Ask Amy: Apologies for Old Transgressions Don’t Always Get an Answer

Dear Amy: Several people from my past this year have called me to ask for forgiveness. I am writing because I believe my decision will present a different perspective to your readers.

The first letter was from two roommates who were writing together to apologize for their rude and hurtful behaviour. I went to these two women for emotional support, thinking they were friends, only to be told frankly that neither of them loved me and that they only hooked me up because they assumed I would help them with their papers or research projects. This was particularly distressing, because it happened shortly after I was diagnosed with a chronic disease.

I changed dorms at the end of the school year and never spoke to either of them again. It’s been nearly 40 years.

The second letter was a friend from my other college. She called me in 2008 and we started calling and emailing. “Call me anytime to talk,” she said. One night she did, and she exploded, screaming that I interrupted her night wine and making time and yelling that we had nothing in common because I’m not married, or a homeowner, or literally leaving her alone forever.

I immediately hung up, deleted her phone number, and blocked her email. This happened in 2015.

I read these two letters carefully and decided that my only response would be to tear up the letters.

These three women are just bad memories, and why they sought, needed, or wanted to forgive me after so many years is a mystery to me. I also do not want any further contact with them. Wrong is truly human, and forgiveness may be divine, but forgiveness is optional as well.

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– Finished in the past

Completed dear: I appreciate your opinion on this.

I think the experience and isolation of the pandemic – as well as the simple walk of time – has led many people to consider their options.

You don’t say how these women expressed themselves, but these pleas sound more like demands. (I also think Ms. Wine and Crafting could work on one of the 12 steps.)

In my experience, maximum tolerance is reached privately, not as a response to a request or request.

I fully understand your reaction here, but I think you owe it to these people your gratitude: their uncommon displays of forgiveness have given you the conclusion, as well as the last word.

Dear Amy: My husband and I moved from the Midwest to the East Coast 10 years ago.

We have great world class dining options where we live, and we are grateful for the benefit of living here.

When we come home to the Midwest, there are some comfort foods carried by mom-and-pop restaurants that we miss.

Sometimes it’s diving, other times it’s a chain of restaurants that we don’t own.

The problem is that our friend Annie gets herself into our plans and always insists that we dine at the expensive places she likes to go.

If we wanted to go to our favorite greasy spoon because of the specialty there (Wednesday is pot roasting day), Annie would say, “I know what sounds good, let’s go to…Chez Louis” – usually a place that offers limited menus and elite cuisine.

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This is fine for one meal, but that happens throughout our visit, and we don’t stay at her house.

Sometimes, you just want a burger or pizza in your country—not filet, poached salmon, or escargot, you know?

How do we avoid these conflicts – without letting her know we’re in town?

– Stowe in Baltimore

Dear Stu: This is not about the kitchen. It is simply about being able to assert your own desires when someone else affirms theirs.

It’s your visit! You have the right to eat wherever you want!

Here are some words to try: “We could eat ‘luxury’ one night, but we’re excited to revisit our favorite comfort foods the rest of the time.”

Dear Amy: I was totally shocked by your response to “Charlie” who had old photos of his ex-wife on an album.

If his current wife of many years is upset with these photos, he should get rid of them! I can’t believe you actually suggested sending them to your ex. This would create more drama!

– surprised

Amazed dear: The response to my answer was universal no!

You can email Amy Dickinson at [email protected] Or send a message to Ask Amy, PO Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068.

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