D ear Amy: In an attempt to beautify her neighborhood, a popular blogger asked her followers for money to repaint a community fence.
Anyone who donated $400 would be entitled to an hour’s “face time” with the blogger on Skype.
Being lonely and in need of someone to talk to, I took her up on the offer. I made the donation, and we set a day and time for our chat, but she stood me up and subsequently ignored me.
After several weeks, I sent her several strongly worded (yet civil) emails in which I expressed my mounting displeasure. Apparently unhappy with being taken to task, she announced that she had no intention of Skyping with me.
She never expressed any remorse or responsibility, never asked if there was anything she could do to make up for it – and never offered to refund the money.
My question is, would it be wrong to ask for my $400 back? It was a straight-up quid pro quo agreement. I upheld my end but she failed to uphold hers.
I want to do the right thing but I don’t like getting shafted either. I’d really appreciate your input.
— Mr. Conflicted
Dear Mr. Conflicted: If your description of the way this donation was set up and advertised is correct, then the blogger should have tried to make it right with you.
However, given the underlying tone of your question to me, I could imagine that this person might have become nervous by having “face to face” contact with you (even over Skype).
However, no matter what her reasons might have been, she should have offered you an alternative gift to the Skype call. If you didn’t accept that, she should have offered to refund your money.
Dear Amy: My husband feels betrayed and embarrassed by my recent actions, even going so far as to say I’ve weakened our marriage. Now he is threatening that he can’t handle my “secrets.”
Here’s the scoop: I’m a full-time working parent of a toddler and I rarely get time to myself. My sister is getting married in July. All six of us gals in the bridal party had briefly discussed a destination bachelorette party but had not formed a plan until this past month.
One gal shared an excellent flight deal to Los Angeles, and we each booked our flights, coordinating our seats within a matter of hours to make sure we all flew out together.
I didn’t have time to discuss the booking details with my husband before clicking “purchase,” but now I wish I had. He’s made me feel so guilty about it that I’m not allowing myself to get excited for this once-in-a-lifetime weekend getaway on the beach in sunny California.
The truth is, I didn’t feel what I did was so terrible. This was a decision guided more by the moment and circumstances than by malice.
Was I in the wrong to book without consulting him first?
— Guilt Trip Central
Dear Guilt Trip: Yes, you were wrong to book this trip without running it past your husband.
Let’s say that you and your husband had even discussed the trip as a hypothetical (“The bridesmaids are all planning a weekend away; are you cool with that?”).
The very least you could have done while eagerly booking the flight would be to call/text your husband to say, “We’re booking this trip now for the weekend of … Seats on the flight are going fast so I want to grab one now. What do you think?”
You need only ask yourself how you would feel if your husband booked a fun guys’ weekend to Vegas without bothering to tell you. Apologize to him. He should then accept your apology and cancel your “guilt trip.”
Dear Amy: Your answer today to “Unsure,” the teen with questions about her sexuality, was beautiful. It actually made me cry.
Dear Samantha: I was very moved by “Unsure’s” question, with its tender teenage query about sexual longing and identity. I was happy to tell her that she’s definitely “normal.”