Ask Amy

The Denver Post - - LIFE & CULTURE - by Amy Dick­in­son

Dear Amy: For many years, my 92-year-old fa­ther and I have been bit­terly dis­agree­ing about his climb­ing on lad­ders and high step stools to change light bulbs.

His bal­ance is poor, and I’ve seen him al­most fall many times.

Last week he fell back­ward at a restau­rant, hit his head and had to go to the ER for stitches.

Two days later I saw him walk down the hall with a tall step stool to check the fire alarm, which I ended up climb­ing up and check­ing for him.

Months ago my hus­band saw my fa­ther about to get on a tall step stool to change a light fix­ture out­side and sug­gested we have our con­trac­tor do it, but my fa­ther wouldn’t lis­ten, so my fa­ther had my hus­band, who is prone to seizures, climb up to fix the light fix­ture — putting my hus­band’s life in dan­ger.

He is so stub­born. How would you sug­gest I get him to stop this ex­tremely dan­ger­ous en­deavor? I am so an­gry and I don’t want him to die. — An­gry in Sausal­ito

Dear An­gry: Here’s what you need to know, and this is a cer­tainty: Your fa­ther is go­ing to die. You don’t want him to, but he will. To some ex­tent, he is choos­ing how things will go — by stub­bornly main­tain­ing his in­de­pen­dent wish to do as he pleases, re­gard­less of the dan­ger and likely con­se­quences.

You have fought this bit­ter bat­tle with him for years. You could try to con­vince him to make a list of house­hold chores so that dur­ing your vis­its you can per­form some of these tasks, but he doesn’t sound likely to com­ply.

It’s im­por­tant for you to re­al­ize that your fa­ther could trip on a rug in the kitchen, in­jure him­self bathing, or in count­less other ways.

Un­less you would like to move in with him to try to pro­tect him from his own im­pulses, I think you should try to let this go.

Dear Amy: I am a 26-year-old woman from Hong Kong liv­ing in Lon­don. I met this guy through a dat­ing app. We were very com­pat­i­ble in ev­ery way. I was re­cov­er­ing from a fling. He left a six-year re­la­tion­ship just af­ter they be­came en­gaged.

We al­most got to the point where we hung out like a cou­ple, know­ing each other’s friends and fam­ily. I asked him where this re­la­tion­ship was head­ing. (I know I shouldn’t have, but I couldn’t help it.)

He replied that he re­ally liked me. He was about to go to Burma for a short trip, so he said he would give me an an­swer af­ter the trip. Af­ter the trip, he told me he is likely mov­ing there to start a business with his friend. He said he doesn’t want a re­la­tion­ship with any­one right now.

I be­lieve him, but it’s still up­set­ting, I have never been with a guy who I can see a fu­ture with. How­ever, I also saw a lot of red flags. He didn’t pay for the first date. Since the third or fourth dates, I al­ways ini­ti­ated get­ting to­gether.

I want to make him re­al­ize how uniquely com­pat­i­ble we are. Do you have any sug­ges­tions? —J

Dear J: I wish I had sug­ges­tions on ways to prove that you are com­pat­i­ble with this guy, but you’re not com­pat­i­ble with this guy.

He is not that into you. If he was, he would be demon­strat­ing his in­ter­est in ex­actly the same ways you are demon­strat­ing yours: ini­ti­at­ing get­ting to­gether, for in­stance, and by not mak­ing plans to move to an­other coun­try.

You have done noth­ing wrong -you are sim­ply at dif­fer­ent points in your lives. I think it is great that you have had the ex­pe­ri­ence of be­ing with some­one where you are feel­ing these won­der­ful feel­ings and where you re­al­ize that you want to have a re­la­tion­ship. Con­sider this re­al­iza­tion his gift to you. Ac­cept this gift, and move on.

Dear Amy: I was shocked when you told “Heart­bro­ken” that his wife’s choice to work out at the gym ev­ery day in­di­cated that their mar­riage was in trou­ble. Maybe this woman just wants to get healthy! — Fit Wife

Dear Fit: Along with other changes in this woman’s life, sud­den fre­quent gym at­ten­dance and los­ing weight are in­di­ca­tors that the mar­riage might be in trou­ble.

Send ques­tions via e-mail to askamy@tri­bune.com or by mail to Ask Amy, Chicago Tri­bune, TT500, 435 N. Michi­gan Ave., Chicago, IL 60611.

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