DEAR AMY: My dear adult son (in his 30s) recently invited me to meet his new girlfriend of two months. He seems to be over the moon about her.
We had a cordial meal, then shopped a bit. My son’s girlfriend admired some glittery material on sale, and then I happened to catch her slipping a small amount of it into my son’s pocket without paying for it, as we all stood together.
He did not object.
I am shocked and dismayed. It is quite obvious that she has the funds to purchase such an item. To date, he has not asked my opinion of her.
Should I discuss this with my son, or is this a minor offense to be forgotten? I know you have previously advised not giving an opinion when one is not requested, but this raises a red flag for me.
DEAR SADDENED: I don’t think this is necessarily a minor offense, and, yes, if it is true that your son helped his girlfriend to steal this material from a store, then hasn’t your estimation of him taken a hit? If a security officer nabbed them leaving the store, surely the consequences would fall to your son, who was carrying this stolen material in his pocket.
And so, while you may not want to weigh in on your son’s girlfriend’s character unless you are asked, perhaps you should say to your son: “Did I see what I thought I saw in the store? Did you really walk out with something without paying for it? What. The. Heck. That’s not cool. Not cool at all.”
DEAR AMY: I am a 14-year-old girl and I have a best guy friend. He is really sweet. I am an only child, so I always thought of him as a brother.
He asked me out a month ago by text, and I politely declined. I said I like him as a friend. I also told him I think I’m too young to date.
A few weeks ago, my friend and I were planning to go to the mall. He hasn’t texted or called me since then, and I decided after a few unreturned texts and calls that it would be best to stop and wait for him to text me. I want him to be able to stop his feelings for me, so we can continue to be friends. He hasn’t replied, even when I knew he read it from the message receipt.
Now he very rarely texts me, and if I text him first, he makes up an excuse to leave the conversation. I would really love to keep him as a friend, but is it already a lost cause?
Sad in San Diego
DEAR SAD: When you develop a crush on someone, you can’t always control your feelings, and so while you would like for your friend to pivot away from his crush and dive right back into your friendship, you have basically rejected him. Even though you were super nice about it, it was still a rejection, and he’s going to feel it for a while. It might be easier for him to hang with you in a group setting versus one on one.
Please don’t give up on your pal. Continue to reach out in friendship, and he may drift slowly back. Friendships between boys and girls are sometimes challenging, but these friendships are incredibly valuable.
DEAR AMY: About four years ago, my ex-girlfriend, knowing I read your column every day, wrote to you about me. It was a letter where she said the relationship had ended, and she had left some things at my house that were not gifts. She wrote to you and asked, “What do I do?”
You said, “Call him, say you’re sorry the relationship ended and tell him you would like to pick up your stuff.” You suggested she just ask for what she wanted and be honest.
It worked great. I got a call two days later with her saying just what you suggested.
Of course, I gave her all of her stuff and a sincere hug goodbye.
Rob, in Morgan Hill
DEAR ROB: I’m often curious about how things turn out for people, and so I appreciate you writing to let me know. Honestly, the problem presented – and my advice – doesn’t seem like rocket science, but I’m happy to have offered this common sense and further happy that she followed it.
Email Amy Dickinson at email@example.com.