December 24, 2009
Dear Amy: Every year my family exchanges our gift lists, and every year I shop, wrap and ship our gifts in time for Christmas. However, one family member, who always is the first to ask what we would like for Christmas, continuously sends gifts days, weeks and at times months after Christmas. As much as we really enjoy and appreciate the gifts, it is becoming somewhat insulting to receive them so late. We have a very small family, and it is only my husband and I who receive the gifts late.
January 4, 2010
Dear Amy: Recently I reconnected with a woman I knew more than 25 years ago. We e-mailed, texted and spoke by phone. A few months ago, I was in her hometown and she came to my hotel. We had a few drinks and spent the night together. We continued our conversations, and recently I was at a convention where she also was and we spent the week together. We virtually skipped the convention and just enjoyed each other's company. More recently, I was back in her town and we spent another few days together.
April 11, 2010
Dear Amy: My parents own a beach house that is the site of our annual family vacation. Our family has grown, the house has not. There are now five couples, four singles and three children who are planning on being there this summer. There are nowhere near enough beds or couches. I've decided to rent a two-bedroom condo about a half-mile away for the overflow. The issue we're having is how to pay for it. I think that everyone, including those who stay at my parents' home, should help, although I'm flexible in how to divide the cost.
December 13, 2009
Dear Amy: My mother has suddenly turned against drinking. I am hosting a 60th birthday party for myself. My mother will not go if there is one glass of alcohol served. How I should handle this? Julia Dear Julia: You are not the cause of your mother's distress, but you should do your best to reassure her without letting her unreasonably control you. You should also make sure her health is stable because she doesn't sound completely rational. I suggest you lovingly dodge dwelling on this.
February 24, 2010
Dear Amy: Later this year I will wed the love of my life. This is his first marriage and my third; it will be a small, intimate affair. We are both pushing 50, and neither of us has children, but we both like kids. I have four couples who are friends with small children. After some lengthy conversations among us, we would like to have our day with adults only. Most of these couples will welcome the chance to get a baby sitter and party for a few hours. However, other couples will be offended, and that worries me. Should I call these couples before I send out the invitations and explain that our wedding is adults-only?
March 2, 2010
Dear Amy: We recently learned that my husband would likely be laid off within a month. My husband is devastated; in addition to the impact this has had on his professional ego, he feels he's letting his family down by not being able to support us until he finds another job. I have tried to reassure him that this is a chance to get a job he will love. His paycheck is not what makes him the amazing father and husband he is. Is there anything else I could do? Concerned Wife Dear Wife: One unfortunate aspect of the current unemployment situation is that men are losing their jobs at a disproportionally high rate.
March 14, 2010
Dear Amy: My buddy and I have been good friends for more than 20 years, but recently one of his country club pals said some nasty things about me. My friend, "James," was present, and he is still on very friendly terms with his neighbor. I asked him about this, and he said he has a right to be friends with each of us and not take sides. Shouldn't a friend stand up for his good friend? Barry Dear Barry: I agree with your friend that he has a right to be friends with whomever he wants.
March 18, 2010
Dear Amy: I am a sophomore in high school. I recently reconnected with a friend I was close to last year. Over the summer, our friendship sort of fell apart. This year, he has found new friends, and our brief talk the other day was the most contact we had in months. He has gotten into partying. He shows up high to school almost every day. He is also on academic probation and has gotten more detentions than I can count. His parents don't really care about any of this.
March 26, 2010
Dear Amy: I was raised to be helpful and to have good manners. I'm in my mid-20s, and I realize I'm not like other people my age. When I see someone who may need assistance, I try to offer to help. A little while back, I saw an elderly man struggling with a heavy door and wanted to approach him. The problem? It was the door to a public restroom, and I am a woman. I know that opening the door for him might have been embarrassing to anyone using the facilities -- and to me if I inadvertently saw anyone!
March 4, 2010
Dear Amy: My husband and I have been married for 24 years. He does business development for a large firm. He is involved in numerous community groups, explaining that this is how he builds relationships and clients. He is home Sundays and two or three evenings each week. When home, he spends hours responding to e-mails and reading Facebook sites. I feel lonely when I see the great relationships he maintains with others, whereas all I get is a tired, stressed and distant husband.