“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Braidwood, IL

#1 Jan 8, 2013
DEAR ABBY: My husband, "Arthur," and I are planning a trip. One stop will be to see some friends of his, "Mac" and "Annie," from years back. I am dreading the visit.

Last year, Arthur had a heart attack. I called some of our closest friends to let them know he was in the hospital. One couple knew Mac and Annie, and told them about his illness.

Mac and Annie then called me and yelled at me for "allowing" my husband to get ill. I hung up, but they called back when I was at the hospital and left another hate-filled message on our answering machine. Not wanting Arthur to get upset, I erased it and never told him.

Abby, I don't want to see these people. I know I'll be suppressing the urge to slap them both, but I intend to try to be gracious. Should I tell my husband about my last encounter with them, or trust that they have enough sense not to bring up the matter?-- DREADING THE VISIT IN TEXAS

DEAR DREADING: What exactly is it that you should have done to prevent your husband from having the heart attack -- thrown your body over his fork so he couldn't eat the "wrong" foods, nagged him into quitting smoking, or "forced" him to exercise and adopt a different lifestyle? You're his wife, not his mother.

You should absolutely tell your husband about those outrageous phone calls. Do not assume that folks with such an absence of common sense that they would attack you during a family crisis wouldn't do something equally inappropriate during the visit.

Frankly, I don't blame you for wanting to avoid them. Your husband should clear the air before either of you see them -- if you decide to see them at all.

DEAR ABBY: My husband and I are on an extremely tight budget since I lost my job and he was forced to retire early because of health issues. We have a nice home (paid for) and older vehicles, and we have no complaints about our lifestyle other than being more penny-conscious to cover our basic expenses.

We receive numerous wedding invitations from our grown children's friends, whom we have known and loved since they were all in high school together. Our problem is what to do about a gift for them when we don't have the money for one. We love to attend the weddings and receptions, but I feel bad about not taking a gift.

What's the right thing to do? Do we go and not take anything, offer an explanation or decline the invitation? I always send a card and I don't want anyone to think we are cheap. My son was married last year, and people were very generous with their gifts, which I really appreciated.

We also received six graduation announcements last spring -- same issue. I'd really appreciate some advice.-- TIGHTENING OUR BELTS IN MISSOURI

DEAR TIGHTENING: When you receive a wedding invitation from one of your children's former high school friends, pick up the phone and explain your current circumstances and the fact that they, regrettably, prevent you from attending. That will leave the door open for them to invite you to come anyway. If the invitation is a sincere wish to share their special day with you and not a gift grab, they'll tell you your presence is all the "gift" they need. However, if they don't, send a card extending your good wishes.

As for the graduation announcements, they should be acknowledged with a nice card and a sweet note of congratulations. You are under no obligation to send a gift.

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#2 Jan 8, 2013
LW1: What abby said. Don't understand why you kept this a secret from him.

L2: What Abby said. Though I'd probably just decline the invitations instead of calling and playing a game of chicken to see if I still get to come.

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Melrose Park, IL

#3 Jan 8, 2013
1- You need to tell Arthur.

2- You are under no obligation to give anyone a gift or money.

Since: Jan 10

Location hidden

#4 Jan 8, 2013
L1: Why wouldn't you tell your husband about his horrid friends? Don't visit them.

L2: No graduation gifts -- just stop that nonsense. I'd turn down a wedding invitation before I'd call and tell the hosts that i"m too broke to buy a gift.

Since: Dec 07

DuPage County

#5 Jan 8, 2013
1 You should have told Arthur long ago. Doofs!

2 RSVP accordingly. Abby is fulla shyte on this one.

Since: Mar 09

Miami, FL

#6 Jan 8, 2013
L1: I understand why the LW didn't tell Arthur right away - the man's trying to recover from a heart attack, he doesn't need to hear stories about vicious phone calls. But once this trip was in the planning stages and the idea to visit these horrid people came up, she should have spilled the beans then. But better late than never. Do NOT visit them.

L2: This is boring, sorry.
pde

Palatine, IL

#7 Jan 8, 2013
LW2: You say know these people. You should be able to figure out if it's a gift grab or more about sharing their special day. We actually didn't have anyone RSVP in the negative to our wedding, and some people who attended only gave us cards with their congratulations--particularly some older folks on limited incomes. I was happy that they came, and I was happy with the card.

“The two baby belly, please!”

Since: Sep 09

Evanston IL

#8 Jan 8, 2013
LW1: Tell Arthur and plan on doing something by yourself the day he goes and visits with them.

LW2: Go to the weddings giftless and think no more about it. If these people are really friends, they are not going to hold this against you or your children in some petty way.

I can tell you from experience that I have no idea who gave me what, or didn't, from both my weddings.

Since: Aug 08

Location hidden

#9 Jan 8, 2013
LW1: Boy are you a glutton for punishment. Why wouldn't you tell your husband about that, especially once he started scheduling a visit?

There is no way any husband worth being married to would associate with folks who treat their wife in that manner.

LW2: I think you are doing the right thing. Decline and just send a card.

Toj

“Where is Everyone?”

Since: Jul 12

Location hidden

#10 Jan 8, 2013
L1: Abby is absolutely right on this one. Who does that?

L2: I would not call. Either go with no gift (or a thoughtful gesture that doesn't cost much at all) or don't attend. Since it's your kid's friends, why not talk to the kids? They are adults now and you can have an adult conversation with them I would think.

Toj

“Where is Everyone?”

Since: Jul 12

Location hidden

#11 Jan 8, 2013
By kids -- I mean their actual own children.

“Fort Kickass”

Since: Sep 09

Bloomington, IL

#12 Jan 8, 2013
L1: Jam to the Wow for the win on this one.

L2: Do either of you make anything? Afghans, woodworking, etc? Because we really appreciated those gifts.
pde

Palatine, IL

#13 Jan 8, 2013
Matilda77 wrote:
L1: Jam to the Wow for the win on this one.
L2: Do either of you make anything? Afghans, woodworking, etc? Because we really appreciated those gifts.
If they're really that pressed for money, neither yarn nor decent enough wood is all that cheap. The minimum amount that enough yarn for an afghan has cost me is $40. There's probably something they can buy for $40 on the registry.

(I don't know about wood prices all that much. I just know that my MIL occasionally has breakdowns over how much money my FIL has spent on wood that's just barely the quality you want to use to make furniture.)

Since: Mar 09

Miami, FL

#14 Jan 8, 2013
Matilda77 wrote:
L1: Jam to the Wow for the win on this one.
L2: Do either of you make anything? Afghans, woodworking, etc? Because we really appreciated those gifts.
<snort>

Whittle an Appalachian doll!

Since: Mar 09

Miami, FL

#15 Jan 8, 2013
Oh... I thought Matilda was being sarcastic about the homemade gifts. Oops. Sorry!

“Fort Kickass”

Since: Sep 09

Bloomington, IL

#16 Jan 8, 2013
j_m_w wrote:
Oh... I thought Matilda was being sarcastic about the homemade gifts. Oops. Sorry!
Ha! I actually wasn't. We got a quilt and an afghan out of the deal, both of which we were like, "Holy poop, somebody spent serious time and effort on this for us..."

IDK, I guess I've never been extremely poor, so maybe I'm not understanding them appropriately, but even as a college student, I'd grab a $20 item from the registry to bring. You can get away with sending just a card for graduation announcements, but I would never show up to a wedding empty-handed.

“Fort Kickass”

Since: Sep 09

Bloomington, IL

#17 Jan 8, 2013
pde wrote:
<quoted text>
If they're really that pressed for money, neither yarn nor decent enough wood is all that cheap. The minimum amount that enough yarn for an afghan has cost me is $40. There's probably something they can buy for $40 on the registry.
(I don't know about wood prices all that much. I just know that my MIL occasionally has breakdowns over how much money my FIL has spent on wood that's just barely the quality you want to use to make furniture.)
Yeah, but I figured if they had a hobby with some supplies already, they might just incorporate that in to a gift.

Tangent: I took a sewing class with some friends a few years back. I was under the impression that sewing stuff was cheaper than buying it already made. Yeah, no. I did not enjoy doing it and there wasn't even the financial benefit.
pde

Palatine, IL

#18 Jan 8, 2013
Matilda77 wrote:
<quoted text>
Yeah, but I figured if they had a hobby with some supplies already, they might just incorporate that in to a gift.
Tangent: I took a sewing class with some friends a few years back. I was under the impression that sewing stuff was cheaper than buying it already made. Yeah, no. I did not enjoy doing it and there wasn't even the financial benefit.
I enjoy knitting, but I still buy most of the knitted stuff I wear. There's no way you can beat the current prices on manufactured sweaters and the like ... or come anywhere close to them. I have one sweater that I made and I only spent about $10 on the decent yarn for, and that was because I managed to dig the skeins out of the clearance bin for 99 cents each and I'm not sure they were supposed to be there.

My mom says that any savings in sewing completely disappeared about 1980. Up until then, you could make homemade clothing and it would cost the same or a little less.

Since: Mar 09

Miami, FL

#19 Jan 8, 2013
Matilda77 wrote:
<quoted text>
Ha! I actually wasn't. We got a quilt and an afghan out of the deal, both of which we were like, "Holy poop, somebody spent serious time and effort on this for us..."
IDK, I guess I've never been extremely poor, so maybe I'm not understanding them appropriately, but even as a college student, I'd grab a $20 item from the registry to bring. You can get away with sending just a card for graduation announcements, but I would never show up to a wedding empty-handed.
Ooops. I guess I'm a snob.
;)

I would actually like a handmade afghan or quilt. Just not an Appalachian doll....
Kuuipo

Salinas, CA

#20 Jan 8, 2013
Matilda77 wrote:
<quoted text>
Yeah, but I figured if they had a hobby with some supplies already, they might just incorporate that in to a gift.
Tangent: I took a sewing class with some friends a few years back. I was under the impression that sewing stuff was cheaper than buying it already made. Yeah, no. I did not enjoy doing it and there wasn't even the financial benefit.
The lack of financial benefit is why even those of us who enjoy sewing don't do much of it any more.

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