This hopeless romantic remains unfulfilled
Dear Amy: I have work friends from the '70s that I enjoyed, appreciated and partied with back in the day.
Fast-forward more than 45 years, and I am a different person.
I care about these people, but I no longer have anything in common with them.
I would enjoy meeting up once a year and toasting the years we enjoyed together, but they want more: Holidays, birthdays, regular dinners, etc.
How do I kindly disengage from all these events that are meaningful to them, but not to me?
-- Moved On
Dear Moved On: The passive way to handle this would be for you to respond to every rolling invitation by saying, "I can't make it, but I'm toasting you from afar!" This will not stop the invitations, however.
Because this feels like a low-stakes situation for you (these people aren't relatives; you don't seem to particularly care how they feel about you), you might as well be completely honest, perhaps through a group message: "I want all of you to know how much I treasure our memories together. I will never forget that Fleetwood Mac concert we partied through! However, my life has changed a lot since then and I'm just not up for frequent get-togethers. So even though I won't see you often, know that I am toasting every occasion -- from a distance."
Dear Amy: "Nicknamed" was upset because family members persisted in calling her a name that she did not like, and which she had legally changed.
One way to retaliate might be for her to respond to these family members by a name which is not their own. If they protest, she can say, "Oh, I thought we were all just calling each other by the wrong names today."
-- Been There
Dear Been There: I like it.
(You can contact Amy Dickinson via email: ASKAMY@amydickinson.com. Readers may send postal mail to Ask Amy, P.O. Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068. You can also follow her on Twitter @askingamy or "like" her on Facebook.)