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Annie’s Mailbox: Don’t invite aunt who invites others

Marcy Sugar and Kathy Mitchell Creators Syndicate

Dear Annie: Every year, my husband and I host a couple of family holiday gatherings. We exclude two family members because they are not pleasant to be around. One is an obnoxious alcoholic, and the other has psychological problems and is antisocial. I decided years ago never to have them in my home again.

The problem is, my great-aunt, “Betsy,” insists that these two be included and, against my wishes, invites them herself.

I’m outraged by this rude behavior and have told her repeatedly not to do this. But Aunt Betsy recently informed me that she has invited them again this year. She’s determined to have it her way, and I’m at my wits’ end. What should I do about her? – Fed Up with Family

Dear Fed Up: You have three choices: Tolerate it, stop inviting Aunt Betsy or stop hosting family events. We understand that she wants the entire family included, especially for holidays, and we sympathize. Normally, we recommend tolerating the relatives for the few times a year that this happens. But it’s your home and your guest list, and, right or wrong, no one else gets to make those decisions. For the next gathering, you might suggest to Aunt Betsy that she host the event and invite whomever she wishes. Or perhaps one of the other relatives would be willing to take on this responsibility. Then your choice is simply whether or not to attend.

Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please email your questions to anniesmailbox@, or write to: Annie’s Mailbox, c/o Creators Syndicate, 737 Third Street, Hermosa Beach, CA 90254.
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