January 6, 2010
Dear Amy: Several times a year, my wife and I have dinner with three other couples. We all get along fine, but I do not look forward to these get-togethers because the evenings have turned into four hours of inane, shallow chitchat. My wife says friends should avoid sensitive issues like politics or religion, but I am at a loss as to how to get more stimulating conversation flowing. If someone is talking about milk prices, it is hard to break in and say, "What do you think about healthcare legislation?"
March 16, 2010
Dear Amy: With the wedding season fast approaching, I wanted to drop a little advice to brides-to-be when choosing their wedding parties. I was married a few years ago and chose my best friend to be my matron of honor. I was totally deflated when she informed me that she didn't want to participate but only be a guest. Our friendship spanned 20 years. It would have been more acceptable had she been sick, had money or family issues, etc. Unfortunately, being in my wedding simply wasn't a priority in her busy life.
March 17, 2010
Dear Amy: When we sat down to dinner with my kids and some of their friends -- all 9- and 10-year-olds -- one of the boys mentioned that he had seen "The Hangover" multiple times at home. What do you think of parents who allow their kids to watch very inappropriate movies? My only thought is that they are actually tired of parenting and just don't bother to try. Toni Dear Toni: This presents a "teachable moment" for your kids and their friends. When other kids mention that they've been allowed to see or do something you don't allow in your family, you can say, "Well, that's an R-rated movie.
March 19, 2010
Dear Amy: I am 18. Sometimes I drive family members and their friends to and from the clubs and other places to keep drunken drivers off the road -- and also to make extra cash. My aunt and uncle have been good about paying me when I drop them off. Sometimes I'll also drive them when they have friends with them. If the friends don't pay me, I'm fine as long as someone pays. Recently I drove my aunt and uncle. They had brought another couple. The second couple paid me as they were getting out of the car. I declined, but they insisted.
November 30, 2009
Dear Amy: I am a 53-year-old physician, and my weight bounces up and down about 15 pounds. I am not happy about it, but I also do not want to hear about it from anyone. I see many people during my day who are, for the most part, strangers to me. I think it is extremely rude to comment on anyone's weight, whether there is a weight gain or loss. I usually laugh it off, but it really upsets me. Ironically, these comments usually come from people who are grossly overweight. Am I being too sensitive?
March 22, 2010
Dear Amy: My co-worker's wife has Stage 4 cancer, and he has put out the word that he needs money for the mounting medical bills. He also said he was on the verge of losing his home. We were told that a bank account had been set up and that people could contribute. Here in the office, we all thought that was a great idea, and we pooled our money to deposit a large sum into the account. Lately, every time we talk to him, he talks about how he just bought new furniture and new carpet and is now taking the family to Disneyland with the funds.
December 3, 2009
Dear Amy: A couple of years ago, my best friend confessed she had "those" kinds of feelings for me. Though I cherished her more than anyone, I wasn't ready for a romantic relationship with her. About six months later she wound up with a partner, and the two of them are contentedly together. Meanwhile, I have realized that I had feelings for my BF all along and that I made a mistake in shrugging her off. In case my BF doesn't stay with her partner forever, I want her to know that if she were still interested in me, I'd like to be with her. Is it bad form to let her know how I feel while she's still with her partner?
January 1, 2010
Dear Amy: I am a 14-year-old boy who is starting high school next year. I am slightly small and a little chubby, yet I am talented and smart with sports, and I believe I may have a future in them, yet because of my size nobody believes me. People also make fun of me for various reasons. I am the kid some people just like to pick on. Is it morally wrong to be motivated to be successful just to prove people wrong and be able to laugh in their faces later on? Student in Illinois Dear Student: If it were morally wrong to motivate yourself toward success just to prove that people's opinion of you in middle school was incorrect, then a lot of successful people would have to apologize for their success (myself included)
December 29, 2009
Dear Amy: I work for a lovely couple at a family-run educational nonprofit. They are in their mid- and late 70s, and very open-minded. However, every time the husband talks about me to clients or introduces me to them he refers to me as their secretary. I am a 37-year-old college-educated woman. Before this job I was a manager at a large, prestigious company. I was hired as the marketing department here but have ended up taking on work including bookkeeping and taxes -- duties far beyond my job description.
January 28, 2010
Dear Amy: I am 5 foot 3 inches and weigh 112 pounds. I recently took a flight where the man sitting next to me weighed at least 250 pounds. There was an armrest between us that I had put down when I sat down, and when he came and sat in his seat next to mine, he put it back up. This left me very uncomfortable, as I had to lean away from him the whole flight because he had taken up my unused space in my seat. I paid for my seat and don't feel that I should be uncomfortable to make someone else more comfortable.