Originally Published: May 6, 2017 6:01 a.m.
Dear Annie: Last year, I took my buddy “John” on an all-expenses-paid trip to Las Vegas. The trip was partly covered by my work, but I paid for an extra night so we could make a long weekend out of it. It was John’s first time in Vegas, and he had beginner’s luck, big-time. He ended up leaving with close to $2,000 more than he had when we got there. I didn’t do so hot, but I digress.
The reason I’m writing to you is that John used the cash to buy tickets to a Cubs game — seventh row by first base — and I’m not invited. It’s killing me. He’s taking his wife, kids and in-laws. His wife hates sports and will probably be on her iPhone the whole time. His kids are 3 and 5, and there’s no way they’re going to sit still for three hours. I know that if I went, John would have a much better time. Plus, I feel that I played a part in getting him those tickets, seeing as I’m the one who invited him to Vegas and paid for everything in the first place.
What do you think? Do I have a leg to stand on here? How do I slyly invite myself along? — Go, Cubs
Dear Go: You don’t.
John didn’t realize that accepting your invitation for an expenses-paid trip to Vegas meant owing you a favor in return. That’s not how giving works. If it’s got strings attached, it’s not a gift; it’s a trap. Don’t dare guilt him into giving you a ticket, unless a seat at one ballgame is worth more to you than your friendship (in which case, buy yourself some Cracker Jack and, please, never come back).
Dear Annie: I enjoy your column and agree with most of the advice you offer, but I think you misadvised “Who Am I?” recently. This was the person who wrote about not knowing anyone on her father’s side of the family. She indicated that the family is Catholic (by mentioning how she had sent money to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh). My concern with that is that her father’s church may never have sent its records to the diocese.
Your advice was that “Who Am I?” should spend money to have her DNA tested. With this test, she will discover her ancestry, but I’m concerned it won’t connect her and her sister with any other living family members unless another close relative has had DNA testing done. I feel that her best bet is to hire a professional genealogy researcher. She mentioned Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh has a large genealogy society, the Western Pennsylvania Genealogical Society. “Who Am I?” can contact that organization, and the people there will advise her about how to begin to solve this problem. — Pat
Dear Pat: Thank you for taking the time to write in and suggest another resource. Your suggestion may be of great help to “Who Am I?” -- and I’m sure that she will appreciate having as many tools at her disposal in her quest to discover her relatives and ancestry as possible.
Send your questions for Annie Lane to firstname.lastname@example.org. To find out more about Annie Lane and read features by other Creators Syndicate columnists and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.