Dear Amy: My niece’s brother-in-law, “Bradley,” will be getting married later this year.
My niece, “Kate,” is married to Bradley’s brother.
All of Bradley’s siblings and their spouses have been asked to be in the bridal party, everyone except for Kate.
Kate’s husband is in his brother’s party, but her future sister-in-law, “Julie,” has excluded Kate.
Kate included Julie in her wedding party several years ago.
Kate can think of nothing that would have offended Julie.
How should Kate handle this upcoming wedding?
— Sad Aunt
Dear Sad Aunt: In the movie version, “Kate” would attend the wedding, get roaring drunk at the reception, and then deliver the roasty-toast of the century.
Movie pitch aside, if every single sibling and spouse has been included in the wedding party, this exclusion does seem off-kilter. However, the fact that Kate included “Julie” in her own wedding does not obligate Julie to recipro-kate.
Ideally, Julie would have anticipated this challenge and explained her decision to Kate – gently and respectfully — in advance of her announcement.
Kate might be able to tease out a gracious explanation by asking Julie, “I accept your decision not to ask me to be part of the wedding party, but I want to make sure – are you and I OK?”
She should add, “Please, let me know if there is any way I can be helpful as you get closer to the date.”
Kate should attend this wedding, be a gracious guest, and have a good time.
Dear Amy: Every summer and fall, family members gather at a beach house about an hour from my home.
Because there are not enough bedrooms in the house, my husband and I sleep in an open loft, just above the kitchen and living room.
I’m a light sleeper, and I get only a few hours of shut-eye, due to the natural activity from both the night owls and children rising early.
With chronic health conditions, I’d prefer to sleep in my own home and return to the beach house for day and evening activities, but I’m afraid this would be seen as rude.
Family is important, but so is my health. What do you recommend?
Dear Sleep-deprived: You are responsible for taking care of yourself and seeing to your own needs. No one else can do that for you.
You have two reasonable choices: To ask for a bedroom with a door, or to drive home each night.
I cannot imagine that anyone would be affronted if – after many years – you decided to make a change and stop sleeping in the loft.
In fact, if you chose to return to your home and sleep in your own bed each night, your fellow family members might actually be happy to have more sleeping space available in the group house. And you could show up in the mornings with fresh bagels/donuts/coffee for the group.
Just make sure you aren’t tired and/or inebriated when you drive home.
Dear Amy: Responding to Red Faced, who worried about people bringing gifts to a “no gifts” party — on my 80th birthday, my wife invited over 100 friends and relatives to my birthday party.
Knowing that most all of them would bring a gift (even though told NOT TO on the invitations), I asked them to bring a new unwrapped children’s toy, which they all did.
The days after the party, I delivered all of the toys to our local children’s hospital (Children’s Hospital of Orange County).
They almost did not fit into my van!
The hospital staff brought some of the children down to the lobby where the gifts were unloaded, and the kids were so excited.
This 80-year-old man was excited, too.
Dear Gifted: I love your generous idea.
Dear Amy: Lame advice from you to “Frustrated,” whose husband had stopped using deodorant and was now smelly.
Better advice for this person would be:
1) Shave underarms it will reduce the smell drastically.
2) Wash underarms in the morning and evening.
3) Lose the weight, the coffee and change the diet.
4) Get active and sweat in a workout as you will get rid of toxins and other chemicals bacteria live on. This will also have a benefit with depression if it’s a cause.
Dear Reader: All great advice, I’m sure. But “Frustrated” couldn’t even muster the courage to speak to her husband about his body odor. If she can’t even mention it to him, getting him to shave his armpits could be a very tough sell.