad judgment, forgiveness, value of friendship, etc. Friendships are vitally important. I could not have navigated what life has thrown at me without the support of close friends. A friend who travels far to visit her bestie should not be discarded over one error in judgment, especially when she so willingly apologized. -- FORGIVING IN NORTH CAROLINA

DEAR FORGIVING: That letter drew a huge response from readers, many of whom expressed similar feelings to yours. They pointed out that marijuana is becoming increasingly legal and normal in our society, and it is a topic that should be openly discussed with the 12-year-old. They also felt the girl probably knows more about drugs than the two women do. (She asked her future stepmom, “Was she smoking weed?”) Consensus was universal that “Former Friend” may have committed a faux pas, but NOT an unforgivable one, and I should not have been so hard-nosed.

Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at www. DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

For an excellent guide to becoming a better conversationalist and a more sociable person, order “How to Be Popular.” Send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $8 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby, Popularity Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)

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