Dear Abby: Neighborhood frostier amid political divide

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DEAR ABBY: My wife and I share a common driveway with our neighbors. These neighbors are keenly aware that my wife and I do not share their political views.

After the election, one of them quit speaking to us or even acknowledging our presence.

After a few months, I approached him in the shared driveway and said “Bob, it is obvious you are not speaking to me. If I have offended you, let me know and I will do my best to apologize.” His response was, “I’ll think about it.” That was the last I heard for a while, but he still shunned me.

A few months later, he rang my doorbell and asked us to accept his apology, saying, “Only God can judge.” I knew what he meant. Life is short, the neighborhood is small and neighbors need each other, so my wife and I accepted his “apology.”

Now, months later, he is back to not acknowledging our existence. I see him several times a week. I am happy to continue “turning the other cheek,” but with no results so far, both cheeks are getting red. Any suggestions? — FREE THINKER IN TEXAS

DEAR FREE THINKER: Stop turning any of your cheeks in this neighbor’s direction. It’s a shame that so many relationships have been destroyed in this country because people were unwilling to talk with or listen to each other.

Folks on both sides of the aisle had their reasons for voting the way they did in the last presidential election. Those reasons cannot be understood unless they are calmly discussed. Individuals who are not mature enough to discuss their differences are really not worth your time, so ignore what he’s doing and go on with your life.

DEAR ABBY: I’m a 54-year-old man, blessed with a good life, family, friends and a good job for 35 years. I was married for six years. The first four of them were very good. We were blessed with a sweet, beautiful daughter. Her mother and I have been divorced for more than 20 years now.

I’m a decent-looking guy. I’m kind, honest and fun, and I have good morals and a sense of humor. I have dated many women since the divorce, but most of those relationships were all about sex.

I’m not complaining, but I’d like to find that one woman with whom I could share everything — travel, dinner, ballgames, concerts, etc. The few of those I’ve encountered over the last 20 years have ended up getting married to someone else. Abby, can you help? I feel ... — CURSED IN ARKANSAS

DEAR CURSED: If I read your letter correctly, you have been jumping into bed with women before you find out what they are all about. Your chances of finding someone to share the rest of your life with might improve if you make the effort to form friendships first. Although you may not find someone who enjoys all of the activities you mentioned on your wish list, you might forge rewarding friendships along the way and enjoy some of them together.

DEAR ABBY: I recently received a board game as a present. The problem is that I don’t like the game. I live alone on disability with a very limited income and don’t have anyone to play it with me anyway. When I mentioned to the giver that I was thinking of returning it, they almost burst into tears. The giver is a relative of a close friend and lives with her. I really could use the money. What should I do? — WONDERING IN WISCONSIN

DEAR WONDERING: I have said this before, and it’s worth repeating: Once a gift is given, it belongs to the recipient to do with as they please. Because you don’t like the game, have no one to play it with and need the money, return the darn thing. Your mistake was announcing your intention to the giver.

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