An­swer still is: Be nice

Los Angeles Times - - COMICS - askamy@tri­bune.com

Dear Read­ers: Please en­joy th­ese “Best Of ” col­umns in my ab­sence.

Dear Amy: I am 75 years old — ac­tive, at­trac­tive and feel like I’m 25.

I’m en­rolled at a com­mu­nity col­lege tak­ing cour­ses in ce­ram­ics. One of my fel­low stu­dents has sud­denly taken an in­ter­est in me. He is a nice guy, but I am not at all at­tracted to him. He has in­di­cated he would like to be­come in­volved. I don’t want to hurt his feel­ings, but I do want him to know that we can never be more than friends. How do I do this diplo­mat­i­cally?

Alive and Kickin’

Dear Kickin’: It looks like the pres­sure of be­ing at­trac­tive to oth­ers doesn’t di­min­ish with age. That’s your mixed bless­ing.

If you’re sure you’re not at­tracted to this man, you just have to do the same thing you did when you were 17. And do it nicely.

The best way not to of­fend is to not be of­fen­sive. Find a ver­sion of, “I re­ally like you, but not in that way,” that works for you. (June, 2004)

Dear Amy: I am a 42-yearold woman who has found a won­der­ful man, and we are plan­ning on get­ting mar­ried some­time this year. I have never been mar­ried, and he has been mar­ried once.

My ques­tion re­gards old pic­tures, cards and me­mora­bilia from past re­la­tion­ships. Ob­vi­ously we both have a his­tory with oth­ers, but what is the proper eti­quette re­gard­ing th­ese things? I have taken some fab­u­lous trips with old boyfriends, and he with girl­friends. Th­ese re­la­tion­ships have helped us be­come what we are to­day. Do I dis­pose of old cards, let­ters and trin­kets?

This has not come up be­tween us, but I would like to know how to han­dle it if it does.

Anne

Dear Anne: I’m not aware of any eti­quette rule dic­tat­ing the dis­posal of th­ese things. I think this has the mak­ings for a great con­ver­sa­tion be­tween the two of you, how­ever.

I love your at­ti­tude that th­ese peo­ple and places have made you who you are. I come down on the side of per­haps par­ing the col­lec­tion but oth­er­wise sav­ing some of th­ese things — squir­reled away some­where — partly be­cause look­ing at th­ese ar­ti­facts once in a blue moon re­minds you of the long and in­ter­est­ing life jour­ney you’re on. (March, 2005)

Dear Amy: I am a 16-yearold girl and have been dat­ing “David” for a few months. At the be­gin­ning of the school year (in my new school), I told some pretty tall tales, to fit in. Now I re­al­ize it was pretty stupid.

David be­lieves th­ese sto­ries about me. The lies have grown pretty big. If I told him the truth, he would most likely never talk to me again. I don’t want to risk los­ing him. What should I do? Un­truth­ful to My Love

Dear Un­truth­ful: I’m sorry to be the one to break it to you, but you have to come clean. Let me pro­vide my rea­son­ing in an easy-to-fol­low SAT for­mat:

Q: Why does “Un­truth­ful” need to be hon­est?

(A) Be­cause David de­serves to know the “real” her.

(B) Be­cause it feels good to be hon­est, even if it’s hard at first.

(C) Both A and B. (March, 2004)

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