Ask Amy Amy Dickinson, Ask Amy

Amy Dickinson is a general advice columnist.

DEAR AMY: My 24-year-old daughter just graduated from college after a difficult journey and several false starts. We are very proud of her. This summer she plans to work as a teacher's assistant at her college, then move out of state and find a job. Before she starts her summer job, she is planning to drive from the Midwest to the West Coast, camping along the way. Originally she said two friends were going with her, so I offered to switch cars and let her use mine, since my car is more reliable. I later found out that the friends backed out and she was planning to go on the trip alone. I told her I would not support the plan to camp and drive across the country alone and I was no longer offering my car or camping equipment for her to use. I offered to pay for a train ticket or airline ticket and rental car at her destination. She still insists on going by car and doesn't understand why I won't lend her my car. She says if I love her and want her to be safe then I would lend her my car. I say the decision to go at all is hers, and it is a poor decision. I stand by my decision. I would appreciate your advice on what you would do.

Picked-apart Parent

DEAR PARENT: Your logic is ironic (at best) and flawed (at worst), because you claim to be most concerned about your daughter's safety and now you have removed the primary factor that might ensure at least a measure of safety. However, I understand your choice and would have done the same (such is the logic of parenting).

You should not cave in to manipulation in order to participate in a scheme to which you are entirely opposed. And, by the way, "If you loved me you would lend me your car" is a cheap trick and not worthy of a person about to start her adult life.

Give your daughter AAA membership and an extra cellphone charger for her trip. Urge her to keep in touch every day. This way you will be equipping her to wisely use the tools she already possesses. This is an important trait -- in camping and in life.

DEAR AMY: Why do so many women play games on these dating sites? I have to laugh when I read their profiles and they say, "I'm real!" Why lie? You have to be completely honest. Why do all the women go for the Tom Cruises and the Brad Pitts of the world? They pass up good guys!

A Good Guy

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DEAR GOOD GUY: Quick story: Back in the Pleistocene era when I was a middle-aged single mom, I went out with a guy who told me during our date that he had a profile up on a well-known dating site. The age range of women this 45-year-old man was interested in dating was 23 to 33. There's that. And, while we're at it, why do so many men post 10-year-old pictures of themselves standing next to speedboats? Nice guys have a Brad Pitt problem. Nice women have a Heidi Klum problem. (And, as adorable as he is, I'm not sure any woman really wants Tom Cruise right now.) It's just the way it is. Some online matching sites are better than others at attracting "real people." Use the site that best matches your personality. When you are matched with someone, be open and be yourself. There is a "real" Angelina out there, waiting for you, Brad.

DEAR AMY: I'm responding to the letter from "Confused," who was thanked for the wrong wedding gift. Over 50 years ago, I thanked my neighbors for the sterling silver pickle fork they had given us as a wedding present. They told us they had given us six teaspoons -- a considerably more expensive gift. The store admitted it had made a mistake. It even let me keep the pickle fork!

Still Married

DEAR MARRIED: I have received many tales of switched gifts. Thank you.