Life Advice



Ask Amy: Singleton does the chicken dance at wedding

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

It is not clear from your account whether your friend’s behavior toward you on this birthday was different from other years.

When a friend’s behavior toward you changes or is baffling, the most obvious conclusion would be to wonder what might be going on in her own life.

Before ghosting her, it would be kindest toward both of you if you explored this in a simple and transparent way: “I have to admit that I was disappointed that you didn’t call on my birthday. It was such a big deal for me, and I felt like you missed it. This didn’t seem normal for you, and I’m wondering if you’re OK?”

I hope you two can clear the air in order to have many more opportunities to celebrate one another.

Dear Amy: This great-aunt appreciates your sensitive advice to the mother who is frustrated by repeated requests for gift lists from her partner's family.

Lists will not prevent her children from getting gifts they don't like.

There will still be teachable moments.

I hope she will be rewarded, as our family was when a 4-year-old opened a package that was not what he expected, based on the shape and size.


He examined it and cheerfully declared, “It’s not what we wanted, but we like it.”

– Grateful List User

Dear Grateful: When I was four, I opened a set of steak knives intended for my mother. I still remember how desperate I was to keep them.


(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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