Life Advice



Ask Amy: Granddad’s rough-housing leads to tears

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

– Protective Sister

Dear Protective: I appreciate the term “rake” as an adjective – because it brings to mind visions of various “lovable scoundrels” from English literature.

I therefore turn to Jane Austen for advice.

In her famous novel “Sense and Sensibility,” (a story about a protective older sister), the beautiful younger sister “Marianne” falls hard for the rakish Mr. Willoughby, while the somber and appropriate Colonel Brandon loves her from afar.

Brandon offers a most gracious blessing to the doomed couple, that I’ll paraphrase here: “I pray that she will be happy, and that he will somehow deserve her.”

What you can do for your sister is to hope for her happiness, and stand in her corner if things don’t go well. Weighing in – especially if you are not invited – will not help.

Dear Amy: Thank you for running the question from “Not Gifted,” the couple that was overwhelmed with multiple gifts from in-laws. The in-laws were not respecting the couple’s request to stop exchanging gifts.


My family dealt with this same issue. It took several years to basically “train” family members away from material gifts, but now we exchange and enjoy “experiences” together.

– Grateful

Dear Grateful: I love this idea, and hope many readers adopt it.


(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.)

©2022 Amy Dickinson. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.




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