DEAR AMY: We were asked to be godparents to a friend’s son when he was born. We accepted and have sent money and cards to him all his life. Now he is 30 and an attorney, and we are now on a fixed income. Should we continue to send him gifts?
He never sends us a card for our birthdays, Christmas or our anniversary. What is expected of us? If we don’t continue, his mother will have hard feelings toward us. Can you give us some advice? -- Confused Godparents
DEAR CONFUSED: You have been very kind to this man throughout his life, and now you can rest easy knowing that you have done your very best to honor this special relationship with him. Being named godparents does not obligate you to a lifetime of gift-giving.
You have my permission to stop. You don’t need to declare it or state reasons. Just ... stop. If his mother harbors hard feelings toward you because of this, then she is not really much of a friend.
DEAR AMY: I recently went on a vacation with my girlfriend. We agreed to split expenses equally. She chose the length of the trip and the destination.
The trip was a couple days longer than I wanted, but the longer stay saved her many frequent-flier miles. I was fine with that. She used those miles for both our flights.
She assigned a value to the frequent-flier miles, which just about equaled the cost of the hotel, which I paid for.
A few days before the trip, she asked if I would mind if she shortened her stay by one day due to a last-minute family commitment. I said, of course, no problem. She switched her flight, which cost her some money.
The trip did not go so well, and we “broke up” during the vacation. Upon my return, she asked me to reimburse her the cost of the last night of the hotel. She claimed it was unfair of her to have to pay for a night when she wasn’t staying there.
A few items I bought on the trip ended up in her luggage, and she won’t return them to me until I “pay her back.” I don’t feel I need to reimburse her for the last night of the hotel. She chose to leave early, and I couldn’t switch my flight or cancel the last night of the room without it costing me more money.
Who is right? -- Frustrated Former
DEAR FORMER: You are. I’m going to channel Judge Judy (I’m a big fan) and demand, in my very best Judge Judy voice, that your former girlfriend return your possessions to you. Then you two should call it a day.
DEAR AMY: “Wannabe Mommy” was worried about repeating her parents’ mistakes when raising her own child. I’d like to tell her that because of her resolve, she will not repeat their mistakes.
I, too, worried about that, as although everyone “loved” my mother, she was emotionally cold to me. Whenever there was a conflict inside or outside of the family, I was always blamed. My brother was “king,” and I was the pauper and the scapegoat.
When I saved myself from being molested by an older friend of my parents’ at the age of 14 and told my mother about it, she blamed me. Although I believe that my father would have stood up for me on many occasions, I was forbidden to tell him anything for fear of her wrath, mostly emotional but also physical.
When my daughter was born, I wrote in a little book “I will never treat her as my mother treated me.” To this day, 42 years later, my daughter is my best friend and has been a kind and loving daughter (and I a kind and loving mother) her whole life. When it comes to parenting, history does not have to repeat itself. -- Reader in Ohio
DEAR READER: Your resolve is admirable. The proof is in your positive and loving relationship. That’s a new family legacy to carry forward.
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