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Wedding Basher

By Mink Stole | Posted 1/4/2006

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A situation has come up, and Iíd really like your opinion. My boyfriend works in a small office, and one of the men he works with is getting married in two weeks. The wedding has been planned for months, but just a couple of days ago the groom-to-be invited his six co-workers. It seems exactly that many previously invited guests couldnít make it. Which means that not only is the invitation last minute, but the newly invited were told that none of them could bring a guest. My boyfriend accepted, partly because he likes the guy, but mainly because he didnít want to be rude. What I think is rude is that this guy didnít invite his co-workers until other people he thought were important enough to send invitations to months ago canceled on him. I also think itís rude that they were told they could not bring anyone. Is it general practice to invite people to weddings without their spouses and/or committed partners? My boyfriend and I have been living together for three years. I think my boyfriend shouldnít go, and he thinks Iím blowing the whole situation out of proportion.

Gritting My Teeth

Although I have a strong feeling that youíd feel less insulted on your boyfriendís behalf if you had been included in the invitation, GMT, it is generally considered tacky to issue belated invitations to any function based on someone elseís inability to attend. But to cut the groom a little slack, a lot of guys are clueless about the finer points of polite behavior, and he may have thought it would be even more rude not to invite his office buddies once he knew he could. He may have been really happy that some obligatory invitees canceled. And we donít know how the guest list was compiled in the first place. If the brideís parents are paying for the whole shebang, they might have demanded more than their share of available seats, or they might have asked him to keep his list short to keep costs down. And, yes, usually wives, spouses, and significant others are included in wedding invitations. But this wasnít a traditional invitation, and if all six co-workers brought guests, that would mean an overflow of six. An alternative would have been for this guy to invite three of his co-workers with their plus-ones, but that might have made things uncomfortable at work. Or he might have been smarter not to invite any of them.

However awkwardly the situation has been handled so far, though, now that your BF has accepted the invitation, itís up to you to accept the situation. Since he knows youíre unhappy about it, you might try negotiating a special night out for the two of you as compensation, but once thatís done drop it. You may be right on all counts, but a one-time deal like this is not worth fighting about.


After a few years in a very unhappy marriage, I left my husband to raise our children on my own. Iím extremely proud of both my kids; my son is doing well in college and my daughter is married to a great guy. Sheís pregnant now with my first grandson, due in April, and I couldnít be more thrilled. My ex-husband is excited, too. He and the woman he has lived with for five years are making plans to visit soon after the birth. Now that Iím not married to the man, I get along with him pretty well. And I normally have no problems with his lady friend, but my daughter told me theyíve taken to referring to themselves as ďgrandma and granddad.Ē Well, obviously my ex-husband will be the babyís grandfather, but I donít feel like this woman has any right to call herself grandma. Should I say something to her? Should I say something to my daughter?

Iím the Grandma

In Romeo and Juliet, Shakespeare wrote, ďWhatís in a name? That which we call a rose by any other word would smell as sweet.Ē No matter what he calls you, ITG, you are this babyís grandmother, and no one can take that away from you. And no matter what this woman calls herself, she isnít even his legal step-grandmother, and she knows it. But as long as sheís a part of your ex-husbandís life, itís natural she wants to share the grandparenting experience with him. This isnít necessarily a bad thing; no baby was ever hurt by too many people loving him. Many babies, however, have been hurt badly by people fighting over them.

I agree, though, that the baby has to call everyone by some name, and by rights you should get first pick. Talk to your daughter, and without pitching a hissy fit, suggest that it might be less confusing for the little one if he calls you ďgrandmaĒ and your ex-husbandís girlfriend by her first name or some baby-sized variation thereof. If she agrees, she could phone them and ask the lady for ideas. If your daughter doesnít want to get in the middle of it, call the lady friend. But instead of accusing her of trying to take what she hasnít earned, approach her with the same letís-not-confuse-the-baby reasoning, and if you need to, add that youíve been looking forward to being ďgrandmaĒ for a long time. If the woman has any brains or sense, sheíll take the hint.

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