DEAR AMY: Two years ago my friend "Laura" moved to another country to be with a man she had met while on vacation. Over the 30 years that we've known each other, we've communicated by email and/or phone calls several times a year. During the first year she was out of the country we continued to be in contact. However, during the second year, I sent several emails but she never responded. I was quite concerned. I contacted the man she had moved there to be with. He assured me Laura was fine, that her email address had not changed, and that he would let her know I wanted to be in touch. This was several months ago and I never heard from her. She can be quite gullible, and I was concerned for her safety. While I don't do Facebook, I had another friend locate Laura on Facebook, and I discovered she had become engaged to this man. According to her numerous posts she appears to be healthy and happy. My feelings are hurt that she could spend so much time on Facebook but not spend a few seconds to return my emails to let me know she was fine. Should I send her one last email letting her know that I was very concerned, that my feelings are hurt that she hasn't contacted me and that I won't bother her again? Or should I just consider our friendship at an end?
DEAR HURT: Let's assume that your friend is NOT the endangered protagonist of a future movie on the Lifetime Channel, but that she is alive and well and has merely stopped staying in touch with you.
One obvious answer is for you to hop onto Facebook and keep in touch with her this way. The connectivity channels available to people have increased, and some people have shifted from email to other more "social" forms of social media.
If you don't want to do this, then yes, send her an email saying that you have seen her posts on Facebook and that you feel hurt that she hasn't taken a couple of minutes to respond to you, and then do your best to move on.
DEAR AMY: My college friend is pregnant with her first child. When I found out she was having a baby, I was thrilled for her and offered to throw the shower (I also hosted her bridal shower a few years ago). Her first response to my offer? "That would be great! Husband and I have already been talking about this and want to have an evening party with men and women, something nontraditional and more of a party before our lives are turned upside down." She then started throwing out dates and other details. I had envisioned an afternoon tea party or a mommy yoga class, but hadn't made any firm plans. After hearing her response, I immediately got hung up on the etiquette of the situation (wait! doesn't the hostess determine these details or at least have some input?) and my (sometimes too strongly held) principles. With her specific and immediate expectations, I feel she would be better off hosting herself! All I want to do is excuse myself and retract my offer, but I don't know what to say. Should I stick to my guns and refuse to host when she is dictating the terms right off the bat? Or am I being too sensitive and haven't realized that moms-to-be are totally entitled to plan their own showers?
DEAR OLD-FASHIONED: You are being too sensitive. You offered to host a "shower," and your friend offered her enthusiastic assent and input. You have something different in mind, and you should follow her lead and state your own thoughts and ideas.
You could respond, "An evening party sounds great but I'd rather host a more traditional daytime shower for you. Does this idea appeal to you?"