1. Kay

    I admit I need to get in better shape and my weight tends to cluster in my stomach. That said, how do I handle the comments and questions I repeadly receive asking if I am pregnant – which I am 100% not!
    My usual response is a somewhat stern ‘I am not pregnant!’ which starts an out pouring of apologizes and embarrassment for the other women. I am wondering if there is a better way for me to handle this ~ something cleaver or whitty to say or to enlighten them how not to ask this again!

    • Elizabeth

      Kay, it is unbelievable that you have had multiple people ask if you are pregnant. That is an incredibly rude question, and this is the reason one should NEVER ask if a woman is pregnant and always allow her to tell you first.

      Unfortunately, you cannot control others’ behavior, only how you react to it. I think you are already doing the right thing. The embarrassment of asking a non-pregnant woman if she’s pregnant and having her forcefully deny it should be enough to deter them. But if these are actually friends of yours and not just strangers, you could go farther and just say: “No, Julie, I am not pregnant, and you should know better than to ask someone that question.” To some of my cheekier friends, I might say, “No, I’m not pregnant, but what happened to your face???” (Just kidding, I would probably not say it, but I would think it!)

  2. Dawn

    Last year, I married my high school sweetheart after leading separate lives for 31 years. Some of the gift checks got lost during our move to a new place without us realizing it. I found them recently tucked into other paperwork. I can’t cash them now after almost a year. What do i do? Do I return the checks and ask for another, which I find tacky or do I send them back with the explanation above and thank them for the gift anyway? I feel awful at this point.

    • Elizabeth

      I think the best thing to do would be to call the givers of the gifts. Just explain that you recently found their checks for your wedding, and that you’re terribly sorry you never sent them a thank-you note. Apologize for the mixup, and say that your plan is to tear the check up since it’s been so long. Some people might say: “No, please cash it, it’s our gift to you!” and some might say, “yes, thanks, that sounds good.” I would not ask for a replacement check (you actually don’t need one, the checks should still be valid), nor would I return them preemptively. A call is the best way to go.

    • ap

      That’s not what she’s asking. It’s nearly impossible to cash a check after that long. If you didn’t send a thank you note than you should obviously call them immediately and explain how thankful you are. However, don’t expect them to write you another check. And it would be completely rude to ask for a new one. Some people might insist that they send you a new one, but I’d just take this as an opportunity to learn a lesson.

    • Elizabeth

      Edna, I think we need more information…do you mean those mini LCD screens that cycle through photos loaded on to them? What is the etiquette issue that comes up for you? If the frames are usually always on, I think that they would just stay on. Some people only turn them on when guests come over…but I can’t see how it’s an etiquette issue either way.

      • Edna

        Yes, I mean those mini-LCD screens that cycle photos. If they are left on, isn’t that a bit like making your guests watch an endless slide show of your recent trip? Just like a television screen it is difficult for people to avoid or forget about the photos as the movement attracts one’s eye. Is it okay to leave the television on when there are guests in the room? Isn’t this a bit the same?

        • Elizabeth

          Hmmm…. well, the only ones I’ve ever seen are rather small, like 5×7, and didn’t distract me or catch my eye in the way that you’re describing. Are the hosts constantly directing your attention to it and describing the images?? If not, if the slideshow is just playing, then you might be more prone to distraction via screen then most. I do think it’s different than a TV because of its size, the fact that it does not have sound, and the fact that they are not usually the central focus of the room.

          I would suggest a couple of things: seat yourself somewhere in the room where the screen is not in your line of sight. If you can’t avoid it, you might just ask the hosts to turn it off: “Sally, this might sound a bit silly but I’m having trouble focusing on what you’re saying because of photo slideshow. Would you mind moving it or turning it off for a bit? I guess I’m easily distracted by moving images!”

          Unless I’m missing something, or not picturing the situation accurately, I can’t really see how this is offensive or rude.

          • Edna

            Thanks for your insights, Elizabeth. This screen is 10 in and I am the host. I didn’t want to appear presumptive to my guests – that is, presume they want to see thousands of photos. Your response is helpful. I can ask my guests if it is distracting to them.

          • Zakafury

            I received one as a gift, and I’m not really a big fan of them. I was happy to find it had a setting to only change image once per day.

            For my personal taste, a different picture each morning is ideal. If you like having it change throughout the day, perhaps setting it to every hour or two would prevent it from being a distracting slideshow.

  3. TheBride

    My dream wedding is a destination wedding but my mother doesn’t travel at all. She is also hurt because my father (they are divorced) will be attending and she feels I’m “siding” with him. Am I supposed to give up my dream wedding?

    • Elizabeth

      I would try to look at it from your mom’s perspective. Apparently the dreams for your wedding don’t include her being there. Lots of people can’t travel due to financial, legal or physical constraints, and some people just don’t want to spend their precious vacation days and hard earned dollars going on a vacation of your choosing. This is why people have a honeymoon – so they can have all of their friends and family at their wedding and then they get to go on a great vacation to a new or exotic place. You should not give up your “dream,” but you should think about what will be important to you in the long term: the scenery? or being married where everyone that loves you and who you love can be there? Perhaps in conversation with your fiance you could develop another dream – a place that’s important to you locally, an officiant who is meaningful to you, etc.

    • Chocobo

      “Am I supposed to give up my dream wedding?”

      That depends on what you care about more: the backdrop, or your mother.

      • Alicia

        Yes you need to give up the idea of your dream wedding. There is not a chance at all that everything will go based on a dream ideal. So instead you need to decide what is most important to you. Is mom being able to attend ? Is friends and family being able to afford it and attend? Is location? Is decor? Is photos? Prioritize what matters the most to you and then you will get the closest to ideal possible but dream weddings do not exist any more then dream life. There will be times when you need to bend and streach to get what the must have things and give up some of the less important details. Only you know what is must have and what is less important

  4. Pam

    I was invited to my cousin in law’s baby shower which was held in early June. I was included in an e-vite that was sent to my parents. We decided not to attend, RSVP’ed “no” and sent gifts. I sent a gift from their Amazon registry and it was received at least a week before my parents’ gift was received (delivery was confirmed via Amazon). My parents received a thank you card over 2 weeks ago for their gift and yet I have not. I only see these relatives about once every 2 years and while we are facebook friends, do not communicate. Should I send a private message asking if the gift was actually received or should I wait longer?

    • Winifred Rosenburg

      I might give it a little longer, maybe a month from when they supposedly received it. Sometimes it takes shower recipients longer than usual to write thank-you notes because of sheer volume. It’s possible for whatever reason your parents ended up at the top of the thank-you list and you ended up at the bottom. After a month has passed, I think it’s fair to ask just in case Amazon screwed up.

    • Zakafury

      Are you certain she has your mailing address? If the evite wasn’t even sent to you, but included you with your mother, then she may have no way of contacting you, and the return address off an amazon shipment would be no use.

      I think you should call to make sure it arrived, and try to be gracious about the position she’s in. I’m not sure I would want to call my mother in law to ask for her sister’s daughter’s address either (that may not be the simplest path to cousin-in-law status, I admit.)

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