Dear Amy: I am a freshman in a new high school. I love my new school. The teachers are awesome, I am involved in sports, and I have made many new friends.
However, there was a recent gossip incident that has me scratching my head. What is the best way to deal with a false rumor and figure out who started it without making a big deal out of the rumor, especially if it involves boys?
Amy says: You are being tested. This is common in ninth grade, and the fact that you are new to the school makes you a handy target.
Let your parents know this has happened; they need to know what’s going on with you, even if you don’t want them to do anything about it.
Tracking this rumor to the source might invite more scrutiny and ignite an escalation. For now, do not react at all. Ignore this rumor and go about your business of doing well and making new friends. Rise above it and move on.
If you become aware of anything beyond this, speak to a favorite teacher and/or the counselor at your school. In rare cases this can get seriously out of hand. If so, you must alert the school officials; they will intervene to shut it down.
A well-utilized gift
Dear Amy: My nephew was married on a Friday evening, and our family went to the wedding and reception. We gave them a card and a check for their gift at the reception.
The check was cashed the following Monday, endorsed over to the reception hall. I feel this is very tactless. It appears to me that we were invited for the gift so that they could pay the reception bill. What is your opinion?
Amy says: If you had given this couple a cappuccino-maker as a gift, wouldn’t you be pleased if they opened the box and used it quickly?
Monetary gifts to the couple seldom actually bring in enough to pay for the reception. Your gift might not have even covered the cost of your own meal. I assure you, inviting people to a reception in the hopes that they will pay for it is not a good business model. You were generous to help them pay for it, and I hope you will feel better after they thank you.
Turning the tables
Dear Amy: When someone wrote about an unwanted advance from a married male “friend,” I had to laugh recalling my similar experience.
Many years ago, our “friend” asked me out while my husband was out of town. The wife and I were good friends.
I asked him, “Who should I get to watch my kids? Your wife?” That shut him right down. I told my husband about it a few days later, and we agreed I’d handled it well. I never told the wife, and he never acted like a jerk again.
Amy says: You handled this perfectly.
Saving the last dance
Dear Amy: Your advice about a stepfather’s role at the daughter’s wedding was spot-on. When this situation occurred with our daughter, my dear husband quietly paid for part of the wedding (my ex paid for nothing) and supported my daughter’s choices. He was definitely my hero.