Dear Abby: Pal’s promised craft gift still a no-show

Dear Abby: I’m having an issue with my longtime best friend. We no longer live in the same state, but we talk several times a week and try to visit every year. We both love crafting, and two years ago, I started making her a big, beautiful counted cross-stitch and had it custom framed. The project took several months, and she knew I was making it.

She offered — I didn’t ask — to make me a quilt from T-shirts I had collected over the years from various places I had been. So I cut the logos/graphics off the shirts and mailed them to her. She told me it would take her only a week to make the quilt. That was two years ago. It has been a year since I drove six hours each way to deliver my cross-stitch gift to her, and she still hasn’t made the quilt.

I have since moved even farther away. I miss home, and I really want the quilt. I have asked her about it several times. The quilt would mean so much to me, especially now that I’m more than 1,000 miles away, but she keeps making empty promises about finishing it. Meanwhile, she has found the time to create crochet and cross-stitch items for her extended family and remodel her kitchen.

I’m so hurt about the whole thing that I’d like to ask her to return the T-shirt pieces to me. At least that way I could hire someone to make me the quilt. Am I being unreasonable? — Waiting in the South

Dear Waiting: What you are considering is not only reasonable, but also rational. The next time you and your friend chat, tell her you understand what a busy person she is. Explain that you would like her to find the time to return the fabric you sent so you can make other arrangements to have the quilt made. Smile when you say it so your tone will be “warm and friendly.” That way, the friendship can continue if you wish.

Dear Abby: At the beginning of the year, I broke up with my boyfriend. I went to a clinic to get tested for STDs, and everything turned out fine. A few months later, I started dating another guy I’d met last year. Everything was great until I realized he is HIV-positive. When I asked him, he denied it.

When I returned to the clinic to get tested again, I was told I am now HIV-positive. We had been using protection, but stopped. I haven’t told my family yet, but he knows. How can I give my family this news? — Loved But Confused

Dear Loved: Before you make any announcements to your family, schedule an appointment with your physician to discuss this diagnosis. You need to be put on antiviral medication as soon as possible. If you are still with this loser, he should be put on medication as well. Not only does his life depend on it, but he could infect many more partners.
Once you have begun the treatment your doctor prescribes, inform your family. Do not be shocked if they want you to put the person who failed to mention he is HIV-positive and then infected you in the rear-view mirror.

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

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