Life Advice



Ask Amy: Parents worry about daughter’s choices

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

I prefer not to lie. I also do not intend to attend these events in the future.

How do I handle the inquisition from my sister-in-law?

How do I encourage my husband to stop making up excuses?

– Done with the Toxicity

Dear Done: Your husband can explain your absence. You don’t have to affirm it, however.

Your sister-in-law might be hunting for an explanation because she senses that your husband was not being truthful.

You can respond: “I always find this party pretty stressful, so I decided to skip it. ‘Barney’ enjoys it, so we decided to go our separate ways this year. I hope you all had a good time – and that you have a great new year.”

Dear Amy: My son and his wife have five children!

They don't go out often, but to put a 20 percent tip on top of the cost of meals would make going out to eat impossible.

The children would never know the joy of experiencing new places or new people.


If you can tip 20 percent, by all means do.

But I do not believe all waitresses are as cold-hearted as you seem to be.

– Upset

Dear Upset: The reason I was a waitress was because my family (of six) lacked the funds to go out. We all worked our way through high school and college.

My point is that skipping restaurant dining isn’t exactly deprivation.


(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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