We have not been invited to the wedding.


Dear Amy: Our son’s mother and father-in-law, who live in Europe, have repeatedly invited us to stay at their house, including during the upcoming holidays.

We are thinking of going and we told him so.

Then I got a text from my daughter-in-law with an Airbnb ad saying we could stay to be “away from the chaos.”

Amy, chaos is part of the Christmas experience! (And by the way, this Airbnb property is already booked up for the holidays.)

We think this might be a disinvitation, but we don’t know how to formulate a response.

We get along well with everyone and we want to keep it that way.

As parents of two children, I feel we need to “listen” to our daughter-in-law.

What do you think?

– Vacation accommodation

Dear Housed: “Chaos is part of the holiday experience,” while true, is not necessarily a selling point, certainly for anyone thinking about hosting a supposedly long stay abroad.

Your daughter-in-law may be cleverly trying to dissuade you from staying with her parents, and I think you should take this message, accept it, and assume that if you take this trip, you’ll have to find a place to stay.

Because the property she recommended is reserved, you can go back to your DIL and note: “We completely understand what chaos is. You seem to think it would be better if we didn’t accept your parents’ invitation to stay with them. The property she linked to is already booked, but we noticed a few others nearby. Do you have any thoughts on any of those properties?

Dear Amy: Months ago, my wife and I were invited to a wedding that was taking place in a month.

It was going to be a big formal church wedding with eight or nine bridesmaids and groomsmen, a flower girl and a ring bearer, followed by a reception for the guests.

At the last minute we received a postcard announcing that plans had changed and that the wedding would be a private, closed-door ceremony, and that guests should plan to show up to the reception afterward.

If I had known this was going to be the plan, I probably would have declined to attend.

We feel like we have been abandoned and we are curious to know your opinion.

– Curious

Dear Curious: If you don’t want to attend this reception and suspect that you will hold on to your abandoned feelings throughout the event, it is not too late to inform the hosts that you will “reject.”

This recent notification about their wedding ceremony means they’re probably shuffling numbers for the reception.

Marriage ceremonies can be profound events to witness, but there are other aspects of celebrating a wedding (aside from the ceremony) that are also communal and joyful.

It is possible to attend a reception and still feel like a part of the wedding, but this largely depends on how the couple designs the event, as well as the attitude you bring to it.

There are several reasons why a couple might choose to change their ceremony plans at this late stage; You must respectfully accept any explanation provided for this change.

Dear Amy: “Guilty Friend” reported that her friend’s husband had repeatedly sexually harassed her.

Personally, I believe that in the case of sexual harassment, women should not be afraid to “make waves.” We are autonomous creatures and have nothing to be ashamed of.

Don’t run to the wife and tell her what her husband is doing.

Resolve the situation yourself by repeating out loud what the offender says!

Involve your social environment at that moment.

For example, if this happens at dinner you can say out loud: “I’m not interested in your private parts.” Or, “Could you please remove your hand from between my legs?”

It’s always a power play. Predators look for weakness and shame. They count on women not to report them.

I say we shame them again! Not by pushing them away and being discreet about it, but publicly in the moment!

By doing this, I even managed to get an apology from a four-star general!

– Been there

Dear Status: I agree that predators rely on social conditioning from others to feel embarrassed when they are harassed or attacked.

It would be great if future perpetrators were socially conditioned not to sexually harass people.

I think people are becoming more assertive in reporting this behavior, and that’s a good first step.

(You can email Amy Dickinson at askamy@amydickinson.com or send a letter to Ask Amy, PO Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068. You can also follow her on Twitter. @askingamy either Facebook.)




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