Gift-giv­ing woes Dear An­nie

Sherbrooke Record - - LOCAL SPORTS -

WED­NES­DAY, DE­CEM­BER 5, 2018

Dear An­nie: As the hol­i­days draw near, I like to be pre­pared and buy my gifts early. Ev­ery year, I get stuck when it comes to think­ing of a gift for my younger brother “Henry.” Henry is a teenager whose only in­ter­est is play­ing video games. For Christ­mas, the only things he ever asks for are video games and money. I have made very clear to him that I don’t want to get him elec­tron­ics or money for Christ­mas, but he never tells me any­thing else that he would like.

I have given him gifts that I thought he would like, but the books go un­read, and the hob­bies go un­touched. I am to the point where I may just buy him socks for Christ­mas this year. Do you have any ad­vice for how to shop for video game-play­ing teenagers? — Stumped Santa

Dear Stumped Santa: The de­ci­sion not to get your brother any more elec­tron­ics sounds like a great one. Gift-giv­ing is tricky in this sit­u­a­tion be­cause you love your brother yet don’t want to en­cour­age his pas­sion for video games.

How­ever, see­ing as he loves games, what about a board game? That way, you could play with the whole fam­ily and en­gage with one another while at least tem­po­rar­ily avoid­ing the dreaded “screen time.” Another pos­si­bil­ity is to get tick­ets for a game or theater per­for­mance that might in­ter­est him.

Dear An­nie: Could you please say some­thing about peo­ple who want to stay with a friend or rel­a­tive and want to have their pet with them? I am an an­i­mal lover and have two dogs and a cat, but I worry about hav­ing strange pets in my home — es­pe­cially if the visit is more than a day or two.

Pet own­ers in­sist their pets are friendly and very well-be­haved. I be­lieve them, but when their pets come to my home, my dogs can be posses­sive and my cat un­pre­dictable. It seems that their pets may be ner­vous in strange sur­round­ings and not be the per­fect pets they are at home. I’d feel aw­ful if any­one’s pet were in­jured. I hate to sound un­wel­com­ing to peo­ple who want to visit me, but when peo­ple bring pets into my home, I’m dis­tracted and wor­ried, and I can’t en­joy their vis­its. — Mar­i­lyn

Dear Mar­i­lyn: I’m happy to print your let­ter to en­cour­age more thought­ful­ness around this is­sue — but I hope you’re also vo­cal­iz­ing these thoughts to your vis­i­tors. Ev­ery­thing you said in your let­ter would be ap­pro­pri­ate and help­ful to ex­plain to would-be guests. I don’t think any­one ought to take of­fense to your per­fectly rea­son­able ex­pla­na­tion.

Dear An­nie: This is a re­sponse to “Up­set Em­ployee,” who is both­ered that a su­per­vi­sor’s friend was hired over other em­ploy­ees. Em­ploy­ment law is rather tricky. If the su­per­vi­sor’s friend was qual­i­fied, then it was le­gal. Noth­ing in the rules says an em­ployer has to take the most qual­i­fied can­di­date. And some­one in the po­si­tion of “Up­set Em­ployee” is not sup­posed to know what any­one else’s score was. That’s a vi­o­la­tion of em­ploy­ment law. So, “Up­set Em­ployee,” if you like ac­tu­ally work­ing there, you just need to let it go. Life isn’t fair. If it were, then this would be heaven and not life. — Christo­pher

Dear Christo­pher: Thank you for the in­sights on em­ploy­ment law — and the na­ture of life.

“Ask Me Any­thing: A Year of Ad­vice From Dear An­nie” is out now! An­nie Lane’s de­but book — fea­tur­ing fa­vorite col­umns on love, friend­ship, fam­ily and eti­quette — is avail­able as a pa­per­back and e-book. Visit http://www.cre­ator­spub­lish­ing.com for more in­for­ma­tion.

Send your ques­tions for An­nie Lane to dear­an­[email protected]­ators.com.

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