Dear Amy: This summer I had a falling out with my oldest friend.
She did me a large favor and eventually felt overextended.
I had done her many favors in the past. I thanked her for her help, both in writing and through my actions, but I dropped the ball on returning her things on the deadline we agreed to.
She got upset and said some hurtful things. She repeated these things many times.
I thanked her again, made a sincere apology, and asked for some space.
I was deeply hurt by her comments, which attacked my character, and I felt betrayed.
It has now been a few months since we’ve communicated.
Before our falling out, she sent out wedding invitations for next summer, and I have yet to RSVP.
I’m worried that it’s rude to delay my RSVP, but I’m afraid to reach out when she was so angry and hurtful every time we talked.
If she never apologizes for her comments, I don’t think I’d want to attend her wedding, but I don’t want to throw away our friendship over one fight.
What’s the polite thing to do?
— Wondering Friend
Dear Friend: Given that this wedding is still several months away, you are probably still in the polite RSVP window.
But it seems that this wedding invitation, and your concern about politely responding, is a red herring.
Yes, apologies are due all around. After your dust-up, you asked for space – and you have received it.
Have you reflected on your own behavior? Have your apologies been specific, sincere, and humble? Do you need to make amends for your own actions?
If you would like to attend this wedding, you could contact your friend to say, “I’d like to start the new year out on a better footing with you and try to repair the damage to our friendship. I would like to attend your wedding, but I’ll leave it up to you to let me know if you’d still like for me to be there.”
If you don’t want to try to repair this friendship and don’t want to attend the wedding, send your RSVP along with a note saying, “I’m sorry I won’t be able to attend your wedding celebration, but I truly hope you have a beautiful day.”
Dear Amy: I am an 11-year-old boy. I have a younger sister. We’re at home and homeschooling because of the pandemic.
I really want to get a dog. Like really, really.
My parents are not in favor of this, but I don’t feel like their reasons are very good.
Can you help me talk them into it?
— Dog Worshiper
Dear Dog Worshiper: I recently got my first dog, and on the one hand – wow – I can definitely recommend having a dog in the household! They are furry, fun, and such good pals, especially during the pandemic, when people are stuck at home and have lots of time to spend with them.
On the other hand, dogs are expensive. Your local shelter will charge a fee for a rescue pup, and then you need to make sure they have all their shots, not to mention food, treats, and toys.
Dogs are also a lot of work. They need to be safely walked several times a day. They require and deserve a lot of human attention.
Your folks might be overwhelmed right now, with their own work and homeschooling for you and your sister. Who would take care of the dog once you go back to school and your folks go back to work? They are probably wondering about that.
There are other pets that are much less expensive and easier to care for: Hamsters, guinea pigs, mice, lizards (and cats!). Would your parents compromise with you for a pet like that?
Use these next few months to do some research about dogs. See if there are chores you can do (dog walking for a neighbor, perhaps?) to earn extra money.
Once they see your long-term commitment to get a dog, your folks might come around.
Dear Amy: Thank you, again, for your annual literacy campaign to put “A Book on Every Bed!” I LOVED that you turned to independent booksellers and that they recommended books for every age.
Honestly, if it weren’t for books (anyone else read “Outlander” for comfort?), I would not have made it through this year.
— Book Lover
Dear Book Lover: Good books are like old and dear friends: always there when you need them.
(You can email Amy Dickinson at firstname.lastname@example.org or send a letter to Ask Amy, P.O. Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068. You can also follow her on Twitter @askingamy or Facebook.)
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