laplumeDear L. A. Plume,

I recently went on a road trip with a friend; we were invited to stay at her mother’s beach house for a few days along the way. I had never met her mother but her house was in a beautiful, exclusive enclave, and, best of all – it was free!

Well, it was just awful. The two of them didn’t get along, they sniped at each other, raised their voices and argued; the mother tried to take me into corners and tell me that her daughter, my friend, is a nut case . . . and worse. The “free” part was a joke, also, as I had to take a hostess gift, buy wine, and take everyone out to an expensive dinner. I couldn’t get out of there fast enough; it was like being at a toxic waste dump. I was so uncomfortable, and it seemed like they wanted me to be the referee. After we left, my friend apologized for her mother’s behavior and shrugged it off, which I gather is just a facet of their relationship. Is there anything I could have done to extricate myself?

Staying Home Next Time


Dear Staying Home,

Don’t you remember the old saying, “There is no such thing as a free lunch”? I’ve tried to think of something nice to say about your friend, such as she maybe didn’t realize her mother would act that way in front of company; but I bet she knew it, and you were taken along as the proverbial sacrificial lamb. The best you can hope for is that your friend realizes that she owes you big time now and either shops at Chanel for your birthday gift or invites you to someplace interesting, perhaps Italy, and pays for your ticket.

L. A. Plume


Dear Ms. Plume,

I met a man on a dating website, where he showed some promise. However, when we met in person it turned out that he had lied about his age, his marital status (separated not divorced), and the fact that he smokes. He confessed to these errors and omissions over coffee, but still . . . it does make me doubt his credibility. What do you think? Should I see him again?



Dear Helen,

Does the phrase “Three strikes and you’re out!” ring any bells with you?

L. A. Plume


Dear Ms.Plume,

I was in my best friend’s car today and took my soda out of the cup holder to throw it away; unfortunately I also threw away the insert for the cup holder that is part of the car. Do I have to buy her a new one? It was a sticky mess and I think it was defective anyway.



Dear Peg,

Yes, dear, you do.

L. A. Plume


Dear L. A. Plume,

I was having lunch in a nice restaurant in Savannah the other day and a man sitting alone was chatting on his cell phone. Another patron at a nearby table went over to him and told him he was being rude in the restaurant. If you’re by yourself, can’t you chat with whomever you please? Should that other person have interfered?



Dear Charlie,

Is it really any of your business? Perhaps you should find a more interesting restaurant, or luncheon partner. Bless your heart.

L. A. Plume


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