Best Behavior: Forever Hold Your Peace

Let’s Make a Deal

My husband and I are divorced.  Our daughter is getting married to a wonderful young woman in a couple of months. I volunteered for us to host the reception, and my ex-husband said we’d do it, half and half, since both of us are fine with the marriage, and my husband and his wife agreed. He put some money in, but now he’s pulled out of the deal, saying he can’t afford to do any more. I believe that’s not true. The women are aware of what’s happened. What do I put on the invitation?  I’d just as soon leave his name off. — Anonymous, Hillwood

He’s in for a penny, but he’s obviously not in for a pound. If you leave his name off the invitation — a decision that you can make — the guest list may assume that he’s opposed to the wedding, for some reason or other. For the sake of the two brides, you don’t want that rumor floating around. They don’t need to be put in an awkward situation, and their friends don’t need to know more than they know right now.

Somehow or other, the women have become aware of his decision to bow out. Perhaps he sat down and told him (a wise, but tough, decision for him), or maybe you passed the news along. His finances may actually be the issue. Let’s assume you don’t have a joint checking account anymore.

If the party’s going to happen, you’re committed to throw it; and, yes, he’ll have every right to show up for the ceremony. Grit your teeth, and put him on an installment plan.

A Scrambled Mess

This past Saturday, my husband and I were in line for a booth at Waffle House. The place was crowded, so we were waiting because it seemed like the right thing to do. Then, out of the blue, a well-known public figure (not an elected official, if I may say so) and his wife showed up, stepped right ahead of us and sat down, as if he owned the place. A whole group of others were waiting. I was amazed, and eyes rolled. I know the man. Should we have said something? — Anonymous, Green Hills

When were you thinking about speaking up, before or after the fellow sat down?

Nice manners don’t come with public positions. He ought to have known how, and when, to behave himself. Stepping back to his place in line would have been a nice gesture, but he didn’t. Let’s hope that he ordered his eggs over easy and got out of there. You probably don’t want to get stuck in line with him at the post office.

When he was headed for the prime booth, you might have put him in pause mode by saying, “I believe there are people waiting.” It would have been a brave move for you. And then you’d have had a chance to sit down and order up, unless you chose to pass the seat along to the hungry masses behind you.

I hope I’m correct in assuming that’s what you’d have done.