Adapted from a recent online discussion.
If the first impression was the worst impression, shoot for two
First impressions last: I made a terrible first impression on a date last weekend. The circumstances were bad enough that, if I heard the story from someone else, I'd tell them never to see the person again. But I really, really like the guy. How do I get him to give me a second shot, given that he already basically indicated that he doesn't want to see me again?
Carolyn: "After what I did, I wouldn't want to see me again, either, but I like you and I'm asking for a second chance." Expect him to say no, and if he does, then take no for an answer.
Know-it-all newlywed considers herself an expert on marriage
Annoyed by newlyweds: I've been married for seven years. I've got a friend, "Stacy," who married last year after a whirlwind romance of about six months.
Stacy has a tendency to be pretty self-righteous and preachy. She quickly developed a whole lot of theories about what makes a marriage successful, and she decided she and her husband have the formula just right (mind you, they're still very much in the honeymoon phase).
More power to her, but she has begun comparing my marriage to hers, which she has determined is "healthier." Do you think all idealistic newlyweds start out that way, or should I brainstorm a polite way to say, "Stuff a sock in it until you've been married longer than five minutes"?
Carolyn: Stacy is "pretty self-righteous and preachy" — so, Stacy isn't being an "idealistic newlywed," Stacy is just being Stacy. Even though her latest topic hit a nerve, approach it with whatever "whatever" you've used with her in the past.
Insulted uninvited shouldn't criticize choice of wedding day
Want to plan our wedding? My mom has been fighting cancer for 11 years, and she has stopped all treatments. Meanwhile, my sister's wedding was moved forward to August (from January 2012) in hopes that my mom can take part. We're all very happy about the decision.
Two weeks ago, I got engaged. My fiance and I are now expected to have our wedding soon after my sister's so that, again, my mom can be there. Due to scheduling circumstances, it's on Oct. 1.
I woke up this morning and thought, forget the bells and whistles and just have a private ceremony with immediate family; save Oct. 1 for a party to celebrate with the rest of the guests.
Have you heard of this working? Or does everyone become completely bitter that they weren't invited for the ceremony? My parents' friends, who eloped years ago, have never heard the end of it from their family.
Carolyn: If anyone gives you a hard time for choosing a small, quickie ceremony because otherwise you're afraid your cancer-stricken mother won't live to see your wedding, then, well, I don't have anything printable to say about them. Put together the prettiest little ceremony you can, for as soon as you can. Get key people together after your sister's wedding, unless she urges you otherwise. Good luck and congratulations.