Dear Amy: My wife and I are on a friendly basis with a couple who have two children under the age of 10.
Both of these adults are seriously overweight. The mother has stated, in fact, that she knows she is a "big girl," which (of course) is her business.
The problem is that the bad eating habits of the parents are beginning to affect the children. Both of the youngsters are now also overweight, though not yet obese.
We are very close to the grandparents, who are trying to convince the overweight mom to be more careful when feeding the children, but their efforts have been in vain. The overweight mom tells them simply to mind their own business.
I'm inclined to tell the obese parents that they must help the children to keep their weight down. Such a remark will cause a major kerfuffle, but I don't care. What do you think?
-- Want to Intervene
Dear Want to: I think that stating the obvious to these parents will make you feel triumphant -- as if you have done something smart and necessary.
You know that this remark could cause a kerfuffle and interrupt your relationship with both the parents and grandparents. Yet you seem to operate under the assumption that your point of view is meaningful to this family, which, at least from where I sit, seems pretty arrogant.
So yes -- go for it. Let me know how things turn out.
Dear Amy: My fiance and I are planning a wedding in a few weeks. It is not our first wedding and we are including our children in the ceremony. We reserved a few tables at a local restaurant to have a happy hour with family and friends from out of town the night before the ceremony.
I have a small group of high school friends who live out of state, and another small group of college friends (all of whom live here in town). We decided to invite the high school friends since they were coming in from out of town and we don't get to see them often.
There is one high school friend who lives here in town. She is friends with our local college friends.
We decided to invite her to the happy hour, since she is part of the high school group who don't get to see each other often. When she found out we weren't inviting the in-town/college group, she said she wouldn't come. She claimed that it put her in an awkward situation, and that she didn't want an invite to a wedding event where other local people weren't included.
At first I was annoyed. Then mad. Then sad. I was looking for a drama-free, excited weekend. I certainly don't want to be walking on eggshells with someone I have known for most of my life.
I don't remember ever questioning someone else's event guest list.
Am I wrong?
-- Embarrassed Bride
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Dear Bride: I'm going to suggest that you look at this episode as a grand opportunity.
The rudeness displayed by this particular friend should teach -- and then remind -- you to keep your eye on the ball during your wedding celebration.
You are correct that guests should not question a host's guest list. This particular pronouncement does not require any sort of reply from you. You should file this person's attitude in your "...WhatEVER" file.
Living beautifully and being happy is the best response to the petty slings and darts others occasionally lob our way. Enjoy your day.
Dear Amy: Responding to "Unappreciated Stepmom," you say that teenagers should not be grateful?
I drove a school bus with middle and high school children. I can tell you for certain that there are grateful teenagers. Some are wealthy. Some are poor. Some are in the middle.
This teen should be grateful for having even a broken family who cares enough to worry about her.
This father should be grateful to have a wife who cares enough to write you a letter seeking advice.
This stepmom should be grateful to have been given a chance to affect change and help a child to live a life with gratitude and a solid work ethic, despite challenges.
I usually agree with your advice, but you muffed this one.
Dear Jill: Thank you. There are definitely grateful teenagers.
This stepdaughter had been bounced around between families. Her stepmother expected gratitude for basically putting a roof over the teen's head. I feel optimistic that the gratitude will come later.
(You can contact Amy Dickinson via email: email@example.com. Readers may send postal mail to Amy Dickinson, c/o Tribune Content Agency, 16650 Westgrove Drive, Suite 175, Addison, Texas, 75001. You can also follow her on Twitter @askingamy or "like" her on Facebook.)