DEAR AMY: A well-known singer announced a tour date for my city. My father generously offered to buy tickets as a birthday gift. I was delighted, but I also let him know that I needed to find someone to join me. He texted back “I’ll get two tickets and you will find someone to go.” I invited a good friend. A few weeks later my dad texted me that the tickets had arrived, he asked me to get a check from my friend for the cost of her ticket. I said there was a huge misunderstanding. I told him I could not ask my friend to pay after inviting her as my guest. I told him to sell the tickets and said I was no longer interested in attending or accepting what I considered to be a non-gift. He hung up on me and we have not spoken in several months. My friend and I ended up buying our own tickets and loved every minute of the concert, but I don’t think Dad will ever speak to me again. I am so saddened that my father would sever our over 50-year relationship over this. In your opinion, is giving one ticket to an event a gift? Was I wrong to not ask my friend for the money, or to send him a check for her ticket?
DEAR SCALPED: Yes, I do consider one ticket a gift. You seem to think it is impossible to attend an event on your own and your father ordered a second ticket for you after you asked him to.
If you could afford to purchase a ticket for yourself after you refused your father’s gift, why couldn’t you just pony up for your friend’s ticket to reimburse your father? You thought both tickets were a gift, but he obviously didn’t.
But, here I am, diving into the weeds about this ticket business, when the real issue is why you would be willing to let your father throw away your relationship over this misunderstanding, where (in my opinion) you are both acting like babies.
Perhaps you are so much like your father that you would participate equally in this estrangement, but my perspective is that you are “50-plus” years old, for goodness sake.
If you want to have a relationship, you should apologize for throwing his gift in his face. He also owes you an apology for reacting so badly.
DEAR AMY: I am a happy mother with four wonderful children. My husband and I both have extended families with multiple step and half siblings, who have children of their own. As we chose our children’s names, we took into consideration the other names in the family. My oldest son, “Benedict,” is 6 years old. My husband’s stepsister just had her second son. To our surprise, they named him “Benjamin.” Our initial reaction was confusion and anger. I don’t think I’ll ever make peace with it. As a family, we often refer to my son as “Benny,” and my husband’s stepsister has already posted on social media, referring to her new baby as Benny. How do I handle this? Is this something I should get over? I feel that it is a moot point to say anything. The baby has already been named and there’s no changing. What can I do to get past this?
Mom of the First Benny
DEAR MOM OF THE FIRST: I’m confused. “Benedict” and “Benjamin” are two different names. It is like comparing Emily with Emma, Bradley with Bradford, or Patrice with Patricia. The names are different. The shortened version of your son’s name is the same as this child’s nickname, but — so what?
There are many “Bennys” in the world. Two of them are in your family. (I have one in my family, in fact).
So no — you do not get to have a problem with this. You should definitely get over it. Furthermore, it might be fun for your son to know there is a baby in the family who shares his nickname.
DEAR AMY: “Not that Hungry” wanted to eat a vegetarian diet, but his live-in mother-in-law always offered meat to the family. You advised him to “tolerate this generous action and either take the leftovers to work, or get a dog.” Amy, you should know better. Dogs should not be fed table scraps.
DEAR DOG LOVER: Every dog in America is currently giving those dinner cutlets side-eye, but thank you for the reminder.