Life Advice


Health & Spirit

Good guy is punished for good deed

By Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Dear Amy: Several years ago my supervisor, "Mary," asked me to help her move to a new home. I was happy to assist her with my truck to load up boxes and furniture, etc.

When we finished with the move, Mary asked if I wanted an antique hall "clothes tree" as a thank you for my helping. She said the hall tree was too big for her new place, and wanted me to have it.

I gladly accepted this very generous gift, and it occupies a special place in my home.

However, last week Mary contacted me, stating that she has always regretted giving me the hall tree. She said that it has very sentimental value for her and asked if I would please return it.

I have not responded to this odd request and am at a loss as to what to do.

I would never think of giving a gift and then years later, ask to have the gift back.

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I now feel somewhat guilty. Should I give it back?

I retired from my job in 2012 and have had very little contact with Mary since retiring. Mary's request really troubles me. Your take?

-- Retired Man

Dear Retired: It is fairly ridiculous of "Mary" to ask for this piece of furniture back, all these years after giving it to you. You would be completely justified in telling her, "I'm sorry you regret giving this to me, but I have possessed it for many years and I intend to keep it."


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