Best Behavior Hero 4

Wanna Go?

Last month, I was invited at the last minute to a major fundraising dinner. I’m sure I was asked because somebody had dropped out, and the hostess needed to fill her table; even though I was doing her a favor, I would have had to pay to attend. I was flattered to get my name on the list — I’d always wanted to go — but money is money, so I said no and stayed home. At the time, I had second thoughts. I still do. Did I do the right thing? — Anonymous, Hillwood

Your money’s still in your pocketbook, so you can thank your lucky stars and count your pennies, too. Yes, the hostess was far too late in making her request; and, yes, she was taking a major risk, asking you to cough up for a seat at her table. She wasn’t surprised, I’m sure, when you turned her down; she probably moved along, going through her address book until she found somebody who was willing to pay the price. Let’s hope you weren’t at the bottom of her to-call list, or she may have ended up with an empty chair at her table. That’s not your concern. Don’t worry any more about your behavior, unless you choose to. The only feelings left bruised this time are yours. There will be another fundraising event before long, trust me.


We like everything about the woman our son is dating … well, almost everything. My husband and I agree that she’s lovely in every way, except for her voice. It’s raspy and whiny at the same time, and it gets worse as she gets louder — which is almost all the time. We’ve mentioned it to our son, but he says he loves her and there’s nothing he can do. Now he’s told us they’re getting married in a couple of months. We can’t imagine listening to her for years and years to come. What can we possibly do? — Anonymous, Brentwood

There’s nothing to do about the annoying voice. There must be something good about the girl to make up for the screechiness: Her needlework? Her handiness around the kitchen? Her golf game? You’ve probably got a lot to learn. It wasn’t your job to choose the potential daughter-in-law. Now you’ll have decades to get to know her better. If you don’t want to destroy the wedding plans or your relationship with your son, keep your mouths shut and thoughts to yourselves, both of you. (You won’t have any trouble finding her at the wedding reception. Count yourselves lucky at least in that regard.) There are likely to be grandchildren, screaming all the time; when you are grand-sitting, you’ll have the chance to teach the coming generation how to be bearable. Time doesn’t fix everything — but it can take care of a few things, if not the sound of her voice. Perhaps, as you get older, you’ll need hearing aids. You can turn those off.