Last month, I discovered I have cancer. I need to begin a chemotherapy regimen. No cruise for me. Because the dates were already reserved thanks to the deposit, I asked my friend whether she wanted to take another person and go on the cruise without me. She said no, and that she only wanted to go with me. I canceled the cruise, losing the $900 deposit with no travel insurance.
My friend has never paid me her half of the deposit because we were going to settle up on the total costs after the cruise had ended. She has said nothing (despite broad hints on my part) about paying her half of the $900 deposit, apparently assuming that the loss was my fault, which it was. Should I just confront her about the $450?
Assuming my cancer will be in remission, she has suggested reserving another cruise for the two of us in October 2024. But because of the $450 issue, I find I am reluctant to do anything further with her. How should I handle this?
Feels Betrayed: It is hard to think of cancer as something that is your “fault,” but I understand you have accepted responsibility that your cancer treatment forced you to cancel the plans. Yes, reimbursing you for half the cost of the deposit would have been the decent thing for your friend to do. After all, she could have gone ahead to use her half of the deposit (as well as yours) by simply accepting your offer for her to enjoy the cruise with someone else. Instead of broadly hinting, you could ask her, outright: “Are you willing to reimburse me for your half of the cruise deposit?”
If your friend wants to go on another cruise with you, you could let her plan it and pay the entire deposit. She will then bear the financial risk you faced in case of cancellation. Given how this has turned out, however, it would be wisest for you two to each pay your own way separately from the deposit onward. I sincerely hope that your health is fully restored to face this dilemma next year.
Dear Amy: My friend “Harry” is an alcoholic. A few years ago, he ended up in the hospital facing organ failure due to his drinking. Amazingly, he survived. After that, he attended a few AA meetings via Zoom. He never got a sponsor or actively worked the program.
Recently, another friend told me Harry commented that it would probably be okay for him to drink a glass of “good” wine. My friend told Harry this was not a good idea. I was shocked to hear Harry is considering drinking again. He got sober before, but it only lasted for a couple of years. I feel as if I should say something to him, but is this any of my business? If I do say something, how do I approach this?
Caring Friend: You should extend and continue your friendship with “Harry” by spending time with him, if possible, and by keeping in touch with him. You could not control him when he was drinking, and you cannot control him now. His sobriety is his business. He probably understands the consequences of drinking even better than you do. If he expresses his theory about “good wine” directly to you, you could ask him: “Based on what you learned in AA, what do you think you should do? What does your sponsor say?” Encourage his sobriety and urge him to stay the course.
Dear Amy: “Exhausted and Worn Out” described the burden of hosting a stepson and daughter-in-law for Thanksgiving week. Your advice to teach the daughter-in-law how to cook a turkey was so sexist! She should teach her stepson!
Shocked: Many readers responded similarly. In my defense, “Exhausted” wrote that her daughter-in-law had never cooked a turkey. She did not mention her stepson. So I was responding to her reference. I also think that she and I were both applying a gender stereotype to this issue, so I agree with you.
© 2023 by Amy Dickinson. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency.