Dear Amy: I am the younger of two daughters. My sister is three years older, and we are very close. She is away at college. You’d think that since she is away from home, I would get more of my parents’ focus. But that has not happened.
It’s not as if they neglect me, but I don’t feel my needs, wishes and dreams are on the family agenda. My 16th birthday is in roughly seven months. I want it to be special. I’ve always dreamed of having a day of just celebrating me.
I remember back to when it was my sister’s 16th birthday, they talked about it for months ahead of time, with plans, a surprise party and a special visit from family members. But my birthday is rapidly approaching and not a word has been spoken about plans for my day.
Should I tell my parents how I feel or just assume they’re working on something — or should I let it go?
Amy says: Your situation reminds me of the movie “Sixteen Candles.” If you’ve never seen it, you should. Your folks may have started planning something. If you have special things you want to do on that day, definitely tell them. You should also offer to help.
Talk to your sister about this. She can rattle your parents’ cage a little bit.
Parents get tired. They also get a little lazy when they have only one well-behaved teenager still at home. You may have to work a little harder to get their attention — but you deserve to have it, not only on your birthday but every day.
Charities on registry
Dear Amy: I disagree with you and the bride who included the names of some charities on her wedding gift registry.
My first reaction wouldn’t be, “How sweet.” It would be, “Thanks, but I’m perfectly capable of deciding which charities, if any, I want to financially support.”
I have the same attitude when it comes to supermarkets that try to extract donations to personal causes by embarrassing customers at each trip to the checkout counter.
Amy says: You might have a similar reaction to a gift registry, thinking, “Thanks, but I’m perfectly capable of choosing what china pattern, if any, I want to purchase.”
These are suggestions for what the couple — not you — want to receive. You can always decline to follow the suggestion (or pass by the donation bucket at the supermarket).
Send questions via e-mail to Amy Dickinson at firstname.lastname@example.org.