Dear Annie: I have been with my husband for 21 years, and we have been married for 15 years. I truly love him very much. But I try my best to avoid his brother and his brother's wife as much as I can because, whenever I try to talk with them, they constantly interrupt me. This makes me very angry.
I have talked with my husband about this. He says it's probably because I tell a story whenever I talk. I have asked my friends and family members if that is true. All of them say no. They say that I am a straight, to-the-point type of person.
This annoys me to the point that I want to punch them in the face.
How do I get them to stop without offending them? -- Don't Interrupt Me
Dear Don't Interrupt Me: I'm not sure your anger is directed at the right place. Interrupting someone is very rude, but people do it for a lot of reasons. Many times, it has to do with the person's own anxiety. That by no means warrants a punch in the face.
Avoiding family altogether is also not the best way to resolve the conflict. Ask yourself why you are so offended by their interruptions. And next time they do it, just take a deep breath and kindly ask them to let you finish.
Dear Annie: My daughter is marrying her fiance this summer. Due to COVID-19 and financial restrictions, they are having a small outdoor wedding and reception with just immediate family and a few friends -- around 40 people.
My question is regarding the bridal shower. We have friends and other family members who are not invited to the wedding, and I wish they could come to the shower, which will be held outdoors at my home. Is it against proper etiquette to invite people to the shower when they are not invited to the wedding?
I have asked a few close friends and family members, and the replies are 50/50. I don't want to insult anyone, nor do I want to leave them out. -- Mom of the Bride
Dear Mom of the Bride: During traditional times, it would be very poor etiquette to invite someone to the bridal shower and not the wedding. But because of the pandemic, these are not traditional times. Assuming you are following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines, I say invite whomever you want to the celebration. Just be completely honest with them beforehand so they know they aren't receiving a wedding invitation because of COVID-19 restrictions. We've all had to learn to be flexible during the pandemic, so if anyone takes offense, that's their problem.
"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 email@example.com.