Ask Amy

Sunday, September 30, 2012 at 9:05pm

DEAR AMY: I love all of my neighbors and have been on great terms for many years with an older couple who live down the street.

In all the years I've known them, we've never discussed politics. Maybe that was a good thing, because in the last few weeks a sign appeared in their yard for a candidate I cannot stand. Without going into specifics, if this candidate should happen to win, I would seriously think about moving to another country.

I'm gay, and my neighbors know it, and the man they are supporting is only too happy to see me and my life sold down the river if he thinks it'll get him one more vote. Prejudice against gay people is a plank in his political platform.

I tell myself that my neighbors are the same people I've liked for many years, but I feel different about them now. Should I talk to them about it and try to explain what this man's election would mean for people like me? Or should I ignore it and try to forget what I now know?

I do know that the memory of all sorts of injustices and slights (both real and imagined) fades with time, but I hate feeling this way.

— Confused Neighbor

DEAR CONFUSED: Your neighbors have posted a yard sign advertising their support for a candidate, inviting a conversation with people who see it. The question is whether you are up to having this conversation with them.

Your neighbors may not be aware of this candidate's stand on gay issues. They may be aware of it but might not vote on social issues. Or they may agree with this candidate's views.

If you choose to speak to them, approach them with an open attitude, tolerance and a determination to listen. This is an attitude you would want from anyone questioning your own political views.

Sophisticated people living in a country devoted to free speech should be able to tolerate different — or even offensive — perspectives without wanting to leave the country, but you don't seem able to see things this way. This is something for you to work on.

DEAR AMY: My husband and I have friends who live out of town whom we visit occasionally, staying with them in their home. (They come to our town occasionally but have relatives nearby and stay with them when they visit).

My husband, who has a bad back, says he wants to tell them "tactfully" (I do not believe this is possible) that the mattress in their guest bedroom hurts his back.

I have told him the only solution is for us to sleep in a hotel, since it is their house and they are under no obligation to buy a different mattress for their guests. He says he is sure he can't be the only guest who has complained about this. I don't think this justifies his request. What do you think?

— Wife and Friend

DEAR WIFE: If the choice is between staying in a hotel during repeated visits or purchasing a new mattress, the obvious answer is for your husband to offer to purchase a new mattress for your friends.

He can say, "We love staying with you when we visit, but my back problems are aggravated by your guest room mattress. Would you be willing to let me treat you to a new one?"

DEAR AMY: I'm responding to "Concerned Grandma," whose young grandson was cheating at games. My solution was to tell my young son that if he played with other people, he had to follow the rules so everyone had a fair chance, but if he wanted to play the game against himself, he could make up his own rules as he went along.

He spent many hours entertaining himself with outrageous rule changes and deck stacking. It was quite entertaining.

— Jean

DEAR JEAN: I'm going to try this on the pint-size cheater in my life! Thank you.

Send questions via e-mail to askamy@tribune.com. Amy Dickinson's memoir, The Mighty Queens of Freeville: A Mother, a Daughter and the Town that Raised Them (Hyperion), is available in bookstores.

Filed under: Lifestyles
Tagged: ask amy

7 Comments on this post:

By: PKVol on 10/1/12 at 8:49

Anxiously awaiting NewYorkers response to the first letter!

By: budlight on 10/1/12 at 10:07

Confused neighbor, did you ever stop to think what the impact of your candidate might be on your neighbor? It's a two way street. Everyone does not think the way you do. And apparently you do not think the way everyone thinks. That is why we live in America. It's a free country. No one is forced to live on a certain street. I am putting up a sign in my yard and my candidate believes as I do, that Marriage is between one man and one woman. No multiple wives, no marrying your dog, no marrying your 1st cousin or sister or brother, no marrying your aunt or uncle and no marrying same sex. Millions of people have honored this definition of marriage for centuries, yet some people want to change it for millions (probably billions). Go ahead and talk to your neighbors and express how you feel. But if they don't agree with you, be prepared to be adult about it and just keep on loving them. After all, it's a free country!

By: jvh2b on 10/1/12 at 11:00

Tell me bud - are your eyes brown? Cause from here you sure are full of S*@T.

Please do tell how the gay neighbor's life accects the Romney supporters lives in ANY way. Does their relationship (or even the acknowlegement there of) affect theirs or devalue their relationship? Will it keep them from entering the pearly gates? NOPE!

Yes everyone is free to belive how they want, but your beliefs end at my nose...when your choice to belive in a book of Jewish fariytales comes into OUR (ie yours AND my) govt, and then tells me I can't enjoy the same benefits/rights as you becuase YOU belive so....then your beliefs have just trampled mine....and when my beliefs don't affect anyone but myself and do no damage to minors/society/those unable to consent...THAT is discriminaiton.

A fair discussion is always preferred, but it's clearly the bible thumping morons like you who feel they have the superior faith, should dictate how others live, because you just don't agree with it....even if it doesn't affect you or society one iota.

By: govskeptic on 10/1/12 at 11:39

jvh2b : Having expressed your preference in other story postings, you are
raving once again on anyone having a different view on this subject. It
must be tough, but learning to live with it and move on might release much
stress in your life. These difference are pro fain and not about to change,
nor are they casual as is red prettier than blue. That writer has a perfect
right to place the sign of whichever candidate they prefer. If one wishes to
paint their house pink and place the opposing candidate sign they have
that right as well. Bullying and name calling gets one no where today.

By: budlight on 10/1/12 at 12:28

And your beliefs trample mine, but you don't see it that way jvh2b. You think you are always the victim. Well, so be it. Marriage is between a man and a woman. It is for the benefit of creation. And naturally only men and women have the necessary equipment for creation. Men and Men and Women and Women do not have the natural way to create. Anyway, this Bible Thumping Moron wishes you well. I am not superior, but then neithere are you. You know gov, I bet half of these screamers are not even registered to vote. I know some of them personally who scream and yell at everything, but never even register to vote. How funny is that?

By: artsmart on 10/1/12 at 3:09

jvh2b: I have just a couple of questions. Why is it that when someone disagrees with a Dems opinion they immediately start name calling. I can tell you there are numerous things that are done on your side that drive me insane but the point is to try to get the people elected with which I agree. Secondly why is it necessary that I believe as you do or I am wrong but you need not believe anything you chose not. Do you think maybe the ability of the 2 sides to compromise might require give on both sides.

i

By: jvh2b on 11/13/12 at 3:38

Should have followed up sooner here...so I doubt anyone will see it..oh well.

Considering my rabid atheist beliefs affect none of you on here, and I'm not trying to legistate SQUAT trying to say you can't believe that way (I'm simply standing up saying you can't vote your personal religious based discrimination into law) you have all presented a pathetic straw man argument. Please try again.

govt - your right..they can vote and beleive for whoever - re-read my post - I agree with that. Sorry I'm attempting to force basic logic into the equation because I can see the glaring holes in their agrument...

art - normally I don't jump off the bat like that, but bud really is just crazy, so I just let loose on her. If your best argument is why is it when dems and name calling...I got news for you and your arguments. I do agree again (see my resp to govt) that you can believe whatever you want. You wanna beleive in the great cosmic muffin? Go for it! But when ANYONE tried to put their own religious beliefs into law? Draw the line. If you don't like my actions/beliefs...kudos to you...bottom line is I'm not trying to make you think the way I do...I'm trying to logically argue that you don't have the right to try and legislate my non-harmful actions based on some book of fairytales you choose to believe in....