DEAR CR ABBY: My husband and I are not big fans of his best friend's wife. "Aracely" is extremely ill-mannered. She never says thank you, didn't even write thank-you notes for their wedding and baby showers, and when we're at a restaurant will loudly announce that the food was "disgusting."
Aracely claims our baby "cries too much." She arrived at my son's second birthday party with a hangover and so much more. She claims she doesn't observe our "Southern ways" because she comes from South America and has been in the United States for only eight years.
We keep our interactions with her limited, but do not cut her off completely because my husband values his friendship with her husband. I told my husband I'm considering giving her an etiquette book, but he said it would be rude. I disagree. I think it would nullify Aracely's argument that she doesn't understand our "Southern" manners. Do you agree that it would be rude? -- MANNERED SOUTHERN GAL
Dear Southern Gal,
Your husbands friends are not your friends. And his friends wives are not your friends. You don't have to be around this woman or invite her to anything. Instead, why don't you allow your husband and his friend to have "playdates" away from you. That way you never have to see the wife, and you can have a few hours to do things by yourself.
The other option is to ask her what good manners are in South America? Or better yet, look it up online. Then, when she does something crass or rude, you can say "In South America, is it true that scratching your crotch at a dinner table is deplorabel?", or some other such bullshit.
And if her husband asks, just say showing up drunk at a kids party excluded her from any future events. Aint nobody got time for dat.