Life Advice



Ask Amy: Friendship is no ‘give’ and all ‘take’

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Dear Amy: My husband and I stumbled into an awesome friendship last year around the holidays, when we met “Chelsea.” (We are all middle-aged.)

As the friendship progressed we traded gifts or small favors.

Then we came to learn that Chelsea is still living at home with her aging parents, and while she works full time, she is always broke.

She asked to send her Amazon packages to our home (claiming she lives in a high traffic area and doesn't want them stolen), but we were uncomfortable after she did this more than once.

We believe it's largely due to trying to hide her purchases from her parents, as she obviously has out-of-control spending that led to her living with them in the first place.

Recently her mother became ill, resulting in a lengthy hospital stay. Chelsea missed work.


We were kind enough to wire funds to her for extra food or incidentals but then I saw her posting on Facebook about how broke she is and how she never gets the help she needs when she asks for it.

She said she can't catch a break.

We've also been made to feel bad when we couldn't contribute more to her "sick parents fund."

I feel like I can't post any positive things we do without her being upset and expressing her need for more.


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