My sister-in-law says I can’t bring my son to her child’s wedding

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DEAR ABBY: Since my husband’s death eight years ago, his family has continued to include me in their family gatherings. We didn’t have children together, but I have three adult sons from a previous marriage. 

A year ago, I started dating someone, but broke it off after six months. Six months later, I received an invitation to a very nice wedding. I live about 45 minutes away from the venue. Nighttime driving is not an option for me, and the neighborhood is no place for a woman to maneuver alone. My invitation was for me and a guest. I was delighted that I could possibly ask one of my sons to escort me. 

The mother of the groom (my sister-in-law) texted me to explain that the “guest” on my invitation was meant to be for the gentleman I stopped seeing six months prior and not my son. She had never met this gentleman, and my son is appropriate in appearance and manner. 

My feelings are seriously hurt. I feel an invitation that includes “and guest” should not be at the discretion of the sister-in-law. I was also hurt that the decline of my “guest” was via text rather than a conversation. What are your thoughts? — DISAPPOINTED IN MISSOURI

DEAR DISAPPOINTED: Oh my. I think what your sister-in-law said was rude, insensitive and ridiculous. “And guest” is a thoughtful, inclusive gesture to ensure that the invitee isn’t left sitting alone at a table when couples are off dancing. I remember my late Aunt Eppie (Ann Landers) once telling me that if she received a solo wedding invitation, she would send her regrets. 

DEAR ABBY: I invited a friend to spend the weekend with me on my parents’ boat. She insisted that she must shower twice a day, as that is her usual routine. She said she can’t wake up without a shower, and needs to shower to be clean at the end of the day. I believe showering twice a day is excessive. Even showering once a day isn’t necessary unless someone has been working or exposed to dirt. 

I have been criticized for “judging” her hygiene habits. They say she may suffer from a germ phobia. I have known her more than 10 years, and she has worked as a professional cleaning lady. I don’t think she’s a germaphobe but high-maintenance and vain. 

I suggested she could wash up with face cloths and wipes, and shower once a day. The lake is so clean you don’t need to shower after a swim. (For anyone who doesn’t understand why I’m questioning this, it’s because fresh water on a boat is in limited supply.) 

Should a guest be asked to comply with the host’s requests, or must the host comply with the guest’s unusual demands? How should this be handled? — GO JUMP IN THE LAKE

DEAR GO JUMP: Gracious hosts will do whatever they can to ensure their guests are comfortable and provided for. Gracious guests will comply with whatever “house rules” are instituted by their hosts. In your case, this should be handled by not inviting this particular friend to any more overnights on your family boat.

Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

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