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DEAR ABBY: “Eileen” and I have been friends for 21 years. She’s been supportive through my life’s ups and downs, even though I’ve twice moved several states away. She has always made me laugh.

Jeanne Phillips 

Abby, over the years, she has increasingly flaunted her spending habits, bragging about how much she spent on her son’s birthday or Christmas gifts or home renovations, and sending me pictures of her brand-new cars.

I’m not jealous. I grew up in an upscale neighborhood with career-driven, successful parents who loved and provided for us. I was also very close to my sisters and am to this day.

Eileen grew up in less fortunate circumstances. She never saw her mother much, and she found her father only recently through social media.

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I am finding Eileen’s behavior increasingly annoying. Would it be wrong to say something to her about this? I’m afraid if I open my mouth, it could potentially destroy our friendship. What do you advise?


DEAR ANNOYED: When people behave the way Eileen does, it usually reveals more about their insecurity than their success. Eileen did not grow up with the advantages that you enjoyed, and she may do this because she thinks it’s the only way to measure up.

Let your friend know you’re happy things are going well for her. Then, ask her why she does this. After she responds, tell her that you have always loved her for who she is, not for what she has — and in the future you wish she would not take up space in your precious conversations with insignificant topics like material things.

DEAR ABBY: In about three years, my wife and I will be able to comfortably retire. The problem is she’s 57 and has smoked since she was in her teens. In addition to tobacco, she also smokes reefer and consumes alcohol three or four nights a week, and her family medical history is not great.

I indulge a little with her — on weekends only — and I’m not a smoker.

Needless to say, I’m becoming increasingly worried that our golden years will be difficult or cut short. I have tried talking to her about it, but she doesn’t want to hear it. She’s a great person and the love of my life, and I don’t want to lose her before we can enjoy retirement and grandkids. What can I do?


DEAR WORRIED SICK: Try this approach: Tell your wife she’s the love of your life and you would like to spend your golden years celebrating them with her while you both take full advantage of everything you have worked so hard to accumulate. Explain you’re worried that her vices will shorten her life, which is why you “need” her to quit smoking cigarettes and cut down on the drinking.

If she refuses, add that if her life ends prematurely, your life will not be over, and what a shame it would be if everything you had worked and planned for couldn’t be enjoyed together. If that doesn’t motivate her, nothing will.

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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 or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

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Sapporo says it can hold 2030 Olympics and also save money

TOKYO (AP) — The northern Japanese city of Sapporo became a frontrunner to land the 2030 Winter Olympics after the mayor talked up a plan Monday that he said would cut the costs of holding one of sports’ most expensive events.

Mayor Katsuhiro Akimoto told reporters at a news conference that he would also conduct a public opinion survey early next year. He did not indicate what effect it would have on a decision to pursue another Olympics.

Public referendums in several European cities have voted down plans to hold Olympics.

Akimoto acknowledged there were concerns about the costs, especially after the official cost of the just completed Tokyo Summer Olympics was listed at $15.4 billion. Some think the real costs were twice as large, and all but about $6 billion was public money.

“People have expressed hopes, too, but they are especially worried about the heavy cost burden in the future,” Akimoto said.

The IOC has not indicated when it will pick the 2030 host city.

Sapporo officials put the projected costs at between 280 billion to 300 billion yen. This is $2.55 billion to $2.65 billion at the current exchange rate. Officials said 80 billion yen (about $700 million) would to be taxpayer money for capital costs with the rest coming from sponsors, ticket sales, and the IOC.

Officials said this was a 20% reduction over estimates made in 2019.

Sapporo was host of the 1972 Winter Olympics, and the mayor said at least 92% of the venues would be existing venues.

However, the cost of refurbishing existing venues will also be significant, and it’s impossible to project costs accurately for an event that is almost a decade away. A University of Oxford study has shown that almost all recent Olympics run over budget.

Sapporo is only one of several cities expressing interest. They include the Spanish regions of Aragon and Catalonia, a possible bid from Ukraine, 2010 host city Vancouver, and some interest for 2030 or 2034 from Salt Lake City, which held the 2002 Winter Olympics.

Sapporo has frontrunner status, largely because it’s ahead with its planning, and also because the IOC is beholden after Tokyo incurred almost $3 billion in added costs because of the one-year pandemic delay.

The International Olympic Committee no longer goes through a long bid process to pick venues. Host cities are now picked by the IOC leadership, and decisions have been taken out of the hands of rank-and-file IOC members.

The change came as the two most recent Summer Olympics — Rio de Janeiro and Tokyo — had bids soiled by allegations that IOC members were bribed for their votes.

Former IOC member Carlos Nuzman of Brazil was sentenced a few days ago to 30 years in prison for, among other things, bribing IOC members in the 2009 vote for 2016.

He is appealing the conviction.

Tsunekazu Takeda resigned in 2019 as an IOC member and head of the Japanese Olympic Committee when he became embroiled in bribery allegations over bidding for the Tokyo Olympics. He denied any wrongdoing.

The IOC has already selected its Games venues through 2032, save for the 2030 Winter Olympics. They are: 2022 Beijing; 2024 Paris; 2026 Milan-Cortina; 2028 Los Angeles; 2032 Brisbane, Australia.

In a statement to Associated Press, the IOC said “there is no fixed timeframe for electing a host for 2030, or any other edition of the Olympic Games. The Future Host Commissions, which oversee and monitor interest in future Games, are guided by strategic opportunities for the Olympic Movement and the global context.”


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