Ask Amy: Stories of secret-keeping from the vault
Dear Readers: I hope you enjoy these “Best Of” Q&A from 10 years ago. Today’s topic is: “Keeping Secrets.”
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Dear Amy: My husband has a sister who was born when he was in junior high school.
His parents allowed him to name the baby. He had a crush on a classmate at the time and named her after the classmate. "Caroline" knows she was named for my husband's classmate, but has never met her.
My husband's 50th high school reunion is this summer, and they will both be there.
I think my husband should tell his classmate of her namesake, but he is adamantly against it and made me promise not to do so, either.
I think anyone would be honored to have an unknown namesake, especially one as charming and accomplished as "Caroline."
– Caroline's Admirer
Dear Admirer: This is a charming story, but it is not yours to tell. Furthermore, pushing your husband toward this disclosure isn't useful. You are correct that the elder "Caroline" might be flattered to know that she has a namesake, but there is an equal and opposite possible reaction.