Life Advice



Ask Amy: Sister’s annual gift cards just don’t cut it

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

My overall point is that there is a valuable gift hidden within this disappointing scenario: Authentic graciousness means figuring out how to feel and express actual gratitude, even toward those people who disappoint you.

Dear Amy: COVID-19 ruined my best friend’s wedding plans, forcing them to postpone their ceremony twice and ultimately limiting it to just immediate family.

However, they decided to have a big “re-wedding.” They invited everyone to attend. Many months ago, the bride asked me to attend as her Maid of Honor.

I accepted at once, excited to share the day, but also assuming that the pandemic would be well over by the time the event rolled around.

I was wrong.

I have a very young child who is too young to be vaccinated, and the travel required to get to the wedding would put me on different planes for hours, plus hours in airports.


A few weeks ago, after watching COVID spike and wane and spike again, I realized that my own risk tolerance was lower than I thought.

With a young, unprotected child at home and no family or friends around to help if I brought COVID home, I called my friend and told her I could not come to the wedding.

I explained my reasons and expressed my profound guilt and sadness and sense of selfishness.

Ever since then, things between us have felt understandably tense.


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