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5:43 AM Wed, Nov. 21st

Dear Annie: Massive rehearsal dinner

Dear Annie: Our son is marrying a lovely girl from out of state. “Jill’s” family offered to pay for the cost of the wedding, which is expected to have more than 200 guests. My son asked us whether we would pay for the rehearsal dinner. Thinking this would consist of the wedding party and 20 to 30 additional people, we agreed.

Well, now this “rehearsal dinner” is about 70 folks, including numerous “close relatives” on the bride’s side. We are told that these people are to be included, that there is no room for negotiation and that it shouldn’t be an issue because Jill’s parents are paying for the wedding. I feel as if Jill has hijacked the so-called rehearsal dinner for a pre-wedding family dinner that is basically out of our control. Is this what weddings have come down to these days? How should my wife and I handle this? – Budgeting Father of the Groom

Dear Budgeting: A) Pick a more affordable venue and/or dining option. Buffets are great for this situation, as they’re not billed per person. Or B) ask Jill’s family members to chip in. If they’re truly that married to the idea of having so many relatives included, they ought to be willing to help.

Dear Annie: Being the dutiful husband that I am, I drive my non-driving wife to work every day, and I pick her up after work. At her request, I also have been giving a lift home in the evenings to one of her co-workers. It’s not far out of our way, and the fellow is pleasant and likable – well, with the exception that he smells like a farm animal and is totally oblivious to that fact.

It seems to me this man seldom bathes or changes his clothes. I drive with the windows open in the dead of winter, and in the summer, the odor is even more horrific. My wife acknowledges this issue but doesn’t want to confront him or address it. I have no problem talking to this guy diplomatically and letting him know what’s going on, but my wife has strongly asked me not to. So I suffer in silence.

How do I get out of this pickle without upsetting my wife or causing anyone any further embarrassment? – Need Oxygen

Dear Oxygen: It’s time to put this animal out to pasture. Your wife isn’t considering the matter from your nose’s perspective. It’s nice enough you give them both rides; you shouldn’t have to hold your breath the whole way. Tell your wife that either she needs to come up with a polite excuse for why you can’t give this man rides anymore or you’re going to have a frank discussion with him about personal hygiene. If she doesn’t like it, they can both catch a lift on the hayride.

Dear Annie: I’d like to reply to your recent correspondence with the son struggling with what to do after discovering his father smoking again. Nicotine Anonymous (once known as Smokers Anonymous), with support groups based on the book “Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions,” is a resource for people seeking freedom from nicotine addiction. Its website (http://nicotine-anonymous.org) has literature – including a pamphlet that might be helpful to your nonsmoking reader, titled “Are You Concerned About Someone Who Smokes or Chews Tobacco?”

Nicotine Anonymous support groups are free and ongoing. A person can join at any time, and the only requirement is to have a desire to stop using nicotine. There are face-to-face meetings, as well as daily internet and telephone meetings, for any member to connect with other members to offer and receive support. Thank you for your understanding about this highly addictive substance. – Former Smoker

Send your questions for Annie Lane to dearannie@creators.com. To find out more about Annie Lane and read features by other Creators Syndicate columnists and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.