Ask Amy: Quinceanera guests’ drinks may drain dad’s funds
Dear Amy: My daughter is going to be celebrating her quinceanera this summer.
I am divorced from her mom, who has re-married and is extremely comfortable financially.
I do not begrudge her this and am happy for her new life.
To put it into perspective, she's bought a new home, put a pool in, traveled all around the country, etc.
On the other hand, things are very tight for me moneywise, and this costly celebration will put a strain on me.
While I'm happy to split most costs of the extravaganza 50-50 (as I should), I am only going to have about a dozen people present, while my ex-wife will have nearly 100.
My family drinks very little alcohol, while my ex's friends and family are known to go overboard in this area.
I fear the alcohol portion of the bill is going to be astronomical, and I am not convinced I should be expected to pay half of it.
I was curious if you agree with me and how I may go about approaching this with her so as not to ruffle feathers.
– High and Dry
Dear High and Dry: You should meet with your ex and her husband, and the three of you should go over the details and the related costs of this important – and sometimes lavish — celebration (traditionally given for Latinx girls on their 15th birthday).
According to thepricer.org, the costs for a “quince” celebration range between $5,000 to $20,000.
I assume your ex is aware of your financial situation, as well as the disproportional representation of your family members at the party. Yes, you could certainly offer to cover half of the costs, minus alcohol.
You must be honest about your personal limit, and also offer to find ways to cut costs. You might be able to raise additional funds from your daughter’s padrinos and madrinas (godparents and friends), who traditionally sometimes choose to honor the family by taking on an expense related to the celebration.
Dear Amy: My husband and I got married 35 years ago.
Our wedding was wonderful — with one exception that still haunts me today.
After sending out the invitations, I heard back from everyone except about a half dozen people.
At the time, I asked my mother who always knew the socially correct action to take. (I still have her 1920s edition of Emily Post’s “Etiquette.”)
My mother advised me not to contact them so as to “not offend” their choice of not responding. So, I did nothing.
Long story short, these friends never got their invitations! I found out much later that they were extremely hurt because they thought they weren’t invited to our wedding!
My apologies and explanations were for naught. They either didn’t believe me, or they took it so personally that in each case, the friendships were never the same and some dissolved entirely.
Mine is the cautionary tale. When I read a recent column of yours and saw your advice regarding hosts following up on invitations, my heart sang!
Yes, any would-be guest who has received a “Save the Date” but no actual wedding invitation should contact the couple to follow up.
But also, may I add that all future “marrieds-to-be” should absolutely CONTACT ALL GUESTS from whom they have not received a response!
– Save Some Heartache
Dear Save Some: This year especially, it is important that anyone planning – or planning to attend – an event should follow up to make sure they have all of the details correct.
Because of the pandemic, so many festivities (graduation parties, showers, and weddings) were canceled, rescheduled, scaled down, or scaled back up that it is extremely easy for guests and hosts to lose track.
So many people have lost so much. Anyone celebrating anything – anything at all – should do so with a grateful spirit and a full heart.
I hope we will all be as patient as possible as we enjoy our hopeful but fitful return to semi-normalcy.
Dear Amy: I was upset by your knee-jerk response to the “Gardener,” who saw two neighborhood boys stealing plants from her garden.
She should not contact the authorities. She should contact the parents.
– Plant the Seed
Dear Plant: This woman recognized, but didn’t know, these teens. I do not assume that these trespassers and petty thieves are headed for a life of crime. One reason I suggested contacting the local police office was to explore the possibility that there were other reports of plant theft from around their town.
©2021 Amy Dickinson. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.