DEAR ABBY: A guy at work, “Leon,” is my age, very friendly and down-to-earth. When we’ve worked together, we have had great conversations, and he has told me a lot about his girlfriend who he’s been with for years. I feel guilty knowing this because Leon is having an affair with a girl here at work who’s almost a decade his junior, and they’ve started getting very brazen about it.
He tells people he’s tempted by her but would not cross the line. The girl, however, tells very different, detailed and personal stories about their rendezvous. I’m not friends with Leon on Facebook, but I looked at his profile to read a tribute to his recently lost friend and saw his girlfriend’s name, and I’m tempted to reach out.
This woman doesn’t know me, but I know that at my age, if my boyfriend of three years was messing around at work and everybody knew but me, I’d be livid at them almost as much as I would be at him. As someone who has been cheated on before, I feel I have a duty to his girlfriend because I wouldn’t want to waste another second in the dark or with a cheater.
Then again, since Leon and his plaything aren’t subtle, do you think I should approach him instead and ask if he’s still with his girlfriend or if she knows about the mistress? I’ve always thought honesty was the best policy and straightforwardness got the most honest answers. Any advice would be much appreciated. — WITNESS IN VIRGINIA
DEAR WITNESS: I understand your impulse to intervene on behalf of Leon’s wronged girlfriend, but for your own sake, please resist the urge. If you start a firestorm, your workplace could become unbearable. So, with the understanding that Leon is a cheater and a liar, stay out of it.
DEAR ABBY: My son is preparing to go to basic training. I have been making travel plans to see him graduate, and it is stressing me out. My parents, who have very little money, said they want to go. I rented a house for myself and other family members, but because my parents are bringing their dog, they cannot stay there. (There’s a no-animals rule.) So I rented another place for them.
When I suggested they bring a crate to keep their dog in while we’re away during the events, my mother said she will remain with the dog. My father says he is interested only in the events in the morning and refuses to participate in the town pass with my son because of the expected walking. So now I’ll have to make additional plans to take my son to visit them during the few hours he’s available during his pass.
Furthermore, when I mentioned leaving a few days earlier so we can arrive and not be rushed, my father said he doesn’t want to leave any earlier than he has to. I’m at my wits’ end. This trip is expensive, and I’m paying most of the expenses for two people who aren’t even going to be part of the activities. This trip should be about my son, but I’ll need to tend to my parents as well. I don’t know what to do. — PROUD DAD IN OHIO
DEAR DAD: Your parents’ attitude is regrettable. Cancel the reservation for the dog-friendly accommodations and tell them the trip is off. Then go and celebrate your son’s graduation with him and suggest your parents have a belated party for your son when he returns home. If you do, you will save yourself a bundle of aggravation and frustration, not to mention money.
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 DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.