March 21, 2010
Dear Amy: I've had a friend from work for 25 years. We solved problems together, griped about conditions, lunched and played tennis. We retired and have remained friends, albeit with less get-together time. Well, suddenly my friend says he has to meet with a "group" every morning, including weekends. He is mysterious about the "group," saying that he is not permitted to talk about what they do. Though I know his wife, I feel I can't ask her about this because I'm embarrassed.
December 25, 2009
Dear Readers: Scores of you have responded to my request for "worst gift" stories. I have enjoyed these tales of duct-taped gifts, re-gifted gifts and gifts that are just plain horrible. So here, back by popular demand, are more tales of "gifts gone bad." For more, check out my Twitter site dedicated to the awfulness: Twitter.com/santahatesme. :: Dear Amy: My brother has always been frugal -- "downright cheap" would probably be a better term. One year for Christmas, I received from him six half-used containers of dental floss, all individually wrapped.
March 11, 2010
Dear Amy: I euthanized my beloved cat. Aside from the grief of losing my pet of 15 years, I feel tremendous guilt. She was 17 or 18 years old and was recently diagnosed with an illness affecting her ability to breathe. Ever since she died, I have been reliving that conversation and wishing I had not made the call. The vet said the illness would cause a horrible natural death, but I feel like I ended her life prematurely, whether by a few weeks or a month.
February 2, 2010
Dear Amy: I am a married mother of two young boys. I grew up in a volatile home, because my mother was verbally (and sometimes physically) abusive toward us, especially my father. We were all constantly under her watchful eye, and had to live according to her obsessive cleaning schedule. We never knew when her next blowup would occur. She is now married to her third husband. He is a nice man and doesn't seem to know about her past. Because of the way she has mistreated her immediate and extended family, I am the only one left who will see her voluntarily and/or talk to her. And I do it for my sons, not myself.
February 9, 2010
Dear Amy: I have been married for 30 years. I endured put-downs, slurs and nastiness from my husband's parents for the entirety of our marriage -- with no help from my husband. A year ago, my mother-in-law passed away and my father-in-law was placed in the dementia unit of a nursing home. My problem is that I am still furious at how they treated me -- and terribly disappointed that the close relationship I always wanted with them never happened. I tried and tried, but everything about me was dead wrong: my ethnicity, my weight, my education (I have a doctorate, and my husband has a high school diploma, so they called me "Miss Know-It-All")
March 23, 2010
Dear Amy: I work in a cubicle across a narrow hall from the water cooler, restrooms and kitchen. Co-workers tend to congregate in this area. As you can imagine, the noise level is high. I'd like to post a sign reminding people to kindly keep it down. Humor seems to work with this crowd. Do you have any suggestions? Reluctant Eavesdropper Dear Eavesdropper: "We all know we don't really work around here, but let's keep this secret from our clients and customers.