1. Winkle

    I’m in the wedding party (groomsman) for a destination wedding in 3 months. The cost has become extravagent, $400+ on clothing, $400+ on travel, and I just got an email detailing housing costs (which I thought was going to be taken care of with talking to the groom) at $600. This family is fairly well off and I think they might just be slightly oblivious to the burden they are putting on us as we are only 3 years out of college and still trying to make ends meet. I want to be there for my friend’s wedding, but the costs are getting high. Would it be inappropriate to bring up the topic to them? I don’t want to get everyone mad at me. I knew this would be a financial commitment, but it seems my options are to mention my concerns, back out of the wedding, or break the bank. I could use some help with this topic. Thank you.

    • Alicia

      Talk to your friend. Cheaper attire should be an option say a tux rental rather then purchase. Also housing of 600 perhaps there is someplace cheaper you can stay. Talk to the groom explain the truth that you want to be there but this is busting your budget and see what can be done. Stay elsewhere, share a hotel room with another broke groomsman, or rent attire or buy cheaper attire. Also check dealsites maybe you can get the travel cheaper.

      • Joanna

        DEFINITELY talk to your friend!! It’s highly possible he and his bride to be are just so excited and caught up in the coming event that they are forgetting it’s not the focal point of the year for everyone else. Or, perhaps it’s simply a matter of everyone viewing finances through a different lens — what is expensive to one person is not to another, and vice versa.

  2. Navi

    We live in a small community. We became friends with a family that had newly moved in. My daughter is a senior & their’s is a sophomore. They are two different personalities- my daughter is humble, quiet, academic but very mature. Theirs is the opposite- extrovert, has an attitude. I did not know this when we met them the first time and I asked my daughter to be nice to their daughter since the girl was new. My daughter told me that she tried but it seems that this girl gave her a lot of attitude and likes to hang out with popular kids. Things coasted along for a while, we became friends with the parents while my daughter never visited them in their house. Since then, my daughter did well in college admissions process and she is somewhat popular.
    Recently, this family visited us with this daughter and my daughter totally avoided and ignored her after the initial greetings. The parents seem to now think badly of my daughter and I don’t like it. Is there some way to set the record straight? This is a small community and I would not like these people to bad-mouth my daughter. What could my daughter have done when these people visited?

    • Alicia

      What record would you like set strait. Your daughter who was of the hosting family was not a gracious hostess. She ignored and avoided a guest of the house. When you and your family invited this young lady into your home your family had the obligation to be gracious hosts and hostesses. Your daughter was not a gracious hostess and snubbed a guest of the house this was wrong. She does not need to be friends with this girl but when this girl is a guest in your house should be gracious. Snubbing her is not gracious. So the options are 1. you do not invite young people into the house whom your daughter dislikes to the point of being ungracious or 2 your daughter learns that one can be a kind and gracious hostess without being close friends.
      Daughter should have been nice to this lady while she was in your home. Her failure to do so does reflect badly on your daughter and on your whole family.
      In life we often have a spouse, date, kid of our friends that gets invited to events on the strength of their connections to be able to graciously host these people is a social skill. This is a life skill you should teach your daughter .

    • Winifred Rosenburg

      I agree with Alicia. If it makes you feel better, I doubt this story will create much of an impression on anyone. Stand-offish teens aren’t exactly unusual.

      • Joanna

        I agree as well. Your daughter was very much in the wrong here. While she doesn’t need to socialize with the other girl at school or in town, she definitely needs to be polite and friendly when she’s a guest in her home. Unfortunately, we’ve all been in the position of having a guest we’d really rather not entertain — the key, though, is basically to just suck it up for a couple hours as best you can. A guest should never be given the impression that she isn’t liked or wanted in the host’s home, even if that really is the case.

  3. Navi

    You are right. All this is post-facto analysis. I don’t feel like telling off my daughter as the way she avoided this girl was to help me out that day with dinner, serving and cleaning etc as there were 5 more families. She could have chosen to go out with her friends that day. She is a nice girl generally that is why I was surprised when I saw that she seemed to be avoiding direct conversation with this girl.
    I will have to figure out a way to patch up with this family and to have a conversation with my daughter.

    That brings me to the next question- Are the children expected to be home when there are guests over? I have noticed that when I have gone on visits with formal invites, the host’s children have gone out on their own play dates etc. even when the invitation included my children as well. I have always made sure that my kids stayed at home when we have guests who have children as well.

    • Elizabeth

      I’m curious whether the family has brought up your daughter’s behavior to you directly? If so, I find that to be rather heavy handed. The girls are teenagers, not young children who are still in the process of being taught basic manners. I’m not sure why it’s such a big deal that they just don’t like each other or get along very well. It sounds like they have really different personalities, and I think the age difference (senior/sophomore) could also have something to do with it. It doesn’t sound like your daughter was blatantly rude, but just avoidant – which is exactly what I would recommend to someone who has to be at a big party with one person they don’t like. And it’s not like she retreated to her room, but was helping with the meal and circulating with other people.

      I don’t know that you have to raise this with the other family. Something so light as this is best just let alone. If they do bring it up, I would dismiss it with a comment like: “Oh, teenage girls, who can keep track of their social lives…” or “oh yes, daughter was just in a funky mood that day…” or “oh, I’m sorry that your daughter was upset, but at this age we should really let them work it out themselves…”

      However, I would talk to your daughter – not to chastise her (it doesn’t sound like she really did anything wrong), only to make her realize that her behavior has had consequences that she should be aware of. She should know that the avoidance was perceived as stand-offish and was taken with a bit of offense. She may choose to go that route again, but she should choose with eyes open. You might also point out that her avoiding the other girl has put you in a bind with the parents (if it has) so that she knows it has consequences for others besides herself.

    • Joanna

      Children, sure, but your daughter are really not anymore — an 18-year-old is a young adult and certainly isn’t expected/required to be present at all her parents’ events.

      I’m surprised at a family with young children who would have them away when they know other young children will be coming to visit. That is really rude, not to mention just plain inconsiderate, since the parents must certainly know the kids will be bored within a short time.

  4. ANders

    Is it ever ok to use even the most innocent of racial stereotypes when talking to a large group of people? We are meeting with some clients from India and I need to instruct my group on basic customs etc, and I just want to explain that we don’t have to bow like the rest of Asia. Is this acceptable instruction or does it cross a line?

    • Savanna

      When I read the first sentence of that, you made me raise my eyebrows. However, I think with a little tact, you will be okay. Personally, I wouldn’t consider that a racial stereotype, more like a cultural tradition.

      • Joanna

        Agreed…traditions and cultural norms are not stereotypes. For one thing, traditions are typically positive things, such as “X group likes to welcome guests to the home with such and such” or “X group is fond is serving such and such foods,” where stereotypes are negative, such as “Y group is a bunch of crooks who’ll steal anything that’s not nailed down.” So, yeah, I would definitely say that it’s not only acceptable but also commendable for you to go over basic customs with your clients! Personally, I would really be touched if a visitor from another country arrived in my city and showed they had put a bit of thought into trying to “fit in,” so to speak.

        • Anders

          but only very specific parts of Asia practice bowing traditions. India, while still Asian, do not. Thus Im painting with a very broad brush if I say “Asians” and “bowing” together as though they are an assumed fit.

          • Savannah Warren

            Do you have a meeting that you do bow at? If so you could say something like, “Unlike at the meeting with the jumbo-tron company, the custom here is to…” Although I’ll be honest, I think your stressing over something that isn’t a big deal. Maybe just use different words.

            My grandfather worked for a company that helped immigrants. If he had a dinner or if people were coming over with a different cultural tradition than I was used to, he would explain to me what would happen. It helped me make friends and helped people feel more comfortable in our home.

            I think by explaining to your group the cultural traditions of this new area, you are giving them valuable information that could help your company. Knowing the traditions and maybe a few words of the local language, could help set your group apart. I think it’s great you want your group to appear cultured.

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