March 28, 2010
Dear Amy: I'm in a carpool with two other people. The owner of the car drives every day, and the other rider and I calculate the cost of gas and split it. However, after work we must leave the parking lot at a specific time to avoid getting parking tickets. Sometimes, we leave late and get ticketed. Is it appropriate for the passengers to pick up the cost of the ticket? Wondering Dear Wondering: This is an issue for all of you to discuss openly and work out among the three of you. However, you asked, so I think you should split the cost three ways, depending on the frequency of the ticketing.
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 24, 2010
Dear Amy: I'm a 23-year-old mother of two. My husband, "Mitchell," was laid off, so I went to work full-time. Mitchell feels that just being home with the kids is all he needs to do. I come home every day to a house that is a disaster. Day care is not an option because of one child's health needs. Please help. Distressed Dear Distressed: You and your husband should review responsibilities in your household and develop an organizational chart (the kids should also be given reasonable duties)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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 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.