Ask Amy: I paid for my nephew’s tuition but am not invited to graduation



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Dear Amy: I paid for a large portion of my favorite nephew’s college expenses (he’s also my godson). I was happy to do this because I love him and want to support him.

His mother (my sister) has told me that he has asked to have only immediate family at his college graduation ceremony and dinner this coming spring, which means I would not be included.

I know that as an adult (he’s 23) he has a right to choose who he wants to celebrate his graduation with, but can I at least tell him how hurt I am by this?

Can I ask that I also be included (and that I will leave my husband and daughter at home)?

I do feel somewhat “entitled” to be there to help celebrate a college degree he was able to receive debt-free in large part because of my generosity.

My sister religiously reads your column and would greatly appreciate your input.

Hurt: Your sister should have strongly advocated for you to be included in this graduation ceremony. Why didn’t she?

At this point, you should contact your nephew to say, “Your mother has told me that you are only inviting immediate family members to your graduation ceremony. I hope you understand that as someone who invested heavily in financing your education, I would very much like to be included in celebrating your official launch into the rest of your life.

I know tickets can be scarce but I am hoping you can secure one extra ticket so I can attend your graduation. I would be very disappointed to miss it.”

Dear Amy: I would like to know what can be said to a co-worker who comes to work sick. There must be a polite way to tell this person to go home.

It isn’t fair to other co-workers to be put at risk by one inconsiderate person.

JP: The trauma of the pandemic should have sensitized all of us to the impact our illnesses can have on others.

If you encounter a co-worker who is obviously ill, you could say to them, “I can tell that you don’t feel well; I’m worried about catching whatever you have. Wouldn’t it be best if you went home?”

If you don’t feel able to do this, you could contact your supervisor and ask if your co-worker could be sent home. Managers should make it explicitly clear that any employees who are sick should not come to work.

This co-worker might feel financial or other professional pressure to drag themselves in, but their illness could have a longer-term negative effect on the workforce.

Dear Amy: “Disappointed” reported an ongoing stalemate with his wife concerning her desire to receive $400 each month in retirement to spend however she wished.

I have been the sole breadwinner for most of the 50 years of our marriage. Like Disappointed, all of our finances have been unified. One of the best things I have ever done for our relationship is to have my wife establish her own checking account and credit card account funded by money directed from my paycheck into her account.

My name is not on either account, I don’t see the statements, and I can’t access it online. She has complete freedom, without any accountability to me, to spend the money however she wishes. My wife is a frugal person and spends wisely.

The benefit that this independence has had to our relationship is immense.

Happy: This was a wise choice.

A sole breadwinner takes on the pressure and responsibility for financing the household. This is an immense undertaking.

Sole breadwinners may not realize, however, how financially vulnerable their partners are, and how vital it is to have the independence, privacy, and responsibility to control their own funds.

Dear Amy: Regarding the letter from “Hands Off,” who did not want to be hugged, we allow children to have boundaries and respect kids when they say no to hugs, but adults don’t always respect this boundary with each other.

Hands Off will have to take an assertive stance to establish and train these adults in what their new boundaries are.

I was fortunate to have a friend who was my ally in distracting certain adults that were always “huggers” by changing the conversation or leading the other person away from the “hug.”

No Hug!: Many people are exiting the pandemic with a new “no hug” stance. It’s important to respect this.

©2022 by Amy Dickinson distributed by Tribune Content Agency