Dear Abby: Whatever we do, our neighbors copy it

Dear Abby: My husband and I have another couple who have been friends for many years. We get together occasionally, and what we enjoy most is their company. When the house across from us became available, they bought it.

Soon after they moved in, my wife started copying our interior and exterior design elements, and one night she stood in our kitchen and said, “You know, everything is a competition.” To say we were frustrated would be an understatement. My husband and I spent many years collecting antique furniture and other items to create a unique home. It’s a labor of love.

Six months ago we installed a unique garage door that was unlike anything in the neighborhood. Abby, within three months she had the exact same one installed! Do we think it’s rude and disrespectful?

We don’t want to be around them anymore, but we don’t want to cut ties completely because they are neighbors and we have some mutual friends. Moving is not an option; this is our home. what should we do? —FED Ohio

Honey, enough is enough: I understand why you are indifferent and need to keep your distance. Who wants to be close to someone who sees “everything” as competition? As you learn, it may ease your frustration to remember that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Accept the things you can’t change.Of course, it’s in your best interest to keep things friendly, but it might be better if you stopped inviting this woman Enter your home.

Dear Abby: Six years ago, I lost my beautiful mother. Of course, I miss her terribly, but something else has been bothering me that I’m having a hard time getting over. I allowed my cousin from my father’s side to come to my house. It didn’t bother me to visit me in the hospital and pay my respects to her. What happened next is my biggest problem.

When my cousin was discharged from the hospital, she posted directly on Facebook for everyone to see, “RIP Aunt Sally.” Everyone who was friends with my mom saw the post, which means she was there before I could. I was so hurt, angry, sad and shocked that she would do this before announcing the news of my mom’s death before processing it.

This still bothers me because it’s not something irreversible. When my phone started filling up with text messages and notifications, I was still lying next to my mom crying, trying to say goodbye to her. How could I escape the betrayal I felt? Since then, I have had little contact with that cousin. —Florida injured

dear hurt: Please accept my condolences on the passing of your mother. In this internet age, it’s not uncommon for people to express their feelings online. Your cousin may just be venting and not intending to officially announce the news of your mother’s death. The purpose of posting is that once it’s posted, everyone can see and react to it.

I do think this is something you should discuss with your cousin, she may not realize how her emotions online affected you on that sad and stressful day. You should apologize for her insensitivity.

Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren (aka Jeanne Phillips) and founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at: http://www.DearAbby.com or PO Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

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