Life Advice



Ask Amy: Poorly placed tattoo causes grief

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Dear Amy: In a supermarket, If the checkout lane has two positions across an aisle from each other, and only one position is manned, the line forms for that position.

If the second position subsequently opens up, should all customers remain in the one original line — or is it OK if some customers to filter across and form a second line for the newly opened position?

– Wondering

Dear Wondering: Forgive my presumption, but I’m assuming that you might be one of my extra-polite Canadian readers, because, well, it’s hard to imagine any American standing in a full queue when there was an adjacent available cashier.

To answer your question (and this exact scenario happened to me, yesterday), many times a cashier opening up will say, “I’ll take the next customer over here…” and the next person in the original line will shift over and start a new queue.

Sometimes the last person in the original line will race forward to take the first slot in the new queue, but this is bad form.

Dear Amy: “Grieving” wrote to you, saying their daughter had become estranged, due to a mix-up of the timing of a funeral, which the daughter had missed.


Has it come to this? Family members will initiate a total estrangement over a relatively minor issue?

– Disappointed

Dear Disappointed: My theory is that – like many other dynamics relating to families – estrangement is actually quite complicated.


(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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