Annie's Mailbox: Evil Stepmother
Dear Annie: A year ago, my husband's grown daughter announced that she would be getting married this summer. She has lived in another state since her graduation from college five years ago. Despite heated conversations, she decided to marry there, saying her friends' attendance is more important than having her family there.
Her father has always tried to stay involved in her life (to the extent that her mother would allow), so you can imagine his shock when he was told she had decided to have her stepfather walk her down the aisle. This has caused a huge rift in the family, and my husband feels the only way to save face is to stay away from the ceremony. Eager to avoid the expense of attending the wedding, his extended family has also decided not to attend as a show of support.
There are only a few months left before the big day, and I fear this may cause a permanent end to the father-daughter relationship, along with those relatives who feel she has made a big mistake. Is there any way for this to be resolved? -- Evil Stepmother
Dear Stepmother: You are smart to be concerned. It's possible your stepdaughter is being pressured by her mother to have her stepfather walk her down the aisle. Has your husband spoken to his daughter about this? Has he asked whether perhaps he might walk her halfway? Would she give him another role during the wedding? She should be considerate enough to allow for compromise.
Your husband needs to discuss this calmly with his daughter, letting her know how much he loves her and how much this hurts him. He should NOT turn it into a concern about "saving face." This wedding is not about him, and we hope he can put aside his own pain to be supportive of his child. If other family members choose not to go, so be it. But please encourage him to go regardless. It could indeed cause a permanent estrangement if he stays away on her big day.
Dear Annie: I had to take a moment to respond to "Bored in the USA," who has several friends who talk incessantly.
I had a friend like that. When she retired, she spent all of her holidays with my family, and we often went to the movies together. It seemed the moment "Beth" walked in the door, she would talk, talk, talk. It was exhausting.
One day, I determined that the reason she talked so much was because she was lonely. Beth was a widow and had no children. When I realized this was her need to reach out and connect, it was a bit easier to deal with.
Beth passed away a few years back, and I still get wistful at holidays. I'd give anything to have that constant chatter back. -- You Never Know What You'll Miss
Dear Miss: It's interesting that sometimes the things that drive us crazy are the things we miss the most. You are kind to consider your friend's loneliness as the reason she became a chatterbox. We hope others can be as generous.
This Classic Annie's Mailbox column was originally published in 2015. To find out more about Classic Annie's Mailbox and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit Creators Syndicate at www.creators.com.