Dear Abby , March 2

“...,to wit”

Since: Jun 09

Location hidden

#1 Mar 2, 2014
DEAR ABBY: My nephew is getting married next year. I was very excited because I love him and I'm a baker. I had planned on making the groom's cake as I did for his brother's and sister's weddings. The problem is, they have decided on a hunting theme for their wedding -- including a camouflage wedding dress for the bride.

Abby, I am an animal-rights activist. I'm against any form of hunting. I am also involved with several animal-protection groups. My nephew and his fiancee know how hard I work for animal rights -- just the thought of a hunting theme for a wedding makes me ill.

I don't even want to attend, let alone make a cake. What can I do so there will be no hurt feelings if I don't want to attend or participate?-- BAKER IN THE MIDWEST

DEAR BAKER: The theme for your nephew's wedding is certainly unique. The concept of a camouflage wedding dress is practical because the dress can be worn after the nuptials, which isn't the case with many bridal gowns.

Feeling as strongly as you do about not attending, write the happy couple a warm letter wishing them a lifetime of happiness together and include a nice wedding gift -- I'm sure there will be no hurt feelings.

DEAR ABBY: My elderly in-laws are wonderful, but even with hearing aids, they have trouble hearing. They enjoy dining out often. In order for them to hear us, family and friends must speak louder than normal. In a restaurant, this can be uncomfortable, not only for those of us dining with them, but also for any other people seated nearby.

My in-laws like to ask about and discuss personal and medical matters, and very loudly. If we try to keep our conversation at a reasonable and polite level, they get upset for not being included in the conversation or constantly ask, "What'd he say?"

I feel bad for other diners seated near us who are trying to have a nice meal. What to do?-- MORTIFIED AT THE DINNER TABLE

DEAR MORTIFIED: With some of the commercials that air on television these days, from overactive bladder to hemorrhoids to erectile dysfunction and adult diapers, it's hard to believe anyone would be shocked by what's discussed at your table.

However, if possible, ask that your party be seated in a section of the restaurant away from other patrons. If it's not, turn to diners who are overhearing the "organ recital" and say, "They're actually whispering, even though it doesn't sound like it!"

DEAR ABBY: My husband, and I are getting ready to close on our first home. Our mortgage broker was an absolute angel, teaching us about the process and making sure we were well-informed.

Because he was so wonderful, we were thinking about getting him a thank-you card and a gift card to a restaurant. We're unsure about the etiquette regarding thank-yous to mortgage brokers and aren't sure how to proceed. Please advise.-- FIRST-TIME HOMEBUYERS

DEAR HOMEBUYERS: The same rules of etiquette apply that would apply to any gift. I'm sure your "angel" will not only be pleased by your generosity and grateful for your thoughtfulness, but also pleasantly surprised.

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#2 Mar 2, 2014
LW1: You sound like a big PITA. Bravo to them for finding a way to have you stay away of your own free will.

Claremont, CA

#3 Mar 2, 2014
LW1 - Be honest and say that you cannot attend, but wish them the best. Make the cake, though. It doesn't have to be hunting-themed. That will be your present to the couple to celebrate their marriage (as opposed to wedding, whichever-themed it is).

LW2 - Your in-laws need their hearing aids tuned up. Suggest it.

LW3 - It is never wrong to send a thank-you note. A gift card to a restaurant sounds fine too.

Hancock, NY

#4 Mar 2, 2014
1: I like Cass's response on this. However, there's one thing Abby said that I think is just weird but perhaps someone else can give another perspective. She said, "The concept of a camouflage wedding dress is practical because the dress can be worn after the nuptials, which isn't the case with many bridal gowns." Really? How many camouflage gowns have any of you seen - wedding or not? I simply just don't see anyone wearing such a thing at any event other than perhaps a "hunt ball." Personally, I don't like camouflage clothing almost never buy it for my husband. The only exceptions are when he really needs something for his outdoor job and camouflage is the only thing available. And really with the work he does, camouflage is not his friend. I'd like hunters to actually see him and not mistake him for some animal hiding in the brush or behind a tree.

2: So Abby thinks it's ok for people to discuss personal matters at the top of their voices in a restaurant? No, no, no! While I have no problem listening to and being sympathetic to someone talking about his/her surgeries/health problems even during a meal,(I'm old and have lost a lot of sensitivities to this kind of thing over the years.) I have no desire to have my personal life spoken of in such a situation nor do I like to discuss other people's personal things in public. If I had a double mastectomy 4 years ago, that's no one's business but those I choose to tell and wouldn't like to advertise it to others in a restaurant.(No, I didn't have that done; I'm just giving an example.) The lw's husband and his siblings need to tell their parents that they don't want this personal information discussed in public no matter whether they do it relatively quietly or not. It just isn't polite to those whose health or other private matters are being discussed. And these adult children should be smart enough to change the subject when mom or dad brings them up. Or they should simply refuse to respond. The dead quiet at the table should tell the parents that they've overstepped themselves. For such "wonderful people," they certainly don't know how to behave. I'm surprised Abby didn't bring this up. And her final sentence regarding whispering isn't funny.

3: Sure go ahead and send him a gift. Write a note too telling him what you appreciated about his service. If he works for a firm, send a complimentary letter about him to his boss. We've had clients send us nice letters like that and some even sent gifts. While the gifts were nice and appreciated, the letters were the best part.

“On Deck”

Since: Aug 08

French Polynesia

#5 Mar 2, 2014
L1. Oh, this is sweet. It is a hunting theme they are after, not camouflage
A lot of hunters nowadays wear bright reflective neon safety orange to help prevent being shot by their fellow sportsmen.
Just sayin', it's not something I would take partake in, but maybe you might want to rethink all your options.

“...,to wit”

Since: Jun 09

Location hidden

#6 Mar 2, 2014
L3 Wait until the deal closes, you have seen the RESPA closing sheet with all the charges and gotten through your first couple of payments. Then you will know if he /she has done a good job of informing you or if he/she is just charming. Big difference.

Salinas, CA

#7 Mar 2, 2014
LW1: Make the cake and have someone else bring it to the wedding along with your card wishing them a lifetime of happiness. Enclose a check for a generous amount in the card. Problem solved.

LW2: Oh, hell no. You shouldn't put up with this. Get your in-laws to a hearing specialist ASAP. Drag them kicking and screaming if you have to. There are great hi-tech miniature hearing aids available and they may not even need them. Their problem may be impacted ear wax.

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