“Ask Amy” in the Chicago Tribune helps countless anonymous people with very personal problems every day, but what happens when Amy takes things to a whole other level?

Judging by Thursday’s syndicated column, she suggests someone rethink his entire engagement…

A man who signed himself as “Confused Fiancé” wrote to Amy about the heartbreaking circumstances surrounding his recent engagement. He wrote:

Last April my mother was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer. This past Labor Day, I got engaged. Now my fiancée and I are trying to make our wedding plans.

So, where is the issue?

His fiancée apparently isn’t going the same pace when it comes to getting down the aisle. Confused Fiancé wrote:

I would like to get married sooner rather than later, as my mother’s prognosis is not great. My fiancée would like more time to plan our wedding — and enjoy the process.

Although he claimed he understood her preference — saying if he had a choice he would like to have “more time” as well — he’s worried his mother won’t make it much longer.

Additionally, he revealed his fianceé’s parents are paying “the majority of the wedding costs” and that they’re concerned about losing any and all deposits “if something happens.”

Clearly, Confused Fiancé was looking for Amy to respond either “Just relax and enjoy the ride,” or “You need to rush,” but instead, Amy left him with a different bit of advice: To pay attention.

Amy wrote:

I (almost) hate to do this, but I have a rhetorical question for you: What kind of person is this woman you are planning to marry, who gets engaged — already knowing that her future mother-in-law has pancreatic cancer — but doesn’t feel compelled to do everything possible to make sure her beloved’s mother will be able to attend and enjoy the wedding?

Instead of giving the man the answer he was presumably looking for, she pointed out a much bigger issue: Who wouldn’t accommodate someone’s dying mother?

She continued, writing:

And here’s your answer: The person who was raised by people who are worried about losing their deposit “if something happens.”

Then she made a compelling closing argument:

And so — if in the face of this information about your future family — you still want to marry into the clan, then you should lobby to have this wedding sooner, rather than later. But I think this life-and-death episode has revealed something very important about them, and I hope you will pay close attention.

Of course, there are two sides to every story, and it’s unclear what the man’s fiancée’s point of view is. But Amy definitely took the man, and her readers, by surprise when nailing in her very strong, albeit understandable, opinion.

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