DEAR AMY: I’m a faithful reader of your column. I am a housekeeper for the best family in the world. I know they love me and we share mutual respect. I am paid $400/week. I’m not starving, for sure. But the problem is that on holidays and my birthday, the gifts are mostly clothes from stores I will never go to. I cannot afford to maintain these clothes — the dry cleaning is not cheap. I do not need nor want a designer cashmere sweater, because it’s as if I had a Mercedes Benz, but couldn’t afford the oil change! Please tell your readers that I (and other domestic workers) would rather have cash. Cash will help me with savings and give me room to breathe. I feel a week’s salary in cash would be the best bonus or gift I could ever receive.
DEAR WORKER: Thank you so much for the honest recommendation. The holiday season will soon be upon us, and I hope that employers will pay close attention to your letter.
An extra week’s worth of pay would be a great gift, is about the same price of a fancy cashmere sweater and doesn’t require special handling.
DEAR AMY: In July my grandson married his girlfriend of four years (she is the mother of my great-grandson, who is 2). My wife (his step-grandmother) and myself were not invited to the wedding. We have no idea why we were excluded, as we thought we had a great relationship with them. Even his mother was confused over this and told my wife that she would see to it that we got an invitation, but that didn’t happen. We have not spoken to, heard from or seen them since the wedding and are very confused as to why. My heart is breaking, as I would love to have a relationship with them, but especially my great-grandson, “Sammy.” Any advice you could give me would be greatly appreciated.
DEAR HEARTBROKEN: I’m very sorry this has happened, and I assume you would respect an explanation for this exclusion — but having no explanation at all puts you in a tough spot.
You should contact your grandson and his wife by mail. Tell them, “We are hurt that we weren’t invited to your wedding, but we are very happy for you and assume you had your own reasons for leaving us off the list. All the same, we wanted to congratulate you both; we hope to see you and ‘Sammy’ very soon.”
Send along a colorful board book or wooden toy for your great-grandson, and leave the door open for a reply.
DEAR AMY: Thank you for advising your recent writer (“Stuck at 17”), and all your other readers, that it is never too late for a survivor of sexual assault to come forward. There is help available and sometimes there is even a chance for the police and prosecutors to get some justice and hold the criminal accountable. In California recently, Gov. Jerry Brown wisely signed a law (SB 813) abolishing the statute of limitations for serious sexual assault cases. As a career prosecutor, I have been working for such a law for 16 years. And now we have it. It is prospective only; it doesn’t apply to crimes occurring prior to Jan. 1, 2017. However, the laws in the states are different from one another and depending on where a survivor lives, there may be able to be a prosecution. Even if prosecution is not an option, a survivor can access support such as counseling, but only when they summon the courage to come forward. Your answer encouraging them to do so was morally right and most welcome.
Jay B in California
DEAR JAY: Thank you so much.
I am of the firm belief that someone who is brave enough to send a letter to me is already taking the first step toward healing.
I hope it gives assault survivors a boost to know that their bravery inspires countless unknown people who read their story and may choose to act on their own behalf.
Different states have different statutes of limitations, but there is no limitation on compassionate help. Even years later, trauma survivors can recover by telling their stories, by accepting assistance and by helping others.