DEAR READERS: Spring may finally have sprung, and to celebrate surviving an extremely long winter, I've stepped away from my column for two weeks. My spring break won't involve partying on the beach, but I do plan to return relaxed, refreshed, and with a story or two to tell, and -- I hope -- some wisdom to share.
In the meantime, please enjoy these "Best Of" columns, culled from 11 years of "Ask Amy" advice.
DEAR AMY: In high school, I dated "Johnny." My friend, "Betsy," had always liked him. Johnny and I broke up senior year. Betsy and I had a huge fight and a falling-out at the same time. This past week I got a wedding invitation for Betsy and Johnny's wedding. I've always had very strong feelings for Johnny, and Betsy knew that. I have a feeling that she is just getting with him just to get back at me. For the past four years, I've been thinking about Johnny and what could have happened between us. I kind of want to see what happens if we are together now, but I don't want to do this at their wedding. What should I do?
DEAR CONFUSED: First I need to read you your "rights" in terms of interfering with this relationship: You have none.
However, I do think you should clip this column and send it to your friends well before their wedding. They should be forewarned so that they have an opportunity to "dis-invite" you. (April 2005)
DEAR AMY: The other day I saw a great movie. But the lady behind me kept talking to her husband during the film. It was distracting when she would ask her husband what was going on and talk through emotional scenes. I was appalled by this because I am only 18, and I would expect that an adult over twice my age could sit quietly for two hours and know proper movie etiquette. Could you please write a list of rules concerning proper movie-viewing etiquette for those people who have never been told how to act in a movie theater?
DEAR ANNOYED: Next time you're at the movies, if you aren't able to "shush" other patrons on your own, please give those people wearing the bright-colored vests standing near the back something to do by reporting loud patrons to them. The ushers aren't just popcorn pushers, my friend. They have enforcement duties.
Because you asked, here is Amy's List of Movie-viewing Etiquette: Kindly shut up while the movie is playing.
Thank you. (March 2004)
DEAR AMY: I have spent the past two years working out with a personal trainer at my gym. "Mike" and I seemed to have formed a friendship. About a month ago, I lost my job. I was devastated and immediately began eliminating the "extras" from my life. Because the training cost more than $1,200 a month, that was the first to go. My sessions were paid for and I was free to cancel at any time. I called Mike and told him that under the circumstances, I would not be able to continue training. He was upset because he would have to find new clients. Since that time, I have been going to the gym daily. Whenever I see Mike, he ignores me. This hurts my feelings. Other trainers at the gym have offered their condolences about my job loss and have steered me toward free or low-cost programs. I'm sad that Mike hasn't even acknowledged me. I want to address this issue with him, but I don't know if I should.
Jilted Gym Rat
DEAR JILTED: Unfortunately, "Mike" not only lost a former big-ticket (very big ticket) customer but also a potential big-ticket customer (presumably, you will work again soon and look for a new trainer).
Jilting you was not only bad manners but also bad business for him.
Please don't say that you miss his friendship. If he missed yours, he'd be cordial to you now. I'd think that at $1,200/month, he'd even figure out how to fake it. (March 2006)