My husband will punish me if I attend a gay wedding

DEAR MISS MANNERS: I lost my beloved sister two years ago to ovarian cancer. Her only child, who came out homosexual in his first year in college, has a very loving relationship with a wonderful man.

They are getting married soon, and of course the family are invited to the wedding, which will take place in Washington, DC.

My husband said at the start of the relationship that he would never attend a gay wedding because he felt it was not a real marriage. I have no qualms about it; for me, it’s all about love. He now says he doesn’t want me to go because DC is a dangerous place.

I feel like I should do what I want to do, which is go to this wedding; on the other hand, it will make my life miserable for a long time.

We’ve been married 40 years and he’s always pretty much had the final say on everything, but I know I’m going to be mad at him if I don’t go.

SOFT READER: It seems to Miss Manners that there will be resentment anyway. Unfortunately, it is up to you to decide which form is the most tolerable.

Miss Manners certainly doesn’t want to put more pressure on your marriage, but she will point out two things: Not going to the wedding could well cause a rift between you and the rest of your family. And as a native and resident of Washington, DC herself, she assures you that it is infinitely less dangerous than prejudice and intolerance.

DEAR MISS MANNERS: I had the pleasure of babysitting my neighbors’ little dog for the weekend. When they returned, they tried to pay me. I politely declined the money, saying it was really my pleasure and that it was a favor among friends.

Later that week I received a thank you card in the mail that included a gift certificate. I accepted it and thanked them in person for their gesture.

Do you think I handled the situation well? On the one hand, after refusing money, I feel a bit hypocritical about accepting the gift card. On the other hand, I think it would be rude to return their gift after all the trouble they’ve had.

Also, after thanking them in person, do you think I should have followed up with a written thank you?

SOFT READER: Obviously, these transactions were going to continue until you agreed to something – and rather than wait for a watch, you did the right thing by politely conceding. Your thanks in person have been sufficient, assures you Miss Manners.

However, if you are determined to avoid thanks like this again, you may suggest offering to reciprocate in kind rather than monetary means. “I genuinely enjoy watching Peepers, and the pleasure of their company is more than enough for me. But if it could make you feel better, I would really appreciate if you could take care of Prickles the Cactus next time I’m on vacation. .She gets so sad and parched when I leave.

Please direct questions to Miss Manners on her website,; to his e-mail, [email protected]; or by regular mail to Miss Manners, Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.

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