Dear Annie: I know I am stuck in the “old ways,” but I am trying to adapt to changing times. It is becoming very common for couples to live together before marriage.
While I have come to accept traditional and extravagant weddings as an occasion to finally declare their commitment before church and family, what I still struggle with are the bridal showers. This tradition is to gift the bride (and groom) with the necessities to set up their home as they begin their married life together. Many couples now have lived together for years in a furnished home. I doubt they are living without dishes, pots, towels, an iron, toaster or bedsheets! Why, just because they decide to marry, do they think they should be showered with everything new? I sit in shock as brides open all those gifts that I know they must already have. One bride even said that since she had most everything, all the new gifts would be put away until she and her husband have a new home someday. Really? I’m to furnish her future home?!
If times have changed, maybe traditions should, too: Cancel the bridal shower if the couple has already set up house. – Like the Old Ways Better
Dear like the old ways better: I love the old ways as well. But I’m not so sure that the old ways were all that different. Whether people are living together or not, they still would appreciate an upgrade from their used pots, pans, dishes, glasses and sheets. After the wedding ceremony, they will be living together as a married couple, and that is something that should be celebrated!
Worry less about what is in the couple’s cupboard and more about what is in the couple’s heart. Wish them a very long and happy marriage and give them a gift that they will appreciate together as they enter this new and sacred phase of life.
Dear Annie: I have been talking to a guy overseas who says he’s in the military. However, I think he is sort of starting to be a scammer. Over the past few months, he has been asking for iTunes and Amazon gift cards. Now he wants me to open up a bank account online in my name, claiming that his colleague will be the one to add the money to the account. He keeps pressing me to give him my information, such as my online username, password and Social Security number. I feel reluctant to do this. What should I do? – Feeling Uncomfortable
Dear Feeling Uncomfortable: Heed your feelings. This guy isn’t just “starting to be a scammer”; he’s been a scammer all along. Don’t let him prey on you any longer. Take screenshots of his messages for your records and write down any other information you have on him; then block him on all messaging platforms. Don’t tell him you’re doing so, as he’ll just try wiggling his way back into your heart.
Then report him to the Federal Trade Commission (https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov), and check out the FTC’s blog post titled “Has an online love interest asked you for money?” You might recognize some uncanny similarities to your experience.
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