Life Advice



Ask Amy: Picking up the tab is wearing thin

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

We all are just living our lives and doing the best we can.

I am tired of being asked to pay for all kinds of things. Is that rude now that my friend has a serious illness?

If I do choose to pay for dinner again, what dinner conversation is now appropriate?

I guess if we are not allowed to compassionately discuss our friends and families, then we are left to discuss the news. I find the news pretty depressing.

Am I just a “gossip?”

– Upset


Dear Upset: Your friend is seriously ill. This is bound to make a person reflective and occasionally grouchy.

When he remarked that: “We are both just a couple of gossips,” he was referring to himself, as well as you.

I see this as a fairly common observation to make when you realize that the bulk of the conversation is usually about other people.

You should talk about it! Say, “I’ve always thought our conversations were pretty benign. I never judge anyone you’ve told me about, and honestly think we’re all pretty boring. But does it really bother you, or were you just blowing off steam?”


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