Life Advice



Ask Amy: Elaborate birthday bash disappoints host

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Dear Frustrated: It's somewhat refreshing to learn that even in this tough economy there are still people who throw cotillions for 1-year-olds.

You need a reality check. You also need a reality show. If you had your own show, your guests' rudeness – and your reaction – would be highlighted for the amusement of the rest of us.

Every time you host one of these extravaganzas you emerge with the same frustrations, so you should do an objective postmortem to figure out what you could do differently in order to have a different result.

I suggest that you adjust your expectations somewhat regarding timely RSVPs, consider doing away with your seating chart, and adjust the length of your event. Your only other option is to get different guests.

(February 2011)

Dear Amy: It all started last year when a male co-worker had a birthday.


I decided to give him a gift. I wrapped it and surprised him with it. I was on my break, talking to my husband, when my friend walked in and waved a "thank you," but later he asked me, "What's the catch? Is it a re-gift? I want to see the receipt."

I told him he was hurting my feelings and demanded the "gift" back. He refused to give it back and nonchalantly apologized for what he had said.

I went into his lunchbox without his knowledge and took the gift back.

The next day I got him a chocolate cake to make up for what I had done. I went to give it to him and he rudely told me to leave.


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