Amy Dickinson is a general advice columnist.
DEAR READERS: I'm marking my 10-year anniversary of writing the "Ask Amy" column by rerunning some of my favorite Q&As.
DEAR AMY: What is the protocol when friends and relatives invite themselves to stay at our house? We don't invite these people. Some stay for a week. While we enjoy their visits, it breaks us financially for food costs. What are our responsibilities? Vexed in VirginiaDEAR VEXED: Here's a script for you: Home Invaders: "Hi, Betsy. Doug and I are coming for a week to hike the Blue Ridge Mountains and wade in the clear running streams of your beautiful state. We'd like the three-egg omelet, popovers and blueberry jam for our first morning." You: "Unfortunately, Stan and I can't have you stay with us this time, but there's a bed-and-breakfast in town. Do you want the phone number? We'd love to see you." If there are family members whom you simply can't refuse, let them know that you can only host them for a limited number of days, and say that you need them to help out by going on a grocery run on the first day of their visit. (2006)
DEAR AMY: A friend and I are arguing over his not returning calls. It took him two months and several message requests for a return call regarding an invitation I issued for him to attend a special party. Three months later and a week from the party date, I again had to make two requests for a return call. He then berated me for asking for a return call. I know he is busy, but what is the time limit on returning a call?
Fed Up With Mr. Big Shot
DEAR FED UP: Mr. Big Shot doesn't seem to want to speak with you. If he did want to speak with you, he would.
In the future, if you invite someone to something and don't hear back, rather than hector this person for a call back, instead invite a friend more worthy of your attention. (2004)