Dear Amy: In recent years, I have stopped wearing high-heeled shoes. I object to the idea of women being encouraged to harm ourselves to meet an impossible standard of beauty.

I was recently asked to donate to a charity that provides formal clothes to underprivileged kids for their prom. I have a few pairs of gently used and fairly expensive heels I could donate. On the one hand, I have an opportunity to help a girl somewhere to feel special and beautiful. On the other hand, I hate the idea of reinforcing this unreasonable ideal in the mind of an impressionable young person. Should I donate the shoes?

 

Amy says: It is not your job to tell underprivileged teens — or anyone — what they should desire in the way of footwear. I think it would be refreshing if people didn’t pressure one another regarding personal choice. Aside from donating these shoes and possibly making someone’s day, your other option is to toss these shoes into the landfill. I assume you don’t want to do that.

They should talk about money

Dear Amy: I was widowed almost five years ago after a 46-year marriage. I have been in a relationship for two years.

He lives with me and is in a better financial situation than I am. We split expenses for the most part, but I will often bring home dinner (for which I pay). When we go out, he normally pays, but I often offer. Sometimes he lets me pay if I insist. When we travel, we split gas costs and eat at McDonald’s (for which he pays).

Recently, we were having dinner with a friend. When the check came, my friend was estimating her share. He looked at me and said, “Where’s your share?” I did not know what to say since he would normally pay my share, so I laughed along with both of them.

I do not want an extravagant lifestyle. However, I would like to do more than we are doing, but I do not know how to bring this up with him.

Am I making too much out of what happened at dinner? I feel disrespected.

 

Amy says: Three of you went to dinner. Your friend estimated the amount she owed. Your guy was likely trying to make a “joke” to cover the fact he was not picking up the check for your friend. Aside from that, you seem to believe that he is cheap, even though he always picks up the check when you go out. (If you don’t want to pay, then don’t “insist.”)

You don’t seem to know how to talk to him about it. Instead, every penny you spend, you hold up against every penny he doesn’t spend. If you want to upgrade from McDonald’s and want him to pay for nicer outings, talk about it. This should lead to a larger discussion of finances. He may have expenses he has not disclosed. And yes, he may be cheap.

 

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