Life Advice



Ask Amy: Amy’s favorite prank happens in ‘The Room’

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Dear Readers: In advance to my departure from this column, I’m spending the next couple of weeks rerunning some favorites.

I don’t really have any way of “fool-proofing” the queries sent in to me, and so I’ve treated most of them as if they are serious – or at least genuine.

But sometimes, I’m the fool, and here is proof:

In 2015 I got pranked when I chose to answer a question whose plot is closely based on the cult movie “The Room.” Ironically, I am a movie fiend, but because I was not a drunk college student when it was released into the world, I had not seen “The Room”. I only knew it from its reputation as quite possibly the worst movie ever made.

And so it is with a strange mixture of pride and embarrassment that I rerun this elegant prank.

Of course, I stand by my advice.

I only wish I had better fictional characters to offer it to.

Dear Amy: I have a serious problem with my future wife. She has not been faithful to me. I recently overheard her talking to her friend about how she was unfaithful to me. When I confronted her, all that she said was that she couldn’t talk right now. I feel like I have to record everything in my own house just to learn the truth.

To make things even more stressful is the fact that she recently told a couple of people that I hit her, but it’s not true. I did not hit her. I’m not sure why she has been acting like this lately. She did just find out that her mother has breast cancer, and that might be playing a role in her behavior.

We still always find time to make love, so I don’t know why she would go out seeking it from someone else. I just can’t believe she would do this to me. I love her so much, she is my everything, and I don’t know that I could go on without her. She is tearing me apart.

What should I do?


Dear Devastated: The first thing you should do is to NOT get married. Your fiancee’s behavior and your response are the very essence of dysfunction. If you are correct and she is stepping out on you, this is a huge problem. Your declaration that you feel like you “have to record everything … just to learn the truth” is chilling. Her counter-accusation that you hit her is potentially very dangerous for you.

Because of an escalation in behavior I sense in both of you — and the seemingly toxic connection between you two — it would be wisest for you to separate. Seek the support of close friends, family, and a professional counselor to help you deal with this loss and change.

Dear Readers: The following Q&A first ran in 2019.

Dear Amy: My daughter has my husband's extremely pale, Nordic appearance. In high school she had some darker-skinned friends of other races. Sometimes they would poke gentle fun at her for her whiteness, such as telling her she looked like a ghost in her bathing suit.


Although they didn't mean any harm (and she understood this), sometimes it bothered her. However, she felt like because she was white and they were darker, she had to take it with grace.

It isn't OK/PC to poke even good-natured fun at darker-skinned people these days, even if they are close friends, but doesn't that work both ways?

How should she respond if this happens again? I have another daughter coming up behind her with the same coloring, and she may face the same experience with her friends.

– Bothered in CO

Dear Bothered: The heightened sensitivities surrounding – well, everything – has officially become exhausting.

Does this light-hearted and good-natured banter from friends really bother your daughter? Have you encouraged her to not let it bother her?

She could be honest with her friends: “I don’t make fun of your skin tone, and I wish you wouldn’t make fun of mine.”

I’m also going to give your daughter a comeback, but she can only use it if she delivers it with gusto and humor:

“Hey, I’m here. I’m clear. Get used to it.”

Dear Readers: I am leaving at the end of the month. R. Eric Thomas is starting a new advice column called “Asking Eric.” You can help Eric get started by flinging some of your questions and problems his way.

Contact Eric at


(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.)

©2024 Amy Dickinson. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.



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