Ask Amy Amy Dickinson, Ask Amy

Amy Dickinson is a general advice columnist.

DEAR AMY: My wife occasionally has to travel with her boss overnight to operate technology at meetings. She makes the travel arrangements. I noticed a couple of years ago that she booked one room with two beds. When I asked her about it she said it was for the purpose of cutting costs. She says this is a way that he is able to give her a pay raise each year. She claims she would never cheat on me, nor would he cheat on his wife of 33 years. He is a frugal man, so I accepted that explanation. However, I recently came across an email that showed a room reservation for a single king-size bed. When I asked her about it, she said it was the only room type available, and that there is nothing going on between the two of them. She said there is plenty of room for them to stay on their own side of the bed. Apparently it wasn't the first time this happened. Should I accept her explanation? Your thoughts?


DEAR J: I hate to introduce another note of doubt into your relationship, but I cannot imagine this situation being benign.

I suggest you find out what your wife really means by "operating technology." She should be willing to give up her raise in order to book two rooms.

DEAR AMY: A few weeks ago I ran into an acquaintance who has been fighting breast cancer for the past year. We had a lovely conversation. She is very forthright about her diagnosis, and her spirit is admirable. I mentioned I was midway through a book that I knew she'd love. I promised to share it when I finished it. As it turns out, the last quarter of the book is devoted to the protagonist's own cancer diagnosis and his eventual death. Should I still give it to her? The book is very good. I know she'd appreciate how this character evolves, but I don't want to be insensitive. Then again, if you eliminate books with people dying in them, the library shelves would be bare. What do you think I should do?

Literally Unsure

DEAR UNSURE: You should give your friend a different book that you also love but does not stress your acquaintance with an intense dying scene.

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DEAR AMY: My nephew is getting married this summer in California. Most family members on both sides (including me) live on the East Coast. We received a notice from him recently saying, "Your presence is our gift. You can contribute to our dream honeymoon!" Their plan is to go to Maui. There was a link to a website headlined "Our Registry" inviting everyone to contribute to their choice of airline miles, car rental, accommodations, dinner, spa treatments and a sunset dinner cruise. I think this is a bit forward. What do you think?

Offended in the East

DEAR OFFENDED: The most "forward" aspect of this notice from your nephew is the confusing message the couple is sending to their wedding guests.

What they are actually saying is not, "Your presence is our gift," but: "We don't want a gravy boat. We want to ride on a boat." They do want gifts, and they have created a registry to guide guests toward the gifts they want.

Honeymoon registries have become increasingly common, in part because couples often have their households assembled by the time they get married. It might help to think about it this way: Would I rather give the couple something I want them to have or something they want to receive? Is buying a gift on their honeymoon registry different from buying a gift on a registry from Bed Bath & Beyond? You are not obligated to give a couple a gift from their registry (I almost never do). However, the two times I have contributed to honeymoon registries, I received wonderful "thank you" postcards from the couple as they enjoyed the honeymoon their guests had helped to send them on. I then felt like a partner to their trip, and I was happy I'd had a small part in financing it.