Sister Exclusion

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If you ask Amy Dickinson how she really feels, she will definitely not sugarcoat it. Especially if you're being a grade A you-know-what.

The New York Times best-selling author and syndicated columnist of "Ask Amy" got a letter from someone calling themselves "Sad Sister." This woman has a problem because she excluded her sister "Wendy" from a big weekend shopping excursion that included her cousins and some other family members. She writes:

"Every fall, my sister, cousins and a cousin's sister-in-law have a weekend shopping excursion in our home city. We stay in a hotel, treat ourselves, shop for our children and go out for lunches and dinners. It is a great time to reconnect.

I have a sister 'Wendy,' who we do not invite. She is offended to the point of tears when she finds we have not invited her. My two sisters and I are very close in age, but Wendy hasn't been as close to this set of cousins as my sister and I have been through the years."

Why was Wendy excluded? The Sad Sister lists some reasons:

1. Wendy is a divorced, single mom, while the others are married, stay-at-home moms.
2. Wendy does not have as much money as the rest of them.
3. Wendy does not have the same interests as them, and whatever interests she does have they find boring.
4. Wendy does not go to church as much as the rest of the group.

Unsurprisingly, Wendy felt very hurt over being excluded and after an incident at Sad Sister's house, cut off communication:

"She takes it very personally, and last year even came over to my home unannounced crying about it, which upset my children and caused my husband to threaten to call the police if she did not leave.

Now she barely speaks to me and has told our relatives that I am a horrible person (even though I've helped her).

How can we get her to understand that she should perhaps find another set of friends whose lives and interests align more closely with hers?"

Amy began her response with what we believe is the most awesome reply in advice column history: "First, let's establish that I agree with your sister: You are a horrible person."

Yes, let's please establish that. Thank you, Amy. The burns just keep on coming from the rest of Amy's answer:

"Obviously, you can do whatever you want and associate with — or exclude — whomever you want, but you don't get to do this and also blame the person you are excluding for not 'fitting in.'

The only way your sister would ever fit in would be for you to make room for her. You are unwilling to do that, and that is your choice. But her being upset is completely justified, and you'll just have to live with that.

Perhaps this is something you could ponder from your church pew, because despite your regular attendance, you don't seem to have learned much."

Way to go, Amy. We were all thinking it. You said it.


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