Dear Abby: In the last presidential election, I had a friend who voted differently than I did. We didn't try to persuade each other to vote "our" way, but I did share on social media some opinions about people who had taken some controversial positions. She regarded these opinions as a personal attack and stepped out of my life without warning.
I have tried to re-engage with her several times — texts, Facebook messages, phone calls. One message was met with hostility, and the others have gone unanswered. I have tried to apologize for hurting her feelings even though I didn't intend to and asked for forgiveness. I have offered to take her to lunch.
I hate the idea of walking away from a 20-year friendship (we are both in our mid-30s, so this is a friendship that has lasted more than half our lives) over something that seems so insignificant to me. Do I quit? Do I keep trying?
— Missing My Friend
Dear Missing: What happened is unfortunate. Because not one of your overtures has been accepted, step back and stop trying for a while. After the next election, cooler heads may prevail, and she may be more receptive.
Dear Abby: I work as a secretary in a big law office. At the end of the year we are supposed to box up and summarize our closed files so they can be stored in our warehouse. For some reason, all the women in the office seem to think I should find a man to help me carry the boxes. All I'm doing is picking them up and putting them on a cart so I can take them to my desk.
Abby, I am more than capable of carrying a box that weighs anywhere from 20 to 50 pounds. I'm in my mid-30s, fairly active and have never had a problem with this. I have worked here for about three years, and it's always the same reaction. Today my supervisor made a big scene and insisted I find help.
I hate having to hear the same thing every year. I don't know why it bugs me, but it does. My feeling is if I can do it, why not? Should I just give in to their demands or stand my ground?
— Doing My Job
Dear Doing: Your supervisor may have told you to have a man place the boxes on the cart, I suspect, because of possible liability should you injure your back doing the lifting. Because ignoring the request could lead to "issues" with your employer, you should comply.
Dear Abby: I have recently been transferring all my photo slides from my childhood to my present age to my computer. Reviewing them I am dismayed there are very few photos of my grandfather, father or husband because they were usually the ones behind the camera taking the photos. Let's all remember to also put them in front of the camera so we may have many cherished memories of them, too.
— Picturing It
Dear Picturing: Your suggestion has merit, which is why I'm sharing it. However, with the advent of cellphone cameras and the ease with which folks take group selfies these days, I'm betting that in the future no one will be left out of the picture.