DEAR ABBY: I am being married to the love of my life. Aside from my soon-to-be husband, the most important participant in our wedding will be my 70-year-old father, whom I adore. Dad has been dating a woman, “Mary,” on and off since my parents’ divorce 25 years ago. Mary has always had health issues (lupus, kidney disease, alcoholism, etc.), so she rarely attends family functions. Dad is in excellent health, enjoys the outdoors and is very involved in his children’s and grandchildren’s lives.
Recently, Dad has been spending the majority of his time taking care of sickly Mary, including spending six weeks in a distant city while she underwent surgery and recovery. My siblings and I feel Dad deserves someone who can enjoy life and participate in similar activities, but we acknowledge this is the person he has chosen to be with.
Mary will be attending my wedding as my father’s guest. If she’s feeling ill, tired, or too weak to withstand the festivities, I am terrified Dad will make an early exit to take her back to the hotel. I would be devastated if he missed out on celebrating the most important day of my life. I also do not want her in the wedding photos, which is a whole other issue. Am I being a selfish Bridezilla, or should I voice my concerns to my father prior to the big day? — APPREHENSIVE DADDY’S GIRL
DEAR DADDY’S GIRL: Have you not learned by now that you cannot control what another person does? I’m sure your father would love to spend every moment of your special day with you, but there are other priorities to consider. Mary, whose health is poor, is making every effort to be there to honor you. If it becomes too much for her, what would you have your father do — call 911 and let the paramedics haul her off?
In the interest of family harmony, PLEASE grow up and stop obsessing because, to say the least, it is unbecoming. As to the wedding photos, if you don’t want her in the pictures, pose her on the END, so you can crop her out of them if you wish.
DEAR ABBY: I have a question about office etiquette. My job requires that I meet with many vendors and salespeople, as well as hold informal meetings with other staff and upper management in my office.
My question: When welcoming people into “my space,” should I wait for them to be seated or, as this is my home turf, can I just go ahead and sit and then wait for them to get comfortable? I have attempted to gauge my actions on other staff, but it hasn’t helped, as each seems to have their own agenda. Until now I have played it by ear, but a definitive answer would be appreciated. — TRYING TO SET A GOOD EXAMPLE
DEAR TRYING: If I am escorting people into my office, we usually seat ourselves at the same time. If you are with a client, say “Please, have a seat,” and wait for that person to get comfortable. When you’re with co-workers, it isn’t necessary to stand — or sit — on ceremony.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.