Ask Amy: Am I obligated to attend a wedding shower if I wasn’t invited to the wedding?

Dear Amy: Am I obligated to attend a wedding party and give a gift?

My step-niece (my husband’s niece) postponed her wedding for several months because of Covid.

They will now get married on a tropical island.

My husband was invited, but my daughter (15) and I were not invited.

My husband will spend over $3,000 just to get there and stay in a hotel for three days.

He always wants to give a generous gift.

Now my mother-in-law is planning to give a shower in honor of her granddaughter.

If I don’t go, I feel like my husband’s family is going to resent me.

If I go, do I have to offer a gift?

Seems like a lot for a wedding I haven’t even been invited to. I mean, I’m not invited, but my money seems to be.

– Cold shower

Dear showered: If you’re not invited to the wedding, you shouldn’t be invited to the wedding shower. This is basic logic, as well as basic etiquette.

So first you need to figure out if you are actually invited to the shower.

If you’re invited and don’t want to attend (completely understandable), you should just have other things to do that day. Don’t act, don’t blow the unworthiness of it all – just be busy that day.

If your husband’s family has the nerve to be mad at you about it, well, it’s just a pain they’ll have to learn to live with.

You shouldn’t be afraid to earn their respect.

Stay cool, polite and respectful. Your husband represents the family at this wedding. That should be enough.

Dear Amy: My good friend and I each have three kids in the same classes who also participate in some of the same extracurricular activities.

As parents, we are inundated with information about deadlines, events and requirements. We parents share tips and help each other. But my friend seems to enjoy it.

For years, she barely cared about emails and documents detailing key information. Instead, she’s constantly relying on me to tell her what she needs to know—what I’ve done from kindergarten through college enrollment.

If I say the information is listed online on a website, it will ask for the link to the exact page. For something particularly complicated, like Eagle Scout projects or college applications, she’ll ask me to walk her through every step – often asking for documentation of links or resources. It is extremely time consuming. If I say I don’t remember, she will pester me to go through my notes.

She is smart, healthy and capable. Her husband is involved and helpful.

We have similar workloads. Why is she doing this?!

I’m all for pooling parent resources and helping out a friend, but after 18 years of this, and with two kids still rising through the ranks, I’m tired.

She justifies the dynamic by saying: “We need a village!

This villager wonders how I make her do her own research, without looking like a useless friend.

– Tiredness

Dear Tired: It takes a village. But sometimes the villagers take their torches and storm the castle.

You’ve been your friend’s office assistant for over a decade. If you want to stop now, you will have to rehabilitate her calmly and decisively.

Unless she has a learning or literacy problem, I’d say she has demonstrated a genius aptitude for manipulating you into doing her job for her. Tracking works!

Here’s how to get out of bidding. You say, “Phew, I’m tired. I’ll let you get your kids across the finish line. You can do it! I have been your faithful villager, but now I will accept my merit badge and retire.

Dear Amy: Your response to “The Not So Prodigal Daughter” bothered me. It was from a stay-at-home mom who resented her sister’s choice to pursue a career in the arts.

You said she could also pursue a career in the arts if she wanted to.

Don’t you understand that being a stay-at-home mom is a full-time job?

– Upset

Dear Upset: Dozens of stay-at-home moms continue their education and seek new opportunities while raising children. My mom did it, I did it, and your mom probably did it too. This is not a requirement, but a choice that parents can make if they are motivated to do so.

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(You can email Amy Dickinson at [email protected] or send a letter to Ask Amy, PO Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068. You can also follow her on Twitter @askingamy Where Facebook.)

©2022 Amy Dickinson. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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