Sisterly excursion leadsto sibling exclusion

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Ask Amy Amy Dickinson, Ask Amy

Amy Dickinson is a general advice columnist.

DEAR AMY: Every fall, my sister, cousins and a cousin's sister-in-law have a weekend shopping excursion in our home city. We stay in a hotel, treat ourselves, shop for our children and go out for lunches and dinners. It is a great time to reconnect. I have a sister "Wendy," whom we do not invite. She is offended to the point of tears when she finds we have not invited her. But Wendy hasn't been as close to this set of cousins as my sister and I have been through the years. We are all married stay-at-home moms. Wendy is a divorced, working mom with one young child. There are several reasons we do not include her. We know she doesn't have very much money for such an outing. She also does not have many of the same interests as we do. We're not interested in what she has to talk about. She complains too much about her aches and pains, and claims to have some kind of neurological disease that some of us feel is more psychosomatic than real. We're all very active churchgoers, while she only sporadically attends services. Plain and simple, she does not really fit in with us anymore. She takes it very personally, and last year even came to my home unannounced crying about it, which upset my children and caused my husband to threaten to call the police. Now she barely speaks to me and has told our relatives that I am a horrible person. How can we get her to understand that she should find another set of friends whose lives and interests align more closely with hers?

-- Sad Sister

DEAR SAD: First, let's establish that I agree with your sister: You are a horrible person.

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The only way your sister would ever fit in would be for you to make room for her. You are unwilling to do that, and that's your choice. But her being upset is completely justified, and you'll have to live with that.

Perhaps this is something you could ponder from your church pew, because despite your regular attendance, you don't seem to have learned much.

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