Ask Amy: Prince Charming waits among gas pumps

FresnoJuly 19, 2013 

Dear Readers: I'm marking my anniversary of writing the "Ask Amy" column, which debuted 10 years ago today. In honor of this, I'm rerunning the very first Q-and-A I ever tackled. I hope you'll agree that it's a classic.

Dear Amy: This is my first time writing to an advice columnist, so I guess we're starting off together.

Here's my problem: I'm in my mid-50s, divorced and have recently developed quite a crush on a lady who is a customer at my work. Although I am reasonably well educated and have enjoyed professional success, present circumstances have me working as a clerk in a gas station/convenience store.

The lady has recently separated from a successful businessman and has been used to a rather glamorous and sophisticated social life. I sense that she likes me, but she knows me only in the context of a gas station attendant. How do I let her know that I care for her and, more important, have a lot more to offer than meets the eye?

— Ken from Hinsdale

Dear Ken: How's about a free package of Slim Jims? That always works for me. Don't overplay your hand, though. First, pay close attention to her behavior. If she is buying her gas a gallon at a time or has recently developed a taste for microwaveable entrees, she is most likely finding reasons to enjoy your company. And good for you! Show a sincere interest in her — not just her octane choices. Because, guess what: Women really like nice guys who pay attention.

My instinct tells me that a recently separated woman with a sophisticated social life might be lucky to find someone like you to lend a refreshing balance, even though she might not be ready for a full-fledged relationship. And you get the first crack at the Lotto tickets... . (2003)

Dear Amy: I moved in with a woman seven months ago after leaving my wife of more than 30 years.

The agreement was that I would move in and she would stop smoking. She did try twice to stop, using pills she bought on the Internet, but to no avail. She now smokes heavily.

I contend that she didn't live up to the agreement as I did, but she has difficulty with my saying so.

— Secondhand smoker

Dear Secondhand: It seems that your live-in has broken her agreement with you, but I can't resist pointing out that, according to you, you broke your own agreement with your wife of 30 years.

What you're seeing is that these covenants are only as strong as the individuals involved. (2004)


Send questions to or Ask Amy, Chicago Tribune, TT500, 435 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL 60611.

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