Q: My husband is a mechanic and constantly has people asking him to work on their cars, on evenings or weekends. What is a nice way to say "no"? They offer to pay for parts, but offer no real compensation. Not only is it not fair to him, but I'm the one left picking up the slack at home. Any advice?
A: "Sorry, my family has first dibs on my weekends." But why isn't he just saying no? Are you the one asking me because he doesn't want to say no? Then, good luck. Or were you both trained to believe only selfish people say no? Then why aren't these moochers the selfish ones? The way to say no is to believe in your right to, and trust good people will get that. The rest is just words.
In departure from tradition, gay couple can pay for own wedding
Q: I have a daughter who is gay and getting married. It is my understanding that the bride's parents traditionally pay for the wedding and the groom's parents pay for the rehearsal proceedings. How is this handled when there are two women involved.
A: I like the idea of letting the couple pay for it, gay or straight. That builds in a requirement that their vision fit their means. If you want to pay some or all, though, then offer without guilt, as long as you aren't feeding a sense of entitlement. To my mind, this is one of the beautiful fringe benefits of marriage equality: Where tradition no longer fits, the logic of individual circumstances rightly steps in.