Thursday, November 24, 2022



Ask Amy: 

Ingratitude has reached epidemic proportions

Dear Amy: My friend recently got married. I understand that her life got crazy with everything surrounding the wedding.

Her mother threw her a three-day bachelorette party, held out of town.

Afterward, I don't think she even texted anyone a simple thank you. It would have been nice to know that she enjoyed the weekend or appreciated that we all showed up from all over the country.

I gave her a gift and never received an acknowledgment for that, either.

The big wedding day was a few weeks later. They ran out of funds for a videographer, so I volunteered.

I am a photographer, so this wasn't completely out of my realm, but it was the first go, for me, at making a video.

After spending months editing the pieces together (which was enormous and time-consuming), I had it finalized with sound and special effects. The results were amazing! Truly, a professional videographer would charge no less than $2,000 for what I turned in!

I don't care about the money (of course), but I'm just so surprised that all I received was a quick texted thank you. Her husband emailed me a nicer thanks, but even his email was only three sentences.

I don't know if it's unreasonable to expect a phone call from them?

Honestly, all of the lack of gratitude has sort of piled up, and I don't particularly feel like initiating yet another "offering," even if it's something as small as a phone call, to this friend. I feel really unappreciated and unacknowledged.

Put Upon

Put Upon: Of every issue I cover in my column, questions regarding the lack of gratitude seem to dominate.

Are we experiencing a gratitude deficit? Do people actually not feel gratitude? Do people lack the emotional tools to understand the connection between receiving something (a gift, a kindness, a nice gesture) and expressing their thanks? Can people not comprehend the joy of connection when they close the loop by saying, “Thank you”?

You feel unappreciated because you ARE unappreciated. A gift as consequential as a wedding video deserves a sincere expression of thanks — spoken or written (even if the couple didn’t like it, they should have thanked you for your effort). And a gift as consequential as your ongoing friendship also warrants an expression of gratitude.


Dear Amy: My husband and I loaned my niece and her husband $3,000 for their son's college bills. The college was getting ready to kick him out because of nonpayment. We had the money to loan out at the time, so we did it (with no promissory note). Big mistake!

When it came time to pay us back, my niece and her husband flipped the script! At first, he said he thought it was a gift. He later came back and said that it was indeed a loan. We agreed that they would pay us $50 a month. They made two payments and then stopped abruptly. Then they bad-mouthed my husband and me to other family members. Some family members took his side.

I was so hurt by this. I helped to raise my niece. Now I am ready to take her and her husband to small claims court. Doing this will air out our family business in this small town, but it can't be helped.

What do you think? We deserve our money back, right?

Broke in Arkansas

Broke in Arkansas: Yes, you deserve your money back. Although your verbal agreement constitutes an oral contract, I hope you also have some form of written communication between both parties acknowledging their agreement to repay you.

You might have to sue these family members in small claims court. Each state sets its own guidelines regarding the maximum amount you can sue for. According to my research, the upper limit in your state (Arkansas) is $5,000. (Check for more information).

© 2019 by Amy Dickinson distributed by Tribune Content Agency

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