Amy Dickinson is a general advice columnist.
DEAR READERS: Your questions never take a holiday, but occasionally I must. This week's "best of" columns come from deep within the Ask Amy vault. Like a soft-serve twisty cone, they are sometimes even more enjoyable as a second helping.
DEAR AMY: I have a longtime friend who is driving me nuts. When she enters a room, within five minutes she is talking about her two sons: how wonderful they are, what they did in the last year, about their in-laws. None of us has seen them in years, if ever. We are so bored to tears by her long dissertations; she never knows when to quit. She has become obnoxious. What can we do?
-- Friends in Virginia
DEAR VIRGINIA: You might make some headway by speaking with her, alone, not with your other pals.
Please keep in mind that boring people rarely change; that's the nature of being a bore. Your being tolerant and then skillfully changing the subject when you can't bear it anymore might be the best you can hope for. (July 2004)
DEAR AMY: Why is it that after a guy breaks up with you, and you agree to be friends, you start hanging out less and less? I've become very confused because my ex thinks I still love him, and I don't. I just want our friendship back. I want everything to be the way it "used to be."
-- Girl in Illinois
DEAR GIRL: Welcome to the world, honey. You can't make people like you, you can't make people stay with you, and after they break up with you, things don't go back to the way it "used to be." Isn't that some system? Your ex may think you're still stuck on him, so he's too chicken to be your friend right now. Give him time. He may come around. He may not. But you need to leave this relationship alone for a while. (August 2003)