Originally Published: August 10, 2016 5:55 a.m.
Dear Annie: Our eldest son is getting married in three weeks to a gal who is 13 1/2 years younger (23). She has never been married but has a 4-year-old. She also has bipolar disorder and has left him at least three times. The most recent time was in March. She took off with a co-worker for the coast, halfway across the country. After a couple of weeks, she decided to call our son, and he said he wanted her to come back. I believe that the guy ditched her and she didn’t have anywhere to go.
Long story short, she is now pregnant, and her parents are wanting her to marry. As far as our son knows, the baby is his. We all feel that she will continually leave, and we have doubts that the baby is his. Our son was married before and has two children. He asked the eldest, who is 12, to be his best man, but his son said no, as he does not like her. No one on his side likes the gal, and we are wondering whether we need to attend the wedding. My husband says we shouldn’t because it would show support. I told our son we would go but are not in support of the marriage.
I feel we should attend only because he is our son. It is a tiny wedding and has been quickly put together. Her parents are doing a barbecue for the reception, but we will not attend that. Our son is a very kindhearted person who helps out everyone. His first wife was from another country and was not good to him. Should we go or stay home? – Reluctant Mother of the Groom
Dear Reluctant: Go to your son’s wedding. It’s a regrettable situation, to be sure, but you’d regret it much more if you were not to be there for him. He’s a kindhearted and emotionally vulnerable person, susceptible to other people’s manipulations. As much as you want to express your opposition to his life, if you were not to be around, he’d feel isolated and only fall further into this trap. Keep the door open for him. It’s possible to support him without supporting the partnership. He needs you.
Dear Annie: A very close friend has a daughter who got married quickly because of a pregnancy. She and her husband are stable and very happy. I don’t know the modern etiquette but would like to buy them a wedding present, as would a few other close friends. We would like to do this to show love, happiness and joy for them. We don’t want to pick out patterns or anything like that without knowing her tastes. Any suggestions would be welcome. – Need Assistance in Florida
Dear Need Assistance: Cash might not be the most fun gift to pick out, but it’s the one people most like to receive – especially if they’re new parents. If you’d like to give a more traditional gift, such as something for their home, ask her mother what sorts of kitchenware they might like. Whatever the gift, your thoughtfulness will shine through and the couple will no doubt appreciate it.
Dear Annie: I’m responding to the letter from “Meaty Mike.” He needs to embrace his vegan love mate! I’ve been married to a staunch vegetarian for over 33 years, and it’s the best choice I’ve ever made. My diet has become healthier, and I still get my meat. I have a gas grill on the deck outside for my meat meals, which I use even in the winter. And I’ve developed recipes to cook meat without smelling up the house.
Meaty Mike’s guilt trip is his own, so he should just own it and move on. – Vermont Meat Mate
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