Dear Amy: Last year, I asked “Hannah” to be my maid of honor for my destination wedding.
She exuberantly accepted and we both started planning. The wedding was only about five months away, so things needed to be figured out quickly.
I gave Hannah no less than three different options of times to go dress shopping. She was always “unable to make it.”
She is single, with a car, and has no real reason to be unavailable.
After a couple months of this, I let Hannah know that I was really sorry, but another friend would be stepping in as maid of honor. I said I still very much wanted her as a bridesmaid.
Long story short: she completely freaked. She told me I was a terrible person, how dare I do this to her when she “spent so much time and effort on this already,” that I obviously didn’t care about our friendship, and she didn’t want anything more to do with me!
Our young daughters (both 9 years old) were best friends.
I have tried to repair this friendship. It still bothers me that maybe I was in the wrong. I also want to help restore our daughters’ friendship. She won’t even let her daughter have play dates with us anymore.
Can I get your objective opinion? Was I so wrong in picking a different maid of honor? Or should I have just sucked it up and dealt with Hannah’s problematic schedule?
Should I continue to try to repair this?
Dear Bothered: You both blew it.
From your account, Hannah was helpful in exuberantly partnering with you to plan this wedding quickly.
Must a maid of honor accompany the bride to shop for dresses? No.
If Hannah had a specific reason for wanting to skip this task, she should have told you (rather than dodging), but rather than demoting her, you could have simply told her that due to your own schedule, you were going to try to get another person to go dress shopping with you. So, yes, you should have sucked it up.
Your choice to judge her for having “no real reason to be unavailable” is unfortunate.
No MOH who has already committed to the role will value being demoted.
You slighted her, and Hannah overreacted. Taking this feud to the next generation is unkind.
Dear Amy: We believe our daughter’s partner has a drinking problem. When he’s around alcohol, he occasionally overindulges.
The most recent occurrence happened when my wife and I were away from home for the evening, and they were at our home.
There was a six-pack of beer and a bottle of rum in the house when we left, and both were gone when we returned.
We have a history of witnessing bad behavior from our daughter’s various partners. We don’t want to completely lose our relationship with our daughter and grandchildren, so I’m at a loss of how to bring this up without seeming to attack her judgment and further alienate her from us.
We could simply hide the alcohol, but do you think we should discuss this with him alone or with them as a couple?
History of Miscommunications
Dear History: You don’t actually know who consumed all of this alcohol. (Your daughter might have done her part.)
You might want to contact both your daughter and her partner and say, “After you were at our house the other night, we noticed a six-pack of beer and a bottle of rum were gone. Did you guys have a party and not invite us?”
Generally, you should assume that any family members staying in your home will help themselves to consumables, unless you’ve expressly asked them not to.
In the future, put anything you don’t want consumed — whether it is alcohol, leftovers or Mint Milano cookies — out of reach (in an extreme case, you could use a cooler in the trunk of your car).
Dear Amy: This is for “Constantly Tuned In,” who keeps the TV on all night — but then the TV awakens her.
Here’s how I cured my insomnia: I listen to a very long audio book over and over.
It helps me fall asleep, but I know the story, so it doesn’t keep me awake. Unlike a TV or radio, an audio book has no sudden alterations in sound to awaken me.
I have been listening to something all night for over 40 years.
Sleeping in Culver City
Dear Sleeping: I love your solution.
You can email Amy Dickinson at firstname.lastname@example.org or send a letter to Ask Amy, P.O. Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068. You can also follow her on Twitter @askingamy or Facebook.