DEAR ABBY: I couldn’t be happier for my friends who are embarking on the next chapter of their lives with their partners, but I’m becoming increasingly anxious about their bachelorette parties. When did the bachelorette party become such a big production? While I have attended my fair share, I think they are getting increasingly extravagant and pricey.
I’m trying to prioritize my own next step in life, which is buying a home, and it feels like I’m being “invited” to spend a significant chunk of my savings over the course of a few months. (The weddings themselves will require significant travel.) The bachelorette party I’m most concerned about is for a wedding in which I have been asked to be a bridesmaid. For this reason, I feel obligated to attend. The cost associated with the weekend is $2,500 per person and will total $20,000 for three days. This equals three months of rent for me, and I’m finding it hard to justify this kind of expense. I get anxious thinking about the other expenses — flights, accommodations, gifts — and time-off requests from work.
My first instinct is to say “No,” but it’s hard to refuse a bride who is so important to me. I want to be supportive and involved during this exciting time for her. How much is too much? What is the proper etiquette for being in the wedding party and attending the bachelorette party? Should I have asked about this before accepting to be in the bridal party?
— ANXIOUS ATTENDANT
DEAR ANXIOUS ATTENDANT: Yes, you should have asked the bride before accepting her invitation to join the wedding party. And it is not too late to speak up. Contrary to popular belief, bachelorette parties and weddings do NOT “go together like a horse and carriage.” TALK with your friend. Explain that all of the costs (travel, outfit and wedding gift) are more than you can afford. If you do, she may tell you it’s enough that you travel to and participate in the wedding. However, if she doesn’t, back out so she can replace you.
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DEAR ABBY: My husband, who is in his 60s, wears a baseball cap all day, every day, to hide a bald spot on the back of his head. He has worn that same dirty cap for two years and even wears it to work. He wears it in the house and only removes it when he is sleeping. I have suggested he wash it or replace it, but he refuses and he makes a tsk-tsk noise when I tell him I don’t think it’s healthy to wear something filthy on your head for two years.
— DISGUSTED IN FLORIDA
DEAR DISGUSTED: You are correct; it isn’t healthy. According to the Cleveland Clinic, moderate exposure to sunlight increases vitamin D levels in the body, which is not only beneficial to good health, but it also encourages hair growth. Your husband is doing himself no favors by constantly wearing that (dirty) baseball cap, especially indoors. If he does it because he’s self-conscious about his bald spot, there are products that can minimize it, and effective surgical options if he would be willing to spend the money.