DEAR AMY: My boyfriend and I are 22 and have been dating for almost four years.
We both used marijuana on a daily basis before we met. We found this as a way to bond and get to know each other, while enjoying life.
After a year of dating I decided to quit smoking and focus on my education. After going to college and receiving a professional degree, I do not wish to continue this habit. My boyfriend continues to smoke on a daily basis.
It does not bother me that I cannot do this with him, however, I don't want him to do this for the rest of his life.
We have been talking about marriage and starting a family. He says he will quit when we are ready to have children.
I have recently been thinking about our relationship and realized that I have never known him when he was sober. I asked him to get sober for a short period of time so we can spend time together without being under the influence before we take the next steps in our life.
When I talked to him about this, he became mad and agitated, but I think he is going to agree. Now I am secretly hoping that if he quits he won't start smoking again (although I highly doubt it). Is it wrong of me to ask him to do this? — High on Life
DEAR HIGH: When you quit smoking, did you quit for your boyfriend?
I assume that you quit for yourself. And it is obvious that you like the changes sobriety has brought to your life.
Now you are hoping that your guy will quit his daily habit for a short time, and, assuming he is able to do that (there's no guarantee), you are already worried about his choices beyond the sobriety he hasn't even achieved!
You have made his marijuana use your problem, where you do all the strategizing and big-picture thinking and he does all the smoking.
The real questions for you to ponder are: What will you do if your boyfriend doesn't make any changes in his life? Can you be with him, as is — pot and all? And do you want him — as is — to be your spouse and the father of your kids?
DEAR AMY: Recently, our 12-year-old daughter was out skateboarding with friends when one of them asked if my daughter would hold her iPhone while she practiced a trick.
My daughter agreed and tried to put the girl's phone in her pocket when it dropped and the screen cracked. Now the girl's mother thinks our daughter should pay $100 toward the screen's replacement.
According to the mother, it's the responsible thing for our daughter to do. We refused. While our daughter apologized, we didn't feel that making her pay is appropriate.
It was an accident, not a malicious incident. Now our daughter is no longer welcome at her friend's house (fine by us) and the mom went so far as to send us an email telling us what irresponsible parents we are and how sorry they feel for our daughter. What gives? — Speechless
DEAR SPEECHLESS: First of all — a 12-year-old with an iPhone? The only thing about this story that is age-appropriate is the skateboarding part.
The other parents should chalk this up to both their daughter and your daughter simply being too young to handle and be responsible for this expensive and delicate technology.
Their response to you is rude and over the top. I assume this friendship is over.
DEAR AMY: "No Vacation" sure was putting a lot of pressure on her 17-year-old son to join them for "one last family vacation."
Your suggestions about cheerful planning of other family activities are spot on, but leave out the "we are boxed into your brattiness" lecture. This should go to the mother, not the son. She is the one that is creating this all-or-nothing scenario while placing the blame on her son. — Mom of Four
DEAR MOM: I see your point, but I also wanted this teen to see that his attitude had consequences for the whole family.
Send questions via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or by mail to Ask Amy, Chicago Tribune, TT500, 435 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL 60611. Amy Dickinson's memoir, The Mighty Queens of Freeville: A Mother, a Daughter and the Town that Raised Them (Hyperion), is available in bookstores.