Life Advice



Ask Amy: A granddaughter requests gran’s bequest

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

For instance, she might refuse to let you see the children, and then accuse you of “not caring about the kids.”

The only way to win at this game is to refuse to play.

Neutrality, politeness, unflappability – these qualities are kryptonite to Martha, because she needs a hard target. Any time you retaliate, you are giving her a gift, letting her be both the center of the action and the aggrieved party.

Detach completely from her on social media and don’t respond to any postings, other than to say, “that’s simply not true.”

The response to verbal abuse should be to say, “I don’t like the way you’re speaking to me, and so it’s time to leave,” and physically leave – or ask her politely to leave.

Focus on your brother – not on his wife. Understand that as long as he is with her, he and the children are vulnerable.

Dear Amy: Responding further to veterans who often get “thanked for their service,” when someone thanks me for serving in the United States Air Force, I thank them for paying their taxes.


– Proud of the USAF

Dear Proud: Great response.


(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.




Randy Enos Pickles Rudy Park Mallard Fillmore Mike Lester Walt Handelsman