Life Advice



Ask Amy: A fresh divorce brings on new questions

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

– Desperate Phone Hostage

Dear Hostage: “I have to be honest – I don’t take all of your calls because I don’t really like talking on the phone” is describing a personal preference, not delivering an insult.

And – the way you describe these encounters as a hostage situation makes these people seem less like actual friends and more like bored and boring cold-calling phone bots.

In short, if you want a monologue, you can watch Jimmy Kimmel. And even he comes up for air.

If you dodge a call, you could use texting (or email) to contact them: “I see you called. What’s up?”

This might unleash a new wave of annoyance, but that would be another challenge for another day.

Dear Amy: I thought your response to “Basically a Single Parent,” was, basically, awful. This father of two young children is addicted to his phone screen, and instead of telling him to pay attention to his kids, you suggest that he listen to music?!

– Disappointed


Dear Disappointed: Other readers agree with you, and yes I also agree that the core issue is that this father was so disengaged with his very young children.

However, I raised children with the help of Broadway cast albums and NPR.

As long as your hands are free and you’re not too distracted, I think it’s fine to have some audio going in the background.


(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.)

©2023 Amy Dickinson. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.




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