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Tell Me About It: There’s no obligation to throw a big party

By Carolyn Hax, Washington Post

Q: We have hit the age of the full-class invite to birthday parties. Yet, I am unlikely to throw a full-class party. Is it bad form for my kid to attend if itís not a close friend and she didnít invite/wonít be inviting the kid to her (very small) party? Is it OK to decline just because we need family time? How much say should the kid get in attendance?

Anonymous

A: No, you donít have to throw big parties;

No, you donít have to skip big parties just because you donít throw them;

Yes, itís OK to decline just because you need family time;

Yes, your kid should have some say in deciding whether to go, of course.

Please always be mindful of the feelings of the child for whom the party is being thrown.

Bride-to-be expects bridesmaids to work

Q: My future mother-in-law asked that my soon-to-be sister-in-law, "Sue," be included in the bridal party and I agreed. The problem is I am planning to have a smallish wedding party, only three plus my sister as the maid of honor. Two of the four are out of town and canít help much and Sue isnít really stepping up to the plate. That leaves my poor sister to do everything.

The bridesmaids need to fill their traditional duties if this is going to work. Sue doesnít seem that interested or invested.

It seems silly for both of us to be doing this out of a misplaced sense of obligation. Would it be alright if I had a frank talk with her to see if sheíd be just as happy bowing out and letting one of my friends take over? And if she does agree, how do I best break the news to my fiancťís mom?

Now Or Never

A: Your wedding depends on the unpaid labor of your friends?

Thatís what you need to rethink, not the inclusion of your future sister-in-law. Your poor sister indeed.