Dear Annie: My college sweetheart, Ryan, and I are now engaged. We met at a bar because of a mutual friend, “Nancy.” Ryan and I are both shy people, and we were even shyer back then. Nancy actually grabbed my arm and dragged me over to meet Ryan that night because she had a feeling we’d like each other.
I lived with Nancy for two years during college, in a big house with lots of roommates, and although we were never best friends, we were still in the same friend group. When Ryan and I got engaged, Nancy contacted me saying how happy she was and how excited she was to be a bridesmaid because she was, in fact, the “reason” we met. That was an awkward moment!
We are paying for the wedding on our own, and it will be a very small one, meaning we have to be selective about whom we invite. We can’t even afford to invite all the people we would truly love to have there.
Nancy wasn’t originally on the list, and now I don’t know how to tell her she’s not a bridesmaid or even invited to the wedding. A limited budget can only go so far as an excuse, but it truly is the only reason. We are looking at a little over $100 a head. – Budgeting Bride
Dear Budgeting: This pushy matchmaker may be on your last nerve, but she is the reason you two met. Yes, it would be an additional person to feed at the reception. I feel your pain there. Weddings have gotten ridiculously expensive, and it’s hard for average folks to keep up.
But out of respect for her role as the catalyst for your marriage – and to avoid bringing bad juju upon your big day – do whatever it takes to make it work and invite her. Just ask a friend to keep an eye on her and head off any impromptu self-congratulatory toasts.
Dear Annie: I’m retired. My wife died five years ago. My house is paid in full. It is my pride and joy.
I spend most of my day doing various chores around the house. I am pretty handy and don’t mind tacking on projects.
If I had to pick one part of the house that I am most proud of, I’d say it is my yard. I have a green thumb. I love gardening. I am out there every day planting, trimming or weeding. But my lawn, my grass – that’s my crowning achievement (and I have three kids).
The reason I am contacting you is that some jerk lets his dog poop on my lawn. I confronted him about it once before, and he apologized in the moment. Then I saw him letting his dog do his business on my lawn again that same week.
My house and my yard are all I have. I want to have a good relationship with my neighbors, but this guy is pushing me. If he picked it up, it would be one thing, but the guy just leaves it there. I bet he’s the type of guy who spits his gum out on the sidewalk. How should I handle this stinker? – Get Off My Lawn
Dear Get Off My Lawn: I doubt Robert Frost had this sort of thing in mind when he wrote about good fences making good neighbors; nevertheless, the line applies here. Try putting up a small, attractive fence that won’t detract from your lawn’s supposed glory. Then that lazy stinker will have to find a new neighbor to rattle.
By the way, I hope you’re joking about being prouder of your yard than you are of your children.
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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