DEAR AMY: I’m an old guy with a crush on a young woman. It is obvious that we like each other and enjoy spending time together, and I think she might have a crush on me too.
I know there isn’t any issue of legality — we’re both old enough to be consenting adults — nor are there any spouses to hurt. But how creepy would it be if we ended up dating?
The age difference is so great (well over a quarter-century) that there really is no possibility of a long-term relationship or children. But what about simply deciding to have a good time? What do you think? -- Geezer
DEAR GEEZER: As long as it’s not one of my daughters, I’m pretty cool with it.
I mean, if you don’t mind hanging out with someone who has no memory of Mel Torme, and if she doesn’t care if when she says, “I’m into One Direction,” you reply, “Me too — I prefer left,” then I say go for it.
But I joke. Seriously, other than the varying expectations and issues brought about by your different stages in life (and the tendency of people like me to be snarky about it), this is a victimless caper. A fun relationship might actually be a true “good time” for both of you.
DEAR AMY: We’re expecting our first child and just managed to buy our first home. We are considered a low-income couple and have always been bargain hunters. Mortgage, bills and groceries need to be strictly budgeted.
When it comes to baby necessities and toys, my wife has been very creative and has procured many used pieces of furniture and clothes. We are now swimming in great used supplies.
My in-laws are well-off and continue to buy all sorts of expensive new toys and clothing for the baby, telling us that the baby deserves something new. We thank them but have suggested several times that we now have enough to cover four babies, but they get offended and insist it’s their right to spoil our child.
They know we work hard to make ends meet. We are counting pennies to buy milk, and it’s hard to keep smiling about all of the needless expensive toys that come into our house.
My wife suggests we try to sell some of the unneeded baby items (do we need four strollers?), but I think our families would be offended if they knew. Is there a polite way to shift their giving spirit to include grocery gift certificates instead? Should we sell or simply be grateful? -- Drowning in Baby Supplies
DEAR DROWNING: It is not a grandparent’s right to “spoil” a grandchild. Grandparents really don’t have any automatic right to behave in a way that undermines the parents, certainly if the parents are (like you) reasonable, rational and intentional.
Your in-laws mean well, but you are going to have to help them understand what your actual needs are and the values by which you live.
Be brave enough to tell them exactly what is going on. Acknowledge their generosity. Ask them if they would like a wish list (such as people sometimes have for a baby shower). Tell them that you intend to keep only one stroller. Ask if they would like to return the overruns. Otherwise, sure, you should sell them and pay your utility bill.
They might derive a lot of satisfaction from starting a college fund for your child or finding another creative way to contribute that doesn’t involve a mountain of goodies.
DEAR AMY: Regarding the issue of posting memorial notices about people on Facebook, the important thing to remember is that you are letting people know. And when they respond with a “like,” that lets you know they have communicated with you.
When my dear mom passed away 25 years ago, I know my computer would not have been able to handle all the “likes” if I had posted her memorial notice! I would interpret each “like” as a hug or a condolence. -- Loving Daughter
DEAR DAUGHTER: This goes to the eternal question of whether a “like” on Facebook is an endorsement or a notification -- or a hug.