Life Advice



Ask Amy: Old friends only connect over kids

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

I need a way to politely decline invitations until such time that I can withstand the onslaught of kid-talk – if ever. I don't know how long, "I'm sorry I can't make this visit," will hold up.

I'd appreciate your ideas as to how to decline these invitations, while maintaining the relationships.

– M

Dear M: “I’m sorry, I can’t make this visit – but keep me in mind for next time” is a polite way to respond to an invitation you don’t want to accept.

You should review whether you want to maintain these relationships outside of these visits.

People grow apart. Life events – in terms of health, careers, partners, children and various triumphs and losses affect one’s perspective.


If you choose to reconnect and want to revive and expand the topics covered on these gatherings, you might ask the group if they’d be willing to play a game of sorts and respond to “prompts.” You can look online or at your favorite bookstore for sets of prompt cards intended to inspire lively conversations.

I also suggest bringing along any artifacts, photos or yearbooks from your shared college days as a way to reconnect by sharing your memories and anecdotes about the beginnings of your friendship.

Dear Amy: My daughter-in-law just completed her Ph.D.

I am very proud of her. She has worked hard for many years to accomplish this goal.


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