Originally Published: March 3, 2017 6:04 a.m.
Dear Annie: I am here wondering: How many times do you go out to eat and expect a free meal? Never, right? So I am really baffled by how someone could attend a wedding (either single or with a date) and find it acceptable to leave a gift of just $100 for two people, let alone $0.
Sure, there are certain financial circumstances that may hinder someone’s ability to contribute. But here is my stance: If you can’t afford to cover your plate, why go?
A wedding is intended to be a celebration unifying the new couple’s lives together. It is not a foundation they set up to make donations for their guests and give them free meals. It’s expensive; everyone knows this. Regardless of who pays for the event, I find it appalling that so many adults would not properly contribute in any fashion -- and not even feel embarrassed about it! Maybe their parents fell short in the manners department when raising them. After being a part of several weddings, I am seriously perplexed by this lack of etiquette. It’s very disappointing.
I’m now planning my own wedding, and I find myself left with the dilemma of not wanting to invite certain individuals because I know they wouldn’t give any sort of gift. The most upsetting part is this happens to be the case with several of my family members (who are in good positions financially). I know I really can’t address it among them, but this has happened at two of my siblings’ weddings, and I know it would occur for mine. I don’t want to cut family members off, but if they wouldn’t contribute, then I feel that I am left without a choice. What do I do? — Tired of Wedding Freeloaders
Dear Tired: Are you planning a wedding or running a business?
It’s common courtesy to bring a gift to a wedding, sure. I agree with you 100 percent. But you can’t be so concerned with the return on investment. Invite your loved ones because you love them and want them at your wedding, not because you’ll get your money’s worth. Ultimately, taking the high road will make you feel like a million bucks.
Dear Annie: I believe the advice you gave to “Very Disappointed Mother-in-Law,” who has concerns about her daughter but feels shut out by her son-in-law, was pretty accurate in terms of what she was looking for. But I feel that you missed one thing in your response. You didn’t address the part where she said she believes that her daughter is manic.
As someone who suffers from bipolar disorder, I know firsthand that if someone is manic — especially someone who is alone with children — it needs to be addressed immediately. When you’re manic, your behavior can be very erratic and dangerous. If she truly suspects that her daughter is manic, she needs to get her to her physician to be examined and put on medication if necessary. Her daughter may even need to be hospitalized to get this under control and her mental health properly assessed. — Bipolar in Kentucky
Dear Bipolar: Thank you so much for raising that concern. I’d like to echo that sentiment. Anyone experiencing symptoms that indicate the possibility of bipolar disorder should talk to his or her doctor immediately.
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