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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Miss Manners: Former friend now gives me the cold shoulder

By Judith Martin, Nicholas Ivor Martin and Jacobina Martin ANDREWS MCMEEL SYNDICATION

DEAR MISS MANNERS: I have been friends with a woman for almost 15 years. We are part of a group that often gets together for game nights, and we also celebrate important days in our lives.

On her last birthday, I offered to take her out to dinner, something we have done for both of our birthdays every year. She responded by saying she wants to take a break from seeing all the people in the gaming group until further notice.

Our other friends say they still see her, but she refuses to see me or respond to my texts or emails. I am confused and bewildered about why she has ended our friendship. Our other friends aren’t sure why she made this decision.

I would apologize, but don’t know what I did to create this chasm between us. After no response to two emails and a letter where I expressed a desire to talk through what is going on, I don’t know what else to do.

Should I just accept the end of our friendship and move on? Even if she eventually reaches out, I am hurt and confused and not sure how to respond.

GENTLE READER: It is too soon to give up, if only because you admit the possibility that you may have done something that requires an apology. The question is, what?

Contrary to what you have been told, your other friends – at least some of them – do know what happened. They just (understandably) do not want to be put in the middle. Ask them again, one by one, until one confesses, reports your question back to your longtime friend or persuades you they truly don’t know. You will learn something that will inform you of what do next.

DEAR MISS MANNERS: My daughter moved to Europe several years ago and met a wonderful man, to whom she is now engaged. Her father and I are delighted.

They are likely to marry near their home in Europe so that their friends and his family can easily attend. Of course, we will, too.

The rest of our family and friends live in the U.S. I think destination weddings are an imposition, and we’re happy to host a reception near our home. However, several people have already told us they’re eager to attend a wedding in Europe.

How do I sort this? I can’t envision sending a wedding invitation with check boxes indicating “preferred destination.” Should I call/email/text guests beforehand to explain the situation? That seems weird.

GENTLE READER: A wedding near the bridal couple’s home is not a destination wedding, but Miss Manners takes your point that the travel may be difficult or impossible for some.

Issue the invitations as you would if your daughter were getting married next door, but let people know that you will be throwing a reception in the future for those who are not traveling. This will spare your daughter from having her guests vote on her nuptials. Some people will still have to be invited to both, but as the latter is usually less formal, this will presumably not be a hardship.

Please send your questions to Miss Manners at her website