Dear Annie: Three months ago, my husband and I received a save-the-date card for a wedding. At one time, we were very close to the bride’s parents, but we seldom see them anymore. The date conflicted with a trip my husband and I were taking, so we changed our plans to be able to attend the wedding.
After a few months, we learned through mutual friends that wedding invitations had been sent out – but we never received one. I can only assume they needed to trim the guest list and we didn’t make the cut. I wouldn’t have been offended to not be invited to the wedding if we hadn’t received the save-the-date card. Plus, we changed our trip plans to accommodate them, and our trip is now at a less convenient time.
Is this a common practice? We’ve never had this happen before. I run into the bride’s mother several times a year. Should I say something? – Uninvited
Dear Uninvited: It’s not common to send a save-the-date card and never follow up with an invitation. What is common is things getting lost in the mail. If they took the time to send you a save-the-date, they were probably pretty sure they wanted you at the wedding.
Ask the bride’s mother whether she can check with her daughter to see whether you’re still invited to the wedding; leave her an easy out by being understanding. Don’t ask, and you risk their assuming you blew off their invitation. Do ask, and you risk their feeling slightly awkward for a few minutes as they let you know they had to trim the guest list. The first scenario would look much worse on your end.
Dear Annie: We built a custom home back in 2005. Even though we checked out the contractors beforehand, they walked off the job and took all of our money. We were certain that we would win a lawsuit and took out loans and cash advances to try to finish the house.
Long story short, the house was never finished, and our lawsuit never went to court. Our attorney advised us to file for bankruptcy and then discharge it to stay in the house longer. Our creditors are sending 1099s to the IRS. Their thought is that if we didn’t pay off the debts, we must have used the money as income.
My husband and I disagree as to what to do. Should we make arrangements with the collection agencies to pay off the debts, seeing as we did run up these amounts, or should we just wait until the 1099s show up? Paying off the debts would not change our credit scores. If we were to leave where we are living now, we wouldn’t be able to pass a credit check to rent. We are seniors on a fixed income and don’t know what to do. With the bad contractors, bad choices and bad legal advice, we don’t seem to have a future. – Not-So-Golden Years
Dear Not-So-Golden: I know you’re under extreme duress right now, but it’s not so dire as you think. There are nonprofit resources for seniors in your shoes. Your best option is to enlist the help of a credit counseling agency, which can help you determine the best way to approach your situation. Consult the National Foundation for Credit Counseling at debtadvice.org to find one. Stay away from any for-profit agencies, which are typically predatory and would only worsen your situation.
Be grateful for health and loved ones. You might be under a lot of stress right now, but you do have a future. Try to find the sliver of a silver lining where you can.
Send your questions for Annie Lane to firstname.lastname@example.org. To find out more about Annie Lane and read features by other Creators Syndicate columnists and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.
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