Life Advice



Ask Amy: A house-sitting friend turns alpaca into felt

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

They just seem oblivious to the considerations required when you live in such close proximity to your neighbor. Do I have to just suck it up?

– Stressed in Suburbia

Dear Stressed: Ask your neighbors if they’d feel comfortable meeting you outside (I’m assuming you might not want to ask them inside, due to the pandemic). Bring a plate of brownies.

Admire the improvements they’ve made to their yard.

Tell them, “See that window there? That’s where I’m working these days. Can you do me a favor and try to keep your voices low when you’re playing outside and I’m working inside?”

You might put a red stop sign in your window during your busiest work hours as a visual cue. Don’t forget to remove the sign when you’re not at work, otherwise it will just fade into the visual background.

Aside from making them aware of the impact on you, they are kids, and kids are bound to be noisy. Headphones might work for you.

Dear Amy: I did not like your snippy answer to “Sleepless,” the college student whose mother pounded on a treadmill at 7AM.


College students need more sleep than adults. You should have been more compassionate.

– Upset

Dear Upset: My answer was to suggest that “Sleepless” go to bed an hour earlier and ask her hardworking mother to delay her own workout for an hour. This would result in two more hours of sleep.


(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.




Taylor Jones Pat Byrnes Dustin Fowl Language John Cole Phil Hands