Life Advice



Phone use at concert is not music to their ears

By Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Performers and conductors have the right to perform without their intellectual property being recorded and possibly shared. Audience members have the right to enjoy a performance without being subjected to the obvious distraction of bright smartphone lights.

Selfish audience members need to understand that they are not part of the evening's performance. No one is entranced by becoming an unwitting photobomb in their selfies.

Ask anyone around you to, "Please stop using your phones now." If they refuse, get an usher immediately.

Dear Amy: Our daughter, a college freshman, had a very limited social life in high school. She was well-liked in school, but on weekends, perhaps because she didn't drink or smoke, she was mostly at home (but not unhappy).

At the end of senior year, she met a boy and started dating. She was going out and having fun. Still not "partying," though.

He was a nice boy, but not wildly ambitious. We remained neutrally supportive, knowing that she was going away to school. He works retail jobs, lives at home and is now smoking pot.

Meanwhile we found out (through a glitch in the family iMessage) that she's seeing a guy in her college town. He's not in college, but works in a sandwich shop.

We don't know what to do. On the one hand we feel stupidly old-fashioned and classist; on the other we feel our smart, charming daughter deserves better.

Is there a way to talk to her about this? Or should we keep faith in her and let things take their course.


-- New Old-Fashioned Dad

Dear Dad: Yes, you are reacting to this relationship in a way that is old-fashioned and classist. The idea, for instance, that someone is not "good enough" because he is working -- versus going to your daughter's college -- is patently ridiculous. He could be taking a gap year to care for an ill family member. He could be working at a sandwich shop until he can afford to pay for his own education. Or he might be an underachiever who has fantastic taste in women.

This relationship has nothing to do with you, until your daughter chooses to disclose it to you. Having a variety of relationships will be an important part of your daughter's education. She must be "allowed" to explore and experience. And yes, you should definitely retain an attitude of supportive neutrality.

Dear Amy: "Put Upon Friend" wrote to you about a friend who was periodically abusive toward her. I'll tell you what I did in a similar situation: When my "friend" told me, "I wish you were gone," I said, "Great!" And I felt liberated. Freedom!

-- No Longer Put Upon

Dear No Longer: "Put Upon's" friend is bipolar. This adds a level of complication, and implies a level of compassion. But I understand your own reaction.


(You can contact Amy Dickinson via email: 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.)




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