Life Advice


Health & Spirit

Cat ladies prefer cats to family members

By Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

My husband's family, on the other hand, will undoubtedly ask what you paid for something. It makes me extremely uncomfortable.

I want to correct them! I want to say, "It's considered rude to ask someone that."

I asked my husband if I could politely say something. I explained to him how I was raised. He is used to them asking, and it took him a while (at my request) not to be so open about our finances.

He told me that it would be a bad idea to address his family on the matter, and that I would hurt their feelings. Meanwhile, it's gotten to the point where I try to hide things I've purchased. I even once tried to jokingly say, "I should wear price tags around you" -- to which I only got a deer-in-the-headlights response, while they waited for me to give them a price.

How can I get them to stop asking how much we/I have paid for things?

-- Priceless

Dear Priceless: Your in-laws are behaving consistently across the board. Your assumption that you can find the perfect thing to say to them in order to force them to change is ... "rich."

You needn't tell them what is "considered rude." Obviously, in their world, this is not rude. It's how they relate.

Respond consistently and good-naturedly: "Aha! This? It's priceless. And you know -- I'll NEVER tell..."

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Dear Amy: Oh, my heart broke reading the letter from "Troubled," who was not receiving any support from her church family after her family member was shot in the Las Vegas shooting.

I also attended a church where fellow members seemed cold and nonreactive.

I found a different church, and guess what? It's wonderful.

-- Happy Now

Dear Happy: I believe that congregations follow their clergy's lead regarding how they relate to one another.


(You can contact Amy Dickinson via email: Readers may send postal mail to Amy Dickinson, c/o Tribune Content Agency, 16650 Westgrove Drive, Suite 175, Addison, Texas, 75001. You can also follow her on Twitter @askingamy or "like" her on Facebook.)



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