Amy March 2
Posted in the Chicago Forum
Since: Jun 09
#1 Mar 2, 2014
Dear Readers: I'm stepping away from the "Ask Amy" column for a week. Please enjoy these hand-picked "best of" columns in my absence.
I've been engaged for a year now, but I keep putting off the wedding because of my problem family. My parents are divorced and haven't spoken in years. Although my dad has been remarried for over 20 years, I know my mom would be very upset if I invited his wife. Also, some of my siblings don't speak to each other or my mom or my dad. My fiance's only sister doesn't speak to him or his mother.
Obviously, it's a mess. All I feel is extreme anxiety. I know from experience that I can't trust them to put aside their differences.
I would prefer to have a small, intimate ceremony with just my fiance and his two daughters, and have perhaps two separate parties afterward where we'd announce our recent marriage. However, I'm sure that this would hurt my mom and siblings' feelings and who knows who else's.
I feel trapped.— Sick and Tired (2003)
Dear Sick: Are you sure there is no way this crowd can hold it together for an afternoon? If not, I suggest that you run. Grab your honey, his two kids, a preacher and do it. But do you have a strategy for dealing with the hurt feelings and multiple opinions you're going to get about what you've done? Might I suggest cheerful indifference?
Your warring families have denied you the opportunity to celebrate your union publicly, and that is a shame; none of this is fair to you, but you still need to learn to stand up to them. The behavior they exhibit now will only intensify if you have children.
Dear Amy: Last night I opened my cousin's wedding invitation to find only the invitation, no response card. When I called my mom, she told me that for real high-class weddings, you are required to hand write your response. In my opinion it is not high-class but cheap, because they did not have to pay for the response card or the stamp!
Please tell me what I'm supposed to do. I'm not going to the wedding, but how do I let them know?— No RSVP (2003)
Dear No: It's called a pen; you place it on the paper and move it around, making letters and then sentences.
You should thank the couple for inviting you, then tell them you're so sorry, but you won't be able to celebrate with them. Sign off affectionately.
You spring for the paper, ink, envelope, stamp and the five minutes out of your day it took to be gracious.
Dear Amy: My boyfriend of five years and I got engaged recently and are planning our wedding in California, where we used to live. We've always known we want to get married there, even though we live on the East Coast now.
The problem is that my mother and father will not be attending our wedding because my mother is afraid of flying. They insist that I get married on the East Coast. That is the last thing we want as a couple, but we also want our family involved. Everyone else would attend except for my parents. What do I do?— Sad in Pennsylvania (2004)
Dear Sad: First, do this: Get out a map of the United States and make note of the many highways and train tracks crisscrossing this great land of ours. Have you considered helping your folks by booking a cross-country trip to the wedding by train? I've done it. It's fun, as long as you don't mind showering while on the toilet.
If they remain intractable, you're going to have to be a big girl and go with the decision that will cost the least amount of pain for the least number of people. Let this be your introduction to adulthood.
Whichever coast you choose for your wedding, you could take your honeymoon on the opposite coast, with a party to include those family and friends who can't make it to the wedding.
“I Am Mine”
Since: Dec 08
#2 Mar 2, 2014
lw2: "It's called a pen; you place it on the paper and move it around, making letters and then sentences."
It's called a telephone. You press your fingers into buttons then use your words.
#3 Mar 2, 2014
I hate decade-old letters. Can't a columnist stock up on 20 new-ish ones in advance for a week's vacation?
ITA with Tonka on the telephone. Or a written note. Whichever.
“I Am Mine”
Since: Dec 08
#4 Mar 2, 2014
Phone, email, text message, facebook post, tweet...
I rarely ever even have stamps at my house. If I had to RSVP to an event for which no SASE was provided, I would choose any of the above before taking the time out of my day to go buy a stamp, handwrite a note, and go back to drop it in a mailbox.
#5 Mar 2, 2014
Whatever works for you. My point is, invitations need a response of some sort. It's polite whether you are accepting or declining. The outrage of the LW over not having a response card included is just ludicrous.
#6 Mar 2, 2014
1: My husband and I "eloped" nearly 42 years ago. We're still hanging in there. Yes my mom and parents-in-law were upset but we just weren't up to the challenge of planning a wedding and going through all that hoopla. My mom had complained for years about all she had to do for my sister's wedding. We never heard the end of it. Now THAT was a very simple affair of just buying a gown, cleaning the house for guests, and setting up a simple mostly stand up buffet of punch, cold cuts, bread, fruits, cookies (which I made), and a wedding cake. I don't recall whether there was any alcohol involved. It was definitely not an expensive wedding and my sister and I did most of the work. Yet the complaints came and I just didn't want to be another cause for complaint. Of course I still was because my mom didn't get to give me a wedding and wasn't even told ahead of time. Too bad. I figured then and now that it's the marriage that counts, not the size of the wedding.
So go ahead and have your own private wedding with just you, fiance, his kids, and your 2 very best friends as witnesses. Stand up to your family now as you don't want them dominating your marriage. It's your life, live it and be happy.
2: Or you could just send an email, text or telephone. Then you wouldn't be "springing" for the paper, ink, envelope, and stamp. Wait, did they have texting all those years ago? Of course, if this were 20+ years ago, the pen and ink thing would be the only way to respond other than in person.
3: Oh, get married twice. It will be twice the fun. Just make sure the first wedding is the one your parents can attend. And don't expect twice the presents. Just so you know, your mom isn't afraid of flying. She's afraid of getting lost at the airport, having to run to get to a connecting flight and missing it anyway, having all connecting flights cancelled due to weather/mechanical problems, having someone do the touchy-feely thing when she goes through security, and then having to pay big bucks for a bottle of water to drink once she gets through security and to the gate area.
#7 Mar 4, 2014
Wanna play "Glance into the Future?"
(a) eloped with that man and lived happily ever after.
(b) wanted a bigger wedding and invited some friends to a local
church or community center for a come and go celebration reception
to include LW1's divorced parents and the rest of the family.
(c) broke up with the fiance over something silly
or (d) other
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