Baltimore Sun

Pricey clothes giveaway invites cold shoulder

- By Amy Dickinson askamy@amydickins­on.com Twitter@askingamy Copyright 2022 by Amy Dickinson Distribute­d by Tribune Content Agency

Dear Amy: Some time ago, I gave my good friend “Cheryl” some very expensive designer clothes I thought she would like, but they were too big for her.

With my permission, she showed them to a couple of other people I know, one of whom took the clothing, apparently with delight.

My friend told her that I didn’t want any money for the clothes, but she suggested a bottle of wine would be a nice thank-you.

I have seen this woman in passing many times and not one word of thanks has been given.

I have started giving her the cold shoulder, but I don’t think she notices.

It shouldn’t bother me, but it does, so I was thinking of telling her the reason I’m ignoring her.

I don’t like her anyway! Should I just let it go?

— Dressed Down

Dear Down: Your story reminds me of the wellknown thought experiment: If you deliver a cold shoulder, but the recipient doesn’t notice, is the shoulder still cold?

I know you understand that when you willingly surrendere­d these items, they ceased being yours.

Because these clothes came through an intermedia­ry, there is a remote possibilit­y that this recipient does not realize that the clothes actually originated with you.

There is also a possibilit­y that she sold the clothing she received, made a mint, and is now sashaying through town, feeling pretty good about her choices.

You don’t seem to have a positive relationsh­ip with her, and so the stakes are different than if you had a long-standing friendship to worry about.

The next time you see this person, say, “Cheryl told me she passed along some of my clothes to you. I’m wondering how they’re working out?”

Depending on how she answers, you can add: “It was hard to say goodbye to things I love. I was glad they landed in a good home, but honestly, I’m disappoint­ed that you never acknowledg­ed it or thanked me.”

Dear Amy: I am a 30-yearold wife, happily married to my husband “Randy.”

We are decorating our new home in preparatio­n to start a family.

However, I’ve been very busy at work. My motherin-law, “Kathleen,” offered to help with the house.

I’m very grateful. However, when I got home from work last week I discovered that Kathleen had decorated an entire wall of our bedroom with close to 20 photos of my husband’s life.

This includes multiple photos of his wedding to his ex-wife, “Sharon,” and from their life together.

I acted out and called her immediatel­y.

Am I wrong for yelling at her over the phone?

Kathleen and Sharon are still very close, and I understand why she included her on the wall, but it still makes me very uncomforta­ble. What do you think?

— Furious

Dear Furious: The only thing you did wrong here was to “act out” and yell at your mother-in-law on the phone. I understand your reaction, but you invited her into this task, and when dealing with a new mother-in-law, you should think first and act later, when you are calm and more in control.

In short, in the future, try not to lose it.

I don’t actually understand why your mother-inlaw chose to include your husband’s first wedding pictures or photos with his ex on the wall of your bedroom. That is a strange choice. The bedroom is the most intimate room of your house. Exes have no place in the bedroom.

At the least, her choice was in questionab­le taste. At the most, it was an aggressive maneuver.

It’s your house! Rather than yell at your motherin-law about this choice, you could have just taken down these photos and placed them in a closet — to be dealt with later.

If you’d have been more in control, you could have stated: “‘Kathleen,’ thank you for your help with the house. I appreciate it. But the only wedding photos I’m going to display in our bedroom are my own.”

Dear Amy: I hate to see all of the letters you run from readers who don’t like you or what you do. Why don’t you run more praising responses?

I love what you do!

— Fan

Dear Fan: I receive plenty of compliment­s and appreciate them all. This one’s for you.

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