Life Advice



Ask Amy: Refusing the list is refusing a gift

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

This seems to have become a control thing for you, even though your goal seems to be the opposite.

It is obvious that your partner's family does not know you very well, but by wanting to give you a gift you would need or enjoy they are trying to please you.

Letting them know the things you like ("I'm really into gardening this year") will help to build a connection with them.

Your children will be raised with extended families that have different styles. That's not a bad thing.

Your attitude toward this so far doesn't seem to demonstrate tolerance, grace or gratitude: core values that you are obviously – and laudably — passing along to your children.

Dear Amy: I have a somewhat trivial question, but maybe it’s a nice break from the heavy topics you usually cover.


Like just about everybody else in the world, when getting together with friends we often pass around various photos taken on our phones.

I have one friend who has the habit of taking the phone, looking at the picture, then scrolling through the rest of the photos.

I find this to be presumptuous and kind of an invasion of privacy.

I’ve taken now to showing the photo but hanging on to my phone.


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