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Little Kids and Big Days Can Mean a Huge Mess

Annie Lane on

Dear Annie: I guess I need to be brought into 2020 on an issue of wedding etiquette. I lived for several years in the Deep South, and it was a common practice to feed your family before attending a wedding, BBQ or other function, especially when you had children. The reason is so that your spouse and kids would not swarm the appetizer table or buffet line and completely embarrass you

Recently, I attended a wedding where one woman and her spouse brought their six kids. Additionally, there were countless other children. There was an appetizer table set up while the wedding party had photos taken, and the children acted like they hadn't eaten in weeks. They also ran, played tag and generally acted like it was a game to see who could take the most from the table. They did not get food and then find a seat to settle down and eat. An 86-year-old man, a family member of the groom, left before the meal as he was concerned someone would make him fall!

There was a cash bar there as well. I, too, left early -- and I am the parent of one of the people being married. The children were already running without any parental supervision, and I did not think alcohol was going to improve the situation.

Was I wrong to just ignore the hoards of children running through the dance floor and dashing under tables?

I did not know all the people to ask them to control their children, but I also did not feel it was my place -- Confused Southerner

Dear Confused Southerner: I'm sorry that you had to experience that. I don't think it matters if it's 1920 or 2020 -- allowing children to take all of the food and run around as if it's recess on a playground is incredibly rude. Their parents should have stopped them and explained that they need to be respectful during a wedding and that it is an honor to be invited, so they should act accordingly.

In hindsight, you should have said something to the parents of the children -- politely and firmly.

Dear Annie: I live in an apartment with my boyfriend, and the neighbor next door keeps coming out of her apartment to investigate who is at our residence. Or she comes out when we have company and rudely interrupts our gathering. She has to know who is there and what we are doing. She purposely eavesdrops on our conversations and has called our landlord. She even called the police, giving false statements that my boyfriend and I were fighting. We have been threatened by the landlord that we have to move out if we don't stop, despite our explaining that there is no fighting.

 

We don't bother her, and we do not have any other issues with her. We have tried to get along with her. We even told her she does not need to come out every time someone visits us. I have started documenting her actions, and since I get along with all the other neighbors in the building, I am going to get statements from them as well.

She doesn't talk to us, but she continues to come out to investigate.

What is the best advice to get her to stop the unnecessary invasion of privacy? What is my next step? -- Tired of Nosey Neighbor

Dear Tired of Nosy Neighbor: Your next step is to talk to her again. Ask her to kindly mind her own business. If she does not, then you can continue documenting her snooping. Give the documentation to your landlord and save a copy for your records.

You have every right to feel comfortable in your own home and don't need to put up with someone intruding on your personal space.

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"Ask Me Anything: A Year of Advice From Dear Annie" is out now! Annie Lane's debut book -- featuring favorite columns on love, friendship, family and etiquette -- is available as a paperback and e-book. Visit http://www.creatorspublishing.com for more information. Send your questions for Annie Lane to dearannie@creators.com.

 

 

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