Dear Abby | Absence from guest list hurts old friends of groom's mother
DEAR ABBY: I have had a friend, "Kimberly," for 52 years, ever since first grade. We went all through school together. Teachers described her as a "social butterfly." My dad described her as a "phony." She's an extrovert with a nice personality and many friends. I am more of an introvert, but I do have a few good friends. We are both happily married with children and grandchildren.
I moved from our hometown 28 years ago, but we have stayed in contact. Kim will call me on my birthday, etc. We talk on the phone every few months and meet for lunch when I go back to visit. She refers to me as her "oldest and dearest friend."
I invited Kim to all four of my children's weddings. She didn't attend, but sent gifts. (Kim has anxiety and doesn't like to travel.) When her older son got married two years ago, I wasn't invited, but I sent a generous gift. Now, her younger son is being married, and again, I'm not invited.
I'd like to share in Kim's joy. There are people attending I'd like to see. I feel like a fool. Do you think my dad was right about Kim? Am I on her "C" list when I thought I was "A"-rated? I feel like a 12-year-old who was excluded from a slumber party. Should I tell her how hurt I am or continue the next 20 years in this "phony" relationship? - SUCKER-PUNCHED IN KANSAS
DEAR SUCKER-PUNCHED: Do NOT quietly nurture a grudge that may end your long friendship with Kim. Have a talk with your old friend about your feelings. Depending upon who has footed the bill for these shindigs, you may be blaming the wrong person.
Traditionally, the bride's parents pay for their daughter's wedding; more recently, the happy couples pay for it themselves. For financial reasons, they may have needed to curtail the guest list, which is why you weren't invited. Also, the young couple may have preferred to include more of their own friends, which limited the number of invitations the groom's parents could issue.
DEAR ABBY: I am a senior citizen who lives alone. I was married many years ago, but it ended in divorce. I was unable to conceive a child.
My brothers and sisters all have spouses and children. I am an aunt to many. My problem? The children don't call me "Aunt" anymore. When they were little, it gave me such warm feelings to be called Aunt or Auntie. It made me feel loved and respected. Now that they are grown with kids of their own, they call me by my first name.
Am I silly to be bothered by this? These same nieces and nephews still call their parents "Mom" and "Dad." I called my own aunts by the title well into my 50s until they died. Abby, am I old-fashioned to want to keep my title in a world where respect seems to be a thing of the past? - FOREVER AUNTIE IN MINNESOTA
DEAR AUNTIE: I don't think you are silly, and whether you are old-fashioned (or not) is beside the point. Tell your nieces and nephews how much you appreciated being called "Aunt," and ask them to resume using the title. If you had a close relationship with them while they were growing up, I am sure they will respect your wish -- especially when you tell them why.