Amy Dickinson is a general advice columnist.
DEAR AMY: My boyfriend "Chas" and I have been together for 2-1/2 years. We are both in our early 20s. He has a roommate, "Taylor," whom I cannot stand. Taylor is a total mooch. A month ago I brought up the topic of us living together in his apartment. I told Chas that if we lived together, Taylor would have to leave. After a few weeks of waiting for his answer, I confronted him. He said no! He kept saying that he wasn't ready for me to move in because it was rushing and that it wasn't fair to kick Taylor out. He said that when Taylor leaves, that's when we will start talking about it. I feel like he has chosen Taylor over me. I refuse to live with Taylor. My mother and grandmother have told me I need to leave Chas, but I also feel like I can't wake up every morning not knowing he is in my life. What should I do?
DEAR GROUCHY: I've got to hand it to "Chas" -- despite your repeated pressure, he has been completely honest with you and has managed to resist your plan for total world domination. Don't lay any of this on his odious friend -- "Taylor" is a banana peel tossed onto your path.
The answer to all of your questions, entreaties and demands is to pay attention to your boyfriend's actions. You two are on completely different relationship tracks. He is drawing the line at living together. You can either accept this and continue to wake up each morning, frustrated (but in a relationship), or you can break it off and search for a different partner who gives in to you more readily.
DEAR AMY: Our family has always supported the children in the family through their birthdays, graduations, fundraisers, etc. When my son graduated from college, four people in our extended family did NOT acknowledge his graduation. This caused hurt and of course I couldn't understand why, because one of those families who ignored us has two children who will graduate. Therefore we will be expected to acknowledge two of theirs when we only had one child, who got nothing. Help me to deal with this. It is very hard to get over.
DEAR HURT: Many people dread these announcement cards, which crowd the mailbox at this time of year. You see these announcements as a contract whereby the recipient must send an acknowledgment and/or a gift to the graduate. But not everybody knows what to do about these cards.
As the parent of a college graduate, you should have minimal involvement in sending these announcements -- unless you are hosting a celebration for your graduate.
You should also try harder not to keep score. Your own generosity comes from an expansive and loving place in your heart, but not everyone is like you. Other people are overwhelmed or disorganized or simply aren't as kind as you are. If your son expresses his hurt over this negligence, you should explain to him that life is not fair.
DEAR AMY: You received a letter from "No Gentleman," who complained about being "cc:'d" on emails at her company addressed to "Gentlemen," even though at least two women were on the cc: list. May I point out that an email that is cc:d to you is not directly addressed to you? You are being given a copy of a correspondence addressed to someone else. So in No Gentleman's case, the author correctly addressed the email to "Gentlemen," since all the direct recipients were men. I agree with your response that it is not professional or polite to address as "Gentlemen" a group of colleagues in which at least one is a woman. The author could have chosen a better salutation, but in this case he or she did not err.
Trying to be Polite
DEAR TRYING: You are right. I totally missed the "cc:" reference, which means that the memo was sent to a list of primary recipients, with others "copied" on it. All the same, a gender-neutral salutation is more professional.