Annie's Mailbox: Confused in California
Dear Annie: Is it unorthodox to have a one-year anniversary party? A friend of mine was married last summer. By November, she had created a save-the-date on Facebook for a one-year anniversary party. "Leona" invited everyone who had been on the wedding list, whether they attended or not. So far, only a handful have responded. Leona has since sent out printed invitations with RSVP cards. The party has been described as a casual, potluck barbecue.
To me, the whole affair is a bit unseemly. I understand wanting to have a party, but the context of it being an anniversary party to commemorate a couple that has yet to get out of the honeymoon phase seems self-centered. There is little excitement about the event, and after a few conversations with friends, I get the sense that other people feel the same way.
I'm not sure how to respond, and am a bit worried about how Leona will feel if few people show up to her gala. -- Confused in California
Dear Confused: Having an anniversary party, no matter which anniversary, is perfectly fine as long as guests are not expected to pay for it and bring expensive presents. Leona's mistake was giving the impression that it is a second wedding celebration, but we don't believe that was her intent. It sounds as though she had a great time at her own wedding and thinks her anniversary is a good excuse to recreate the fun. While we agree that the guest list is larger than propriety endorses, please look at this as a party for friends, and base your reaction solely on that. It will help.
Dear Annie: Last year, our 21-year-old son took a break from college and lived at home. I am amazed by the number of people who thought this was unacceptable and said they would never allow a child to take a year off of college.
Here's my perspective: High school graduation is like taking your 18-year-old to a large transportation hub where they have to pick a train that will take them to their next destination. Say that your young adult picks an express train. About halfway through the journey, he realizes he is on the wrong train, but there are no stops. He imagines that his choices are to stay on the train or jump off while it's going full speed. You assure him that there is an emergency brake, but everyone says the brake can't be used, or if he does, he will have to wait a long time for a train headed in a different direction, and he'll be left behind.
We encouraged our son to pull the emergency brake and a year later, we find we have a happy, healthy young adult headed on the right train. I know that had our son stayed on that express train, he'd have ended up dead on the side of the track. We are happy that we provided him with a safety net. Now he has a bright future. -- Mom
Dear Mom: No child should be left without emotional backup, and you were smart not to listen to the critics. We support the idea of a gap year before students start college where they may be living away from home for the first time. Kids can use the year to work, travel or volunteer, but it allows them to mature and be more responsible for themselves.
Annie's Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of 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.