Life Advice



Ask Amy: Elaborate birthday bash disappoints host

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Dear Readers: Every year during this time I step away from my column to work on other creative projects. I hope you enjoy these (edited) “Best Of” Q&As from 10 years ago.

Today’s topic is: Birthday bashes.

I also invite readers to subscribe to my weekly “Asking Amy” newsletter, at, where I post a favorite Q&A, as well as commentary about what I’m reading, watching, and listening to.

I’ll be back with fresh columns in two weeks.

Dear Amy: We just celebrated my daughter's first birthday with a wonderful party at a catering hall. We had live entertainment, food, an open bar for the adults, flowers, balloons, favors, you name it!

I spent months planning for this party to make it a perfect event. This is my third child, and every party has been a big event like this one.


My problem is rude guests. I had more than half of the party (20 families) respond several days past the RSVP date. They showed up one to two hours late with no apology, and some left early.

These guests took it upon themselves to sit wherever they wanted, even when I had place cards with assigned seating. As much as I love to throw parties for my children, in the end, I feel disappointed, insulted and used.

Should I stop having these parties, or should I continue doing what my children and I enjoy and ignore the rudeness?

– Frustrated Mother


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