Life Advice



Ask Amy: Picking up the tab is wearing thin

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Dear Amy: I have a long-standing platonic friendship with “Brian.” He was recently diagnosed with a very serious illness.

I have always and often treated Brian to restaurant meals and entertainment. I have more than he does, and I am genuinely happy to do this.

However, lately, he's asked me to take him and also his incoming visitor friend/cousin/grandmother, etc. to dinner.

I have no interest in taking people I don't know to dinner.

I have paid a lot of money for all kinds of sometimes major expenses for him over the years.

The last time I paid for dinner, Brian sounded angry. He sneered and said we are “just a couple of gossips.”


It's true that I talk about what is going on with me and mine. He also tells all in great detail.

To be honest, we're both pretty boring — and so are our family and friends.

We all make mistakes. We are all human. I have lots of regrets, and I’ve always talked honestly about them.

I celebrate the good news I hear from him, and I feel sad when I learn about tougher events about his friends and family. And then I forget it.


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