Dear Amy: My partner and I are eloping next month. I’m very excited, but my mother and sister keep complaining about my dress.
I’m an artist and my partner is a writer. We love outlandish fashion and chose to support up-and-coming designers in selecting our wedding attire.
For me, this meant eschewing the traditional white dress for a more avant-garde ensemble that makes me feel gorgeous and extremely cool.
My sister told me she was “worried that everyone else at the wedding would look better than the bride.”
My mother refused to even comment on the dress, and then changed the subject.
Since the outfit reveal, they both keep trying to convince me into the white dress of their dreams.
I’ve asked them to be supportive of my choice and to keep negative comments to themselves, but they always fire back with: “We just want you to look your best on your big day because we love you!”
Any advice on how to handle this? It’s starting to weigh on two of my closest relationships, right before our big chance to celebrate together.
— Fashionably Hurt Feelings
Dear Hurt Feelings: I’ve always believed that one benefit of eloping would be that the couple might be spared the drama — along with the hoopla — of a more “traditional” wedding.
Your wedding sounds more inclusive than a typical elopement.
Your family members will not be supportive of your choice. So — stop discussing this with them. Take a page from your mother’s book and … change the subject.
Your wedding clothes should reflect you — and if they do, you will ultimately be happy. In fact, the more unique and individual your clothes are, the more rooted in the moment you will be.
Your photos will take you right back to the day when you said, “I do,” while also feeling gorgeous and extremely cool.
Dear Amy: We live in a wonderful neighborhood. One day, very unexpectedly, my husband went into the hospital. I was alone with our three young children. I was able to secure a babysitter for our older two, and I reached out to a few of our neighbors for help with our infant.
One of my neighbors responded. Not only did they watch our baby, but they came over to pick up her things, and picked her up and dropped her off — all to make things easier for me.
While I paid our babysitter as normal, I knew that our neighbors likely wouldn’t want any payment, yet I didn’t feel it was right to do nothing. So, I made out a thank you card and dropped it off with a $100 gift card to a grocery store.
They texted us, saying that they didn’t want the gift card because they “simply don’t need it,” and wanted to return it to us. I responded by saying it would make us happy if they used it (they have two teenagers).
In their next text, they said that it “was too much,” and they’ll donate it to a food bank. My husband responded to say how much he appreciated them.
I found their response very hurtful. I may be too emotional, given how hard it was on me and how grateful I am.
I know that I can’t tell them how to use this gift, and if it does end up getting donated, it will help others.
Am I overreacting?
— Grateful Neighbor
Dear Grateful: Yes, I believe you are overreacting. Your abundant gratitude may have led you to overextend your thanks.
Giving them a cash equivalent has embarrassed them, but they overreacted in response.
Your sincere thanks was enough. Your neighbors were being neighborly and kind. It feels good to step up! The opportunity to repay their kindness with your own gesture will arise, and you will step up.
A more-balanced gesture might have been to treat them to a pizza night by having some of their favorite pies delivered to their house (re: teenagers) — but again, no gift was necessary.
I hope you are able to simply let this go.
Dear Amy: I went “grrrrr” when I read the letter from “Family Member,” who had people show up at her house for Christmas with their unruly dogs in tow!
I love my fur babies — for sure — but I would never impose them on anyone else, unless invited.
I was appalled.
— Dog Lover
Dear Lover: I anticipated that some dog owners might defend this behavior, but I’m happy to report that the many responses all agree with you.
(You can email Amy Dickinson at [email protected] or send a letter to Ask Amy, P.O. Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068. You can also follow her on Twitter @askingamy or Facebook.)
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