DEAR AMY: I just received a GoFundMe request from the mother of a young man who wants to travel with his football team to play an out-of-state game. His coach helped him put together the request. There was no mention of what this young man is doing to earn money for the trip — just the begging. His parents both work and live a country club life. They have not yet contributed to the page. I can easily contribute, but I just feel that this "ask" puts me on the spot, since it will be obvious if I don't contribute. What say you?
DEAR WONDERING: For the few who don't know, GoFundMe allows people to set up online accounts to ask people — friends, contacts and strangers — for donations.
From your narrative, it seems probable that the football players are being encouraged to "earn" or otherwise raise the money to travel.
Asking for donations is not the same as earning. And in encouraging this method of raising money, this coach is undermining one of the positive lessons learned on the sports field: the value of hard work. Does the wide receiver wait on the field and "ask" for the ball? No — he runs and works and positions himself for the catch.
You can assume that this request is coming from the mother because the son is too young to set up an account.
Like most people, I have received GoFundMe requests for a broad variety of causes, ranging from offsetting a colleague's medical costs (yes) to travel expenses for a family to go pick up their new dog (um, no).
Some GoFundMe requests seem almost designed to insult a working person. Others seem viable and valid, but come from strangers.
And some requests are easily and heartily fulfilled.
It costs nothing to launch a request (GoFundMe takes an ample percentage of the donations), and because it is done at a cyberdistance (through the internet), the person asking doesn't even have to make eye contact or answer questions.
Anybody can ask for anything. Remember this, as you ignore this GoFundMe ask.
And if the mother knows that you are ignoring it — so what?
DEAR AMY: I live in a condo complex. I have a lovely neighbor with whom I've become close since I moved in four and a half years ago. I work full time and have house cleaners come clean every other week while I am at work. The cleaners arrive around 7 a.m. My neighbor has made several comments over the past couple of months about their early arrival time and the amount of noise they make. Today, she texted me saying, "It would be sooo nice to have them a bit later, say 8?" I cannot dictate what time they arrive and, frankly, it works out well for me that they are there very early. I checked our city's noise regulations and the time period is 10 p.m. to 7 a.m. (meaning it's OK to make noise after 7 a.m.). She is in her 70s, retired, and goes to bed very early (8 p.m.). I am a very quiet neighbor otherwise. I do not want to ruin my relationship with her. I enjoy her, and we have keys to each other's places, so we help each other out. I am terrible at addressing situations like this. Help?
DEAR CLEAN MACHINE: I'm assuming that no local ordinances or condo rules are being violated. You could ask your cleaners not to vacuum or perform other particularly noisy tasks until 8 a.m., but in my mind, other than vacuuming, cleaning isn't particularly noisy. If they play music while they are working, you could ask them to also keep the volume low until after 8.
Respond to your neighbor, "I'm sorry this seems to bother you so much, but this is the only time the cleaners can come. I cannot adjust their schedule. I've asked them to try to be quieter before 8 a.m., but that's the best I can do. Thank you so much for putting up with this. I'm glad it's only twice a month."
DEAR AMY: I was gobsmacked by your answer to "What's Ap(propriate)" regarding his wife's texting flirtation. By saying, "Each party in a marriage has the right to live out their own personal dreams," you endorsed her behavior!
DEAR UPSET: I absolutely did not endorse her behavior. I also said, "This is not quite the marriage YOU want to be in," and encouraged this husband to confront his wife.