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Annie's Mailbox

Ask Amy column

Q. I’m a college student and participate in a club at college. We often work with our “sister club” at a nearby university.

My friend “Mark” was hired to be a supervisor for the other school’s club.

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I’m really happy about that because I’ve known him for nine years. However, as we’ve been getting closer as our clubs work together, I’ve become extremely attracted to him. Still, I feel that pursuing him would somehow be ethically wrong because he is in a position of authority. Although he’s only three years older than I am, he has this full-time job, which is to “supervise” young adults my age.

The very idea of a hired professional dating a student could be considered a bad example for the younger students. I worry that it could threaten his job (and my reputation).

I’m not sure if our friendship would make the situation better, but I wanted to know if it was OK to pursue him or if I should wait until I’ve graduated to even consider him romantically.

A. Your hesitation is sweet. Jane Austen-like, really. But I can’t see how dating someone three years your senior who works at another college is a violation of anything: his reputation, your reputation, his career, or your future.

Unless this person is married, your direct supervisor, or your professor, there’s no reason to avoid Cupid’s prickly embrace.

Q. My wife is wonderful: intelligent and thoughtful and kind.

There is only one thing that bothers me about her, and it is this: There is always one thing that bothers her about me. I won’t bore you with a list of my deficiencies. After 30 years of improvement, I would characterize my flaws as minor.

No time transpires from correcting one behavior before a new flaw manifests itself.

I have asked her to please try to let us enjoy each other. The world is full of people who tell me all of the things that are wrong with me. Can’t our home be a refuge from the troubles of the world? She honestly believes that if I can just fix my latest, current deficiency, then everything will be fine. I know better.

Any advice? My self-confidence is in tatters.

A. I can imagine how this must feel. But if your wife is intelligent, thoughtful, and kind, evidently she shows these qualities the most to people outside her household. This is sad.

I hope it doesn’t take a catastrophe for her to see that all any of us wants is to be loved just as we are — flaws and failings included (for instance, you seem to love her despite her terrible habit of constantly correcting you). I hope you can share this letter with her so she can work on her “one thing.”

Q. I’m to be the best man at the wedding of a very longtime friend from high school.

Although we’re in our early 70s, this is his first marriage. I’d like to throw him an unforgettable bachelor party, but booze and broads isn’t my style.

I am hoping you or your readers might have suggestions.

A. It’s definitely challenging for me to plan a party for someone else, especially given the dearth of details, but, truth be told, my most successful parties are the ones I throw in my imagination.

Here’s what I picture for you: an event of vintage cars and cigars, 1950s memorabilia, music, and movies, and toasts to your friend’s future.

I’ll happily run other suggestions.

Send questions via e-mail to or by mail to Ask Amy, Chicago Tribune, TT500, 435 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL 60611.
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