Dear Amy: I’m a recently retired teacher in the New York Central District, and I’m in a bit of a bind.
Several years ago, a student brought a rare collection of things that belonged to his grandfather.
He left them when he left my class, so I put them in a bag and put them in my desk drawer to give to him later.
I totally forgot to hand them to him all those years ago, and while cleaning up before retiring in June, I came across them, and I don’t remember who that boy was!
I think these items are worth quite a bit of money and I want to return them; However, I was completely overwhelmed with determining who brought them!
What should I do with these?
My husband suggested selling it and giving the proceeds to a worthy charity.
I like the idea, but it’s not mine for sale. ideas?
teacher in trouble
Dear teacher: You should do more to find the rightful owner of this inheritance before you decide on the next steps.
I suggest using social media to try to find the kid who originally left these things with you. It will be a great test of access and positive connections that are enabled when you ask for help in solving a puzzle.
You can start by posting these questions and answers on Facebook.
Your school likely has a Facebook page that allows posting. Your local area or town may have a community service listing that publishes your inquiry.
Also connect with fellow teachers, the PTA, and any other parent and alumni groups affiliated with your school district.
You can post a picture of an object, which can stir up some memories. (If the owner appears, you can ask them to select other objects in the group to verify ownership.)
Ask others to share your post, and portray this as a generous and fun community challenge.
There were some pretty impressive stories about lost items (about wedding rings found on beaches or old photos calling for identification). You have an advantage because you are dealing with a well-known community of employees, students and parents.
I would like to believe that your effort will eventually become a great wasted success story, and I hope you will keep in touch to let your readers know how things are going.
Dear Amy: My husband and I have a disabled child, whose needs are complex. We have been blessed to find a reliable, kind, and hardworking caregiver, Shelley, who is very suitable for us.
Unfortunately, Shelley is also very creative and generous. They make for us food, clothes, and home decor items, none of which fit our needs or tastes.
She eagerly expects us to eat, dress, and/or prominently display her gifts, which she obviously puts in a lot of effort.
I have subtly tried to mention that my diet is strict or that my skin is sensitive to certain fabrics or that the knick-knacks on my shelves are gathering dust, but to no avail.
Today, Shelley showed up with a huge homemade figurine for the holidays in her front yard.
How can I obviously discourage her generosity without hurting her feelings, which I would never want?
submerged in Georgia
Dear overwhelmed: Shelly is clearly a kind and generous person, but you should set some firmer boundaries.
Sit with her. Say, “This is embarrassing and hard to say, but I hope you understand. We are so lucky and grateful to have you with us. We appreciate you so much. But we really can’t continue to accept any more gifts from you. Your gift to us is the wonderful care you give, and that’s all we want or We need it.”
I don’t think this will necessarily stop the accumulated aid from food and gifts, but it may slow it down. Readers may want to sway.
Dear Amy: “I don’t get it” He was texting his date for that night, and when she didn’t reply to one of his messages, he dropped it!
I do not believe You agree with him.
Dear Annoyance: The couple had confirmed the plans. She did not reply to his message that day, but replied very late that night as if nothing had happened.
It’s easy to follow the path of the text to see who dropped the ball. She was sending a very clear message.
You can email Amy Dickinson at email@example.com or send a message to Ask Amy, PO Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068. You can also follow her on Twitter @askingamy or Facebook.