Dear Annie: My sister’s 32-year-old daughter, “Sasha,” lives with her. Since she was a teenager, Sasha has been in and out of jail for theft and fraud. She has stolen from me and every other relative. If Sasha is in your home, you can be sure things will be missing. My sister, however, continues to think the best of her daughter.
My husband and I are having a large party to which my sister will be invited. I have no problem making sure she understands that the invitation does not extend to Sasha, but I recognize that this will offend my sister, who probably won’t come.
Can you suggest a less hurtful way to invite my sister but not her untrustworthy daughter? – Finally Had It
Dear Finally: If your sister refuses to recognize that her daughter has a serious problem, there is no way to exclude Sasha without offending her mother. You can phrase it diplomatically and apologize for not being able to invite Sasha to your party, but if your sister chooses not to come, so be it. You cannot be expected to open your home to someone who repeatedly steals from you and will likely steal from your guests, as well.