Help in Need

My fiancée and I had to reschedule our wedding, so we’re planning it for the spring. The past 18 months have been hard for everybody, especially for her parents. Both of them lost their jobs, which has left them in a tough situation money-wise. My parents have offered to pitch in on the wedding expenses. My fiancée is uneasy about broaching the subject with her parents because, if my mom and dad are paying the bills, they’ll expect to have their names on the wedding invitation. That’s just how things are, but she’s sure her parents won’t go for it. I think we’ve got a challenge on both sides. What do we do?Anonymous, West Nashville

Who needs to know who’s paying the bills? Your fiancée’s parents will know, and so will your own folks, of course. However, the tender subject of finances has to be broached right now. There’s no reason to postpone that conversation. If you put it off, bruised feelings will be the likely result — bruises that won’t heal for a long time. The two of you can sit down with her parents and start the conversation, but after you’ve introduced the idea, it will be time to bring your parents to the table so everybody can figure out how to work together. Top billing on the invitation is a minor concern. Her parents’ feelings are the issue of the moment. There’s no reason they should feel like poor relations before they’re related, even slightly, to the new in-laws. Her parents don’t need to feel left out or overlooked, and your parents have no reason to play Lady and Lord Bountiful. Everybody gets a turn at the bat in this game. You may be fretting more than you should. There’s always another line on the invitation; there’s always more work to be done. Just add all the names. No questions asked. No explanations offered. No invoices required.

Name Calling

My name is Karen, as is my mother’s name. But I’m not a “Karen.” Neither of us is. I thought people were going to stop making fun of my name, but it’s not stopping. Please tell me something I can say the next time somebody tells me my name is a joke.Karen, Sylvan Park

If they’re still laughing at a joke that wasn’t funny in the first place, tone-deaf people need to find a new one. Who knows why “Karen” ended up being the chosen name to abuse? I assume that you’ve played your part throughout the pandemic — no bulk purchases of toilet paper and no confrontations with the grocery store cashier. I assume you’ve had all the shots necessary. The next time somebody seems to be getting a big chuckle out of your absolutely normal name, just tell them — without a giggle — that you’re over being made the butt of the joke. There’s a name for these people, and it’s not “friend.” There’s no reason to worry about making them uncomfortable. You’ve got a perfectly nice name, one that’s been good enough for your mother for a while, too. I suggest that you keep it.