DEAR AMY: My husband and I are celebrating our 25th anniversary next year.
My sister and her husband will be celebrating their 50th.
She's suggesting that we take a cruise together or fly to some fabulous tropical place.
We are the only siblings in our family.
I love my sister dearly, but she can drive people absolutely crazy.
Her husband is in the middle stages of dementia, and because of a hip replacement last year, he's not very ambulatory on his cane.
They are alcoholics and refuse to admit it because wine to them apparently isn't alcohol because Jesus drank it.
The red wine bottle is open by 10 a.m. daily. The more she consumes, the more annoying, nosy, crass, rude and abrasive she becomes.
I'm always worried about them and consequently I always feel the guilt drive pushing me to spend as much time with them as possible so that I have no regrets once they're gone, but I'm mentally exhausted and depressed and dreading the next contact.
How do I let her know in a kind way that our anniversaries most likely will not be celebrated together?
I'd rather not sacrifice and celebrate together, so whatever advice you can render, please make it gentle.
— Frustrated and Trapped
DEAR FRUSTRATED: Your guilt over your sister is useful, in a way. It will drive you to spend time with her, and I hope that it will also compel you to ask yourself how you would feel if she were gone and you had never been honest with her about her drinking.
These are actually two separate conversations.
About the anniversary, you could say, "I know you'd love to make a big splash, but that's not in the cards for us. Let's find a smaller way to celebrate."
Perhaps you and your husband could tolerate a weekend in their company around the time of your anniversaries; you and your sister could research and plan it together.
You should also talk to her about her drinking. You don't have to harshly confront her, but you have every right to tell her that her drinking interferes with your ability to enjoy her company.
DEAR AMY: My husband and I were just asked to be godparents.
The way we were asked and the history of the in-laws makes me downright angry.
My husband was asked over the phone at 9 p.m.
I feel it's inappropriate to ask someone to do this important thing over the phone.
I'm ticked, but because of the innocent child, we will accept.
I plan on calling my sister-in-law, giving her my opinion on how we were asked.
I will say it would have been nice if you both had asked us, and I find it inappropriate to be asked over the phone.
I also know we were second choice, as another family member was asked and turned it down.
Am I being unreasonable?
I hate to be used.
This side of the family is a thorn in everyone's side.
What would you do?
— Ticked-Off Godmother
DEAR TICKED-OFF: I fail to see how being asked to be godparents makes you feel used.
The only purpose you are being used for is to have a special and hopefully spiritual relationship with a child — and every child deserves adults in his or her life who will promise to care for and about her, regardless of her parents' failings.
I hope you'll keep this in mind, overlook the way you were approached, and accept this honor with grace.
DEAR AMY: Three cheers for "Jenny!" She is an older woman annoyed when people address her as "young lady."
In my experience, a man always makes this remark.
Depending on my mood, my answer is, "Hello, little boy."
It gets their attention.
DEAR JUDY: Let's stipulate that people using this greeting are merely trying to be nice.
I agree, however, that it is patronizing.
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