A couple of weeks back, I was invited to cocktails in a friend’s backyard. I’d heard that she throws this kind of party every weekend and that they’re casual come-and-go affairs, so I brought my boyfriend along. When we got to her gate, she said hello, but that was as far as we got. She said we had to leave. There were lawn chairs everywhere. But she said that if she let both of us in, she’d be over the 10-person limit. She was nice about it, but I don’t understand why. If there’s plenty of space between all the people, what’s the problem? We weren’t exactly angry, maybe a little insulted, but we left anyhow. — Anonymous, Green Hills
Rules are rules, and there are more of them out there just now. Sometimes, it’s tough keeping track of the ever-shifting guidebook. But you surely know that nobody shows up for a party with a surprise date, no matter how “casual” the event’s going to be. You might have called your hostess and checked on bringing along your honey — especially with COVID-19 in the air. She probably would have let you know about her health care headcount. With a new boyfriend on your arm, she might have checked his temperature and pulse rate and asked him to sign a waiver. The hostess has her right to throw her own parties in her own backyard. You don’t have any right to be insulted. Calling her with an apology wouldn’t be out of line. Maybe she only has 10 lawn chairs. I bet she won’t be saving one, much less two, for you the next time she’s in her backyard.
My husband has a hair weave. It looks fine most of the time, but right now, it doesn’t. His hair stylist hasn’t been available for months. I know it would be tough for him, but I think he should just let it go. I like him just fine without it. In fact, I think I like him better that way, but he’s been wearing his hairpiece for years now. I’m tempted to tell him what I think, but I’m pretty sure it won’t make him happy. Do I say anything or keep my mouth shut? He still hasn’t made his appointment. — Anonymous, Bellevue
You’ve been living with the man, and his hairpiece, for years. When he first thought about putting a lid on his bald spot, you might have seized the moment to tell him you love his head just as it is. But if he didn’t ask for your input then, he probably isn’t going to ask for it now. Go ahead and tell him you like him unadorned. Then, call the hairdresser and ask him to give your husband good advice — or the advice you’d give. But he probably has little interest in losing a customer, given the economy. Perhaps this is the moment for him to rip off his rug. He can come out of isolation wearing only what he doesn’t have to pay for. Maybe people will think he’s gone bald in isolation. Odd things happen.