DEAR AMY: There are two men in my life who have been playing ping-pong with me and my emotions for the past year or so. I've known "David" for most of my life. For many years he said he was interested in me and talked about plans of marriage, children and taking care of me. He never made a serious move until this past year, but he works odd hours and cancels plans on short notice to travel for work. Sometimes he disappears, leaving me in the dark as to what is going on. For about a week we were officially "dating." He labeled me his "girlfriend" on social media and soon after that he disappeared. He recently messaged me and said he wanted to get back together, but I've been dating "Jack." Jack and I have dated for a year but he shows a lack of interest in our relationship. He will tell me he is on his way home, and by morning he won't be there and he won't tell me why. He'll also go shopping and buy "special" items for himself and not think twice about our household. When I brought up a plan for starting a healthier lifestyle, Jack treated it as a joke. I decided to break up with him. Then he started a fight with me and we both ended up saying things we didn't mean. My problem is I'm not sure which guy is good for me. I'm not sure what to do now that my emotions are all over the place. I feel swamped with a big decision I don't know how to make.
DEAR TORN: I hope you'll let me make this decision for you. I promise that my choice will leave you happier, healthier and more fulfilled than you've been in these relationships.
Close your eyes. Picture a dump truck. Imagine driving the dump truck to "Dave" and "Jack's" houses. Let them climb into the back. Drive directly to the landfill, press "dump," and let these two winners slide right out. Then drive away. Alone.
My point is that neither of these guys is good for you, so choosing between them is like choosing between "Worse" and "Worser."
DEAR AMY: While slightly underhanded, "Scared of Scams" could reduce the amount of junk mail their mother is receiving by going to either of the sites below. They can also request her address be removed from marketing lists by sending $1 and her address to Mail Preference Service, Direct Marketing Association, P.O. Box 643, Carmel, NY 10512 (dmachoice.org). I've done it and it virtually eliminates junk mail. Also check consumer.ftc.gov and catalogchoice.org -- both offer options to opt out of junk mail. Thanks for all your great advice!
A Grateful Reader
DEAR READER: Scores of readers responded compassionately to the question from "Scared of Scams," whose mother was being played by predatory mail scams. Scammers know how challenging it can be for concerned family members and friends to intervene with one of their targets. That's why they go after vulnerable people.
Thank you for helping readers by including these valuable resources for anyone trying to eliminate unwanted junk mail, including contact by possible scammers.
DEAR AMY: You really handed it to "Hurt," who was upset because she was reprimanded by family members for not mentioning her sister's cancer after her sister had been diagnosed. Hurt said that she was very busy and overwhelmed by responsibilities in her own life. I am so tired of women shaming and blaming each other over not being perfect. You shouldn't have been so hard on her. She shouldn't have to take responsibility for everything that happens to her extended family.
DEAR UPSET: When someone is responsible for doing or behaving in a way that is hurtful to others, she should be held responsible. "Hurt" said she was too busy and overwhelmed with her own life to acknowledge her sister's cancer diagnosis, even though they had communicated several times since the diagnosis. Overwhelmed people can make mistakes, be neglectful and forgetful, but it is not shaming someone for me to say, "Yes -- you blew it. You should have made a different choice."