Life Advice



Ask Amy: Elaborate birthday bash disappoints host

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

You bet I took the cake! I ate it, too! It's been a year since this happened, and we haven't spoken since. What do you think?

– Curious Co-worker

Dear Co-worker: People sometimes compare the workplace to high school. In your case, it's more like kindergarten. You are not a grown-up. You are a thief. Consider yourself lucky your co-worker didn't notify management (or security) when you went into his lunchbox.

You can assume he was embarrassed by your generosity when he made wisecracks about the gift you gave him. His behavior was rude. Your behavior afterward defies explanation.

(May 2011)

Dear Amy: Every December, my son gets invited to his friend "Brian's" birthday party. We always get him a gift that we know he will like.

I recently said to his mother that he must get a lot of presents in December with his birthday and Christmas so close together. She told me, "Oh, I have him choose half of his birthday presents to give to Toys for Tots. He only gets to keep half."

I feel that not only am I funding her charitable donations, but also her parenting.


– Scrooged

Dear Scrooged: While it is possible that any gift you give any child could ultimately end up anywhere, this mother's admission that they always give half of these gifts away was insensitive.

The way she has arranged her charitable gesture is disingenuous and not fair to the young guests.

(December 2011)


(You can email Amy Dickinson at or send a letter to Ask Amy, P.O. Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068. You can also follow her on Twitter @askingamy or Facebook.)

©2021 Amy Dickinson. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.




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