DEAR AMY: I am really struggling with a breakup.
We dated for three years and, like all couples, had our issues, but nothing major.
Everything seemed to be going well, and then all of a sudden he started to do things that were completely out of character.
I confronted him about his actions and he said, "If I think you're miserable, I will break up with you because I don't think you would be able to handle it," and then he broke up with me.
Now I think about him constantly.
Should I reach out to him or wait to see if he tries to contact me? He knows where I stand as far as wanting to fix things. I would do anything to work things out!
— Bummed Over Break
DEAR BUMMED: Your ex knows where you stand, and he knows you're motivated to work things out. Unfortunately, he doesn't seem to share your goals.
The coward's way out of a relationship is to behave badly and basically dare the other person to object to the infraction. Throwing down the gauntlet was part of his exit strategy. He has dared you to tolerate this breakup, so rise to his challenge and do well.
Don't call him — he owes you an apology.
DEAR AMY: I'm challenging your response to "Peter."
He complained about what he called graduation "money grab" announcements and invitations from graduates that he doesn't know well.
You advised him to just send a card, which is fine.
But then you suggested insulting wording to add to the card: "You don't know us very well, but we understand you're graduating from a school of some sort."
"We understand you're graduating from a school of some sort?" In response to a school announcement?
Amy, why would you suggest that someone be so courteous as to send a card, and then include such an obviously insulting note?
Do you honestly think it's appropriate to insult someone just because they sent a graduation announcement?
— Seattle Reader
DEAR READER: The line you cite was another in a series of lame attempts at humor.
DEAR AMY: Both of my parents are Irish immigrants, so I've been raised saying things like "me coat" and calling my mother "Mum."
I also spell words with the Irish spelling rather than the American way.
I am 15 years old, and my friends have started catching on, spelling things the same way and using the same phrases and language as me.
At first, I didn't really mind, but now it's becoming annoying.
I feel as if they are trying to take away my culture, especially now that one of my friends, "Janet," is using random Gaelic phrases. I know these phrases because my parents are fluent in Gaelic.
I don't know how to get my friends to stop attempting to take over my culture. What's your advice?
— Ireland Forever
DEAR FOREVER: Using the Irish vernacular doesn't mean your friends are taking your parents' native culture any more than dancing to the soundtrack of "Slumdog Millionaire" makes any of us a Bollywood star — but we're all allowed our cross-cultural fantasies, right?
Ideally, you'd be flattered by this sort of appropriation, but I can understand how listening to your friends say "me Mum" would get old.
I admit to being one of those individuals who instantly appropriates the language and accent of the person I'm speaking with, until a friend warned that my flat Eastern accent didn't lend itself well to "kvelling" and "kvetching." So I stopped.
Your friends are fascinated by your culture. We, Americans, tend to believe that our own culture is boring and flavorless.
But — as we are fond of reminding anyone still listening — it's a free country, and your friends have the right to be annoying.
Your best defense is to laugh when your friend Janet gets your Irish up.
"What's so funny, pal-o-mine?" she'll ask.
"You're as Irish as Jennifer Lopez, but hey — good try!"
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