Life Advice



Ask Amy: Affair between neighbors leads to awkward silence

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

– The Wedding Singer

Dear Wedding Singer: Here’s a tip: The more words you use to explain yourself, the more openings you will create, which people will plow through.

Don’t offer reasons. Be gracious, polite, and consistent.

An example:

They: “Will you sing at your niece’s wedding?

You: “Oh, it’s sweet of you to ask, but I’m retired.”

They: “You can’t! You’re so good at it and this is for family! We’re counting on you.”

You: “How nice. I’ve retired.”

They: “Is it your nerves again? You can get over that!”


You: “Thank you. I’ve retired.”

You could do them a favor and suggest another singer – but this will not be your problem to solve.

Dear Amy: Another thank you for devoting a column to the experiences of Vietnam veterans. I served, too, and reading those letters from fellow vets reminded me of everything we’ve been through. It’s been tough.

– Fellow Veteran

Dear Veteran: Welcome home.


(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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