Life Advice



Ask Amy: Sibling rivalry buffets sib in the middle

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Dear Stuck: Your experience reminds me of being trapped between my two (occasionally) warring sisters in the back of our mother’s Plymouth Duster.

It was an occasionally tough experience, but great training for two professions: Line judge at Wimbledon, or what I do now, which is listening, watching, and – when invited — weighing in.

Start with this: Do not believe either sibling’s account of the other sibling’s behavior.

For instance, if they aren’t talking to one another, then how do they know that the other sibling is trash-talking you behind your back?

You have the right to draw and enforce boundaries. If you don’t mind listening sympathetically to one sibling vent about the other, then go ahead and passively engage. Understand, however, that these two may use your allegiance as a spoil in their private war, which will affect your ability to have a relationship with either one.

You do not need to mediate or solve anything for them. You DO need to tell the truth to both about how their behavior makes you feel: “I moved across the continent to be closer to you both. I hope you will find a way to mend fences, because life is short, and I will not choose between you. Currently, however, I find you both very annoying.”


Dear Amy: My husband and I are longtime friends with a couple who recently received their COVID vaccine. Though they are in their mid-40s (I'm 60 and my husband is 58), they were able to get the vaccine because they are teachers. They have both been teaching occasionally online for the last year (as have I), and none of us plans to enter an actual classroom any time soon.

In our state, we qualify for the vaccine at age 65, or if we have pre-existing conditions. Our friends, my husband, and I are all healthy adults.

When I asked the wife how she was able to get vaccinated, she informed me that I could get a vaccine, too, if I could provide evidence that I am a teacher. I was shocked. Of course, I could do that, but full-time teachers in my state will be returning to classrooms soon, and I feel that taking a vaccine away from one of them (or a senior citizen!) is just plain wrong.

To make it worse, they have bragged about being vaccinated on social media.


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