DEAR READERS: I'm marking my 10-year anniversary of writing the "Ask Amy" column by rerunning some of my favorite Q-and-A's from the early days of the column. I return next week.
DEAR AMY: We understand that you are good at answering questions and read your column every day before we start our daily chores.
Our problem is this: How do we go about avoiding all that sex and violence that is currently showing on our VCR? It's a real problem for us.
— Tami and Vicki
DEAR TAMI AND VICKI: I would suggest that you remove the tape immediately. (2004)
DEAR AMY: How do you tell a gal you won't marry her because you are allergic to her stupid cat?
Actually, I think she loves the cat more than me!
DEAR DISGUSTED: If you think your gal loves her cat more than she loves you, then she probably does. Telling her you won't marry her might not be a problem. (2004)
DEAR AMY: I have been following basically the same route to work for the past seven years. In that time I recognize several good-looking women driving the same route. I have only seen these women in their cars. I wonder how they would look if I could see them out of the car.
Since I know where they turn in to their places of work, it would be easy to follow them one day and watch. If I did this, would I be a stalker?
DEAR DOUG: No, you'd just be a creep. For now, it's a legal distinction — which I hope you won't explore further. (2003)
DEAR AMY: I am in love. I'm so happy. I hear music in my head all the time.
I'm just wondering, why does this feeling go away?
— Singing a Happy Tune
DEAR SINGING: I know the feeling. You're hearing The Carpenters sing "Close to You." And yes, it does go away. But if you're lucky, your head-music will change to Sinatra. The Sinatra era can last for a long, long time. Once you move on to the George Jones/Tammy Wynette years, you know you're in a peck of trouble.
I don't think anyone really knows how to make this feeling stay. Pheromones carry sexual exhilaration just so far. But I do know that it is a fearsome and wonderful thing. Hang on to the feeling. You'll want to remember it some day. (2005)
DEAR AMY: I am the mom of a great 16-year-old who spent many months successfully communicating to me why thongs are "status quo" and not status-making apparel among teenage girls. It is the panty lines, which they consider to be more revealing than "what's underneath."
— Been There, Done That
DEAR BEEN THERE: If your teenager managed to convince you that panty lines are more revealing than "what's underneath," then I'd say that she has a very bright future in advocacy, because she got you to take a position that makes no sense whatsoever. (2005)
DEAR AMY: On birthdays and holidays my grandchildren often send or give me a greeting card with a notation that reads, "You are invited to dinner, let us know when it's convenient." Frankly, at post-80, I am hardly ever overbooked.
I don't feel that I ought to call them to make dinner arrangements, which is, apparently, what they expect. I look upon such invitations as nongifts; what is your take on this?
— Card Holder
DEAR CARD HOLDER: My take on this is that your grandchildren might in fact sincerely want to host you for dinner. Is that even a remote possibility?
You have to consider that your grandchildren might in fact think that, because of your busy schedule of water polo matches and blind dates, you would actually have trouble wedging in a dinner with the young'uns.
Please give them the benefit of the doubt here, but why not have a little fun with it? Let them know that even though you're busy training for the elder-triathlon, you might be able to squeeze them in. Give them two dates to choose from, and then the ball is in their court. It is up to them to do the rest of the arranging. (2003)
Send questions via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Amy Dickinson's memoir, The Mighty Queens of Freeville: A Mother, a Daughter and the Town that Raised Them (Hyperion), is available in bookstores.