Dear Amy: My niece “Kate” has been married for several years. Her husband’s brother “Bradley” is getting married this year.
All of Bradley̵
Kate’s husband is at her brother’s party, but her future sister-in-law, “Julie”, has ruled out Kate.
Kate included Julie in her wedding party several years ago.
Kate can’t think of anything that would have offended Julie.
How should Kate handle this upcoming wedding?
Dear sad aunt: In the film version, “Kate” attended the wedding, got drunk roaring at the reception and then delivered the toast of the century.
Aside from the film’s launch, if every single brother and spouse was included in the wedding party, this exclusion seems out of place. However, the fact that Kate has included “Julie” in her marriage does not oblige Julie to reciprocate.
Ideally, Julie would have anticipated this challenge and explained her decision to Kate – with kindness and respect – before her announcement.
Kate might be able to provide a nice explanation by asking Julie, “I accept your decision not to ask me to be a part of the wedding party, but I want to be sure – are you and I okay?”
He should add: “Please let me know if there is any way I can help as you get closer to the appointment.”
Kate should attend this wedding, be a gracious host, and have fun.
Dear Amy: Every summer and fall, family members gather at a beach house about an hour from my home.
As there are not enough bedrooms in the house, my husband and I sleep in an open loft just above the kitchen and living room.
I am a light sleeper and only get a few hours of rest, due to the natural activity of both night owls and early risers.
With chronic health conditions, I would rather sleep in my house and return to the beach house for daytime and evening activities, but I fear this would be considered rude.
Family is important, but so is my health. What do you suggest?
Dear sleep deprived: You are responsible for taking care of yourself and providing for your needs. No one else can do it for you.
You have two reasonable choices: ask for a bedroom with a door or drive home every night.
I can’t imagine anyone would feel offended if – after so many years – I decide to change and stop sleeping in the loft.
In fact, if you choose to go back to your home and sleep in your bed every night, your family mates may actually be happy to have more sleeping space available in the group home. And you could show up in the morning with fresh bagels / donuts / coffees for the group.
Just make sure you are not tired and / or drunk when you get home.
Dear Amy: Responding to “Red-faced friends” who worried that people would bring presents to a “no presents” party – on my 80th birthday, my wife invited over 100 friends and family to my birthday party.
Knowing that most of them would bring a gift (even if said do not do it on the invitations), I asked them to bring a new unwrapped children’s toy, which they all did.
The days after the party, I delivered all the toys to the children’s hospital in our area (Children’s Hospital of Orange County). They almost didn’t fit in my van!
The hospital staff took some of the children into the lobby where the gifts were unloaded, and the children were so excited.
This 80-year-old man was also excited.
Dear gifted: I love your generous idea.
Dear Amy: Lame advice from you to “Frustrated”, whose husband had stopped using the deodorant and was now smelly.
A better tip for this person would be:
1) Shaving your armpits will drastically reduce odor.
2) Wash your armpits morning and evening.
3) Lose weight, have coffee and change your diet.
4) Get active and sweat in a workout as you will get rid of toxins and other living chemical bacteria. This will also have an advantage with depression if it is a cause.
Dear reader: All great advice, I’m sure. But “Frustrated” couldn’t even find the courage to talk to her husband about her body odor. If she can’t even tell him about it, getting him to shave his armpits could be a very difficult sale.
You can email Amy Dickinson at firstname.lastname@example.org or send a letter to Ask Amy, P.O. Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068. You can also follow her on Twitter @askingamy or Facebook.