Life Advice



Annie's Mailbox: A Grandmother Who Doesn't Get It

Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar on

Dear Annie: When is enough, enough? My granddaughter is getting married for the third time in August. We received a "save the date" card six months ago.

The first time this granddaughter got married, I attended the wedding and gave her a generous gift. The second time, I sent a card with a small check. But this is going too far.

My question is, am I obligated to attend this wedding? It is out of state, which means a plane fare, hotel and yet another gift. I say "no more." A simple card will suffice.

People say I am wrong, but there comes a time when "no" is the only answer in my book. My daughter is upset that no one in the family went to her other daughter's wedding -- which was also her second marriage and in another state.

I would like to know what you think. -- A Grandmother Who Doesn't Get It

Dear Grandmother: If you were unrelated, we'd say a card is perfect. But you are not just any guest. You are the grandmother and this puts you in a separate category. (Not to mention, third weddings should be very small affairs.)

No one is obligated to attend any wedding, particularly a second or third. But your daughter obviously wants the support of her family and your blessing would mean a lot. If you can afford to attend, it would be a kindness to do so, but we understand the hardship of an out-of-state wedding. You also are not obligated to keep giving gifts for subsequent marriages. But again, as the grandmother, you may wish to send something small, such as a picture frame or bottle of wine.

The point is not to create a rift, upset your daughter or make your granddaughter think you love her less because she can't seem to get her act together. We say, send her a lovely card with a small token gift. Add that you are so sorry you cannot attend, but you will be thinking of her.


Dear Annie: You would be a hero to English teachers everywhere, and a help to many people, if you would use your column to explain when to use "I" and when to use "me."

"I" is a subject pronoun (in the same group with we, she, they, etc.). "Me" is an object pronoun (as in us, her, him and them). "I" never is used after a proposition.

To me, it's simple. Use "me" where you would use "us," and use "I" when you would use "we." -- A Faithful Reader

Dear Faithful: Dear Faithful: We know many readers' eyes glazed over as soon as you said "subject pronoun." But your basic instruction is good -- use "me" when you would similarly use "us," and use "I" when you would similarly use "we." We've noticed this happens most often when people think using "I" is more classy than using "me." No, it's not. Sometimes, using a different pronoun or the singular version makes it obvious which is the correct choice. We've heard people say, "Jim and me went to the store," but if you remove "Jim," you'd never say, "Me went to the store" (unless you are Cookie Monster).

And for all those who are still paying attention, the correct phrase is "between you and me." Please.


"Annie's Mailbox" is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar. This column was originally published in 2016. To find out more about Classic Annie's Mailbox and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit Creators Syndicate at




Mother Goose & Grimm Non Sequitur Dinette Set Pearls Before Swine Steve Breen Loose Parts