Life Advice



Ask Amy: Exhausted caregiver deserves some respite

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Dear Hurting: I have, in fact, thought of a solution!

My solution is for your spouse to respect your wishes regarding how to spend your vacation.

When it comes to something as precious as spending one week on holiday with your family, one partner should be granted veto power regarding including people outside the family — and the other partner should respect it.

Dear Amy: Regarding readers’ frustration about birthdays that fall on holidays, I read the following: "When he was 41 years old, Robert Louis Stevenson gave his birthday away to a young girl named Annie, the daughter of the American Land Commissioner in Samoa, who was understandably bummed out by the fact that her own birthday fell on Christmas."

Personally, I'm very happy to have a birthday on a holiday. I've had a day off from school and work my entire life!

– Happy With My Holiday


Dear Happy: I read a charming story about Stevenson’s gesture in the Irish Times. It turns out that this birthday gift has been passed down through various members of Annie Ida’s family, and is still celebrated, 125 years later.


(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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