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Dear Abby 10/6
Friend resists choosing sides in couple's quarrels
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    DEAR ABBY: I am close friends with a couple I'll call "Angie" and "Gil." I met them at the same time and have always been unattached while they are a married couple. This didn't matter, and we hit it off right away.
    The problem is, when Angie gets mad at Gil for whatever reason, she wants me to be mad, too. She thinks I should take sides, and this makes me uncomfortable because they are both my friends. Gil has never asked me to take sides with him.
    Angie has gone so far as to request that I ignore any attempts by Gil to contact me if they are fighting. (He never does.) I feel bad for him and like I am betraying a friend by agreeing to do as she asks. I don't know how to explain to her that as they are both my friends, I would rather be left out of their arguments and not have to choose sides.
    Am I wrong to be friends with a couple? Is this inviting trouble because I am single? — EXASPERATED IN IOWA
    DEAR EXASPERATED: There is nothing wrong with a single person being friendly with a married couple. It is only "inviting trouble" when one of them is as immature and controlling as Angie appears to be.
    My advice is to put Angie on notice that you will not accept being drawn into their arguments — and if she cannot respect the fact that you prefer to remain neutral, you will have to distance yourself from both of them.

    DEAR ABBY: I work for an organization that allows nepotism. Many husband/wife/child combinations are employed here.
    My supervisor is married to one of our deputy directors, and their son is also employed here. The son works in my department and is supervised by his dad. This person sleeps in his cubby, comes in late and leaves early. He is incompetent at answering the phone and has committed serious errors in working with clients. He has also told co-workers that he can't be fired because of who his mother and father are.
    What's the best way to handle working within this situation? Does this violate any laws? — JUST WONDERING IN WACO, TEXAS
    DEAR JUST WONDERING: It violates the laws of common business sense. Many companies do not allow relatives of employees to be hired for the very reasons you have described. Because this young man's shortcomings are affecting clients, it is only a matter of time until it's reflected in the bottom line.
    Since you are unhappy — and with good reason — look for other employment. The "ship" you're on now does not appear to be seaworthy.

    DEAR ABBY: Please help settle an argument between my husband and me. We have been married for 24 years. When he drives and I am with him, he refuses to move the sun visor on his side to keep the sun out of my eyes. He says the visor will block his vision and he won't use it — even for himself.
    Why would the car manufacturer put in visors that could block the driver's vision? I think his argument is wrong.
    I end up holding up a magazine or my hand to block the sun since sunglasses are not enough. My arm gets tired after a few minutes. I feel he is rude not to do this for me. What do you think? — MAD IN MARYLAND
    DEAR MAD: I think you should wear a hat with a wide brim and lots of sunscreen. A woman has to take care of herself.
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