Can shar­ing boss’s bed be in­no­cent?

The Washington Post Sunday - - DIVERSIONS - AMY DICKINSON Write to Amy Dickinson at askamy@tribpub.com or Ask Amy, Chicago Tri­bune, TT500, 435 N. Michi­gan Ave., Chicago, Ill. 60611.

Dear Amy: My wife

oc­ca­sion­ally has to travel with her boss overnight to op­er­ate tech­nol­ogy at meet­ings. She makes the travel ar­range­ments. I no­ticed a cou­ple of years ago that she booked one room with two beds. When I asked her about it she said it was for the pur­pose of cut­ting costs. She says this is a way that he is able to give her a pay raise each year. She claims she would never cheat on me, nor would he cheat on his wife of 33 years.

He is a fru­gal man, so I ac­cepted that ex­pla­na­tion. How­ever, I re­cently came across an email that showed a room reser­va­tion for a sin­gle king­size bed. When I asked her about it, she said it was the only room type avail­able, and that there is noth­ing go­ing on be­tween them. She said there is plenty of room for them to stay on their own side of the bed. Ap­par­ently it wasn’t the first time this hap­pened. Should I ac­cept her ex­pla­na­tion? Your thoughts?

I hate to in­tro­duce an­other note of doubt into your re­la­tion­ship, but I can­not imag­ine this sit­u­a­tion be­ing be­nign.

I sug­gest you find out what your wife re­ally means by “op­er­at­ing tech­nol­ogy.” She should be will­ing to give up her raise in or­der to book two rooms.

Dear Amy: A few weeks ago I ran into an ac­quain­tance who has been fight­ing breast can­cer for the past year. We had a lovely con­ver­sa­tion. She is very forthright about her di­ag­no­sis, and her spirit is ad­mirable.

I men­tioned I was mid­way through a book that I knew she’d love. I promised to share it when I fin­ished it. As it turns out, the last quar­ter of the book is de­voted to the pro­tag­o­nist’s own can­cer di­ag­no­sis and his even­tual death. Should I still give it to her?

The book is very good. I know she’d ap­pre­ci­ate how this char­ac­ter evolves, but I don’t want to be in­sen­si­tive. Then again, if you elim­i­nate books with peo­ple dy­ing in them, the li­brary shelves would be bare. What do you think I should do?

Lit­er­ally Un­sure

You should give your friend a dif­fer­ent book that you also love but does not stress your ac­quain­tance with an in­tense dy­ing scene.

Dear Amy: Your re­sponse to “Con­cerned Friends,” the cou­ple whose once ac­tive friends have be­come frail and home­bound, was right on the money.

My fa­ther and step­mother were in­creas­ingly home­bound the last two years of their lives. They were also dread­fully bored and cru­elly lonely. Vis­its from friends and fam­ily were like wa­ter in the desert.

I’d like to urge read­ers to please visit the home­bound as of­ten as you can. Also, please re­al­ize that the home­bound may not have much to say. There’s not much stim­u­la­tion in their lives. Their men­tal abil­i­ties may be com­pro­mised. This means that you, the vis­i­tor, must sup­ply stim­u­la­tion. Can you sing or play an in­stru­ment? De­scribe a cul­tural or sport­ing event? Tell jokes? Bring a grand­child who is learn­ing to walk/talk/count to 10/do a magic trick?

Your friends may not re­spond the way they used to. But please, never doubt that your visit made their day and may have pro­longed their lives.

Grate­ful

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