Best Behavior: Invited or Not

TrippingUp

I wasn’t invited to a recent wedding, so I didn’t go. The reason I wasn’t invited was because there were only 10 people there. (I’ve seen the pictures on Facebook.) The grooms kept the group small for all the right reasons. However, that didn’t stop them from distributing suggestions as to the gifts they’d like. The men are in their late 40s and have been living together for years, so they really don’t need anything. Speaking of things they don’t need, they requested contributions to a honeymoon fund they’ve set up. Isolation or no isolation, that seems rude, or at least forward, to me. Am I right?— Anonymous, East Nashville

You weren’t invited, for all the correct reasons, but there’s still no reason for you to pony up and plop down your credit card. If the grooms had been in their 20s or their early 30s, the suggestion of a honeymoon fund would have been an option, since travel takes cash.

But at this point in their lives, they’ve probably been on a plane or a cruise ship more than once. If you’re making contributions to a worthwhile cause — and there are lots of them out there now — make a gift in their honor. That will be better than fuming. And to make things better, you’ll get a tax deduction.

The Knives are Out

Last month, I went to dinner with my boys and their mother, who’s my ex. It was my night with the kids, who are 7 and 9. Since there’s nothing in our divorce settlement that prevents her from asking, I said it would be OK. At the table, she took over the conversation, leaving me completely out. The boys live with her, so I didn’t understand what was going on. That sort of behavior, however, is one of the reasons we got divorced. I made a mistake by having her at the table, but now, I’m afraid of what’s going on behind my back. Is it time to call my lawyer again?— Anonymous, 12South

Your boys may have better table manners than their parents. At least you didn’t get into a squabble with your ex; your sons seem to have sat there, watching quietly. They may have to put up with the same behavior at home all the time.

The papers are signed. She may be more and more like the woman you divorced. You can give her a call right now and tell her how uncomfortable she made you at dinner. Don’t get the kids any more involved than they are now. Don’t start a battle, and don’t use them as ammunition.

The next time she asks to tag along, turn her down. They’re still your sons. The only way you’ll fix her behavior is by learning how to behave yourself.