Dear Amy: "Ben" and "Sally" were neighbors of ours for 38 years. We and they are the oldest residents on the street; the remaining properties have changed ownership several times.

Ben and Sally were somewhat reclusive. However, when we met while walking, we enjoyed one another. I was never in their home, but I was invited to one of their daughter's weddings. When the two daughters came to visit their parents, we always enjoyed friendly banter with them.

This January, while at their winter home, Ben became ill and died. Sally moved into a care facility.

Hearing this from a resident at the end of the street stunned me. Apparently, the daughters have been in and out of the family home, packing and sorting, and the other resident passed by and was asking what was going on, and the daughter answered with the sad news of her parents.

I am quite perplexed that the daughters have not called or sent a note telling me about their parents. In my opinion, it would be a respectful thing to do.

Amy says: I could easily cite several very understandable reasons why these two women have not reached out. It could be something as simple as them not having access to their folks' address book, or you not being listed in it because you were neighbors. If the rest of the houses on the street have changed hands several times over the years, they might have assumed that yours had, too.

The respectful thing would be for YOU to reach out to them, expressing your sympathy over their loss and asking them for the best way you could keep in touch with their mother. After a death, the note-writing is done by those expressing sympathy, not the other way around.

Ex asks too much

Dear Amy: I'm 35. My ex and I went our separate ways at the beginning of the pandemic. I have my own issues, but mainly I could not handle her drinking.

My ex and I have tried to be friends, but a week ago, she asked me for seduction tips for her new guy. She was not subtle. She thought that we were friends enough to ask it. We are not.

I did not react well. I didn't yell, but I said: "This topic is really not OK, and in the last year, you have not asked about my life a single time. You realize that your drinking has made it very hard for me to move on, right? Because all anyone wants to do is to go and get a drink, and now I can't do that without having a panic attack."

Later I felt that I was out of line and, perhaps, vindictive. I apologized. The only defense I can muster is that in an eight-year relationship, she never wanted to take accountability for anything she did, and I wanted, one time, for her to acknowledge what she did to me.

She didn't respond to my apology, and in the next breath asked me for a large amount of money. I hung up on her. That leaves me trying to figure out how to move forward.

Amy says: I don't enjoy contradicting your own opinion about your actions, but you were not out of line nor vindictive. You stated a clear boundary and explained the impact of your ex's drinking on your life.

I'd say that's a very good start. In the future, do not apologize for stating your needs. Do not pursue any further friendship with your ex. And please, take yourself to an Al-anon meeting ( It will help you move forward.

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