06/18/2007DEAR ABBY: My husband and I have been invited to the wedding of some casual friends, "Ron" and "Barbie." We sent in our RSVP accepting the invitation, but already we're dreading the day. You see, a few weeks after we mailed it, we had dinner with them.
During the dinner, Ron and Barbie blatantly informed us that they had registered for expensive shower items (I had attended the shower) so they could return the gifts for cash. During the conversation, I mentioned I'd had my eye on a pricey vacuum cleaner I had seen advertised on TV. Barbie turned to her fiance and said, "Honey, we should have registered for that so we could return it for the cash!"
I was floored. So was my husband, though neither of us said a word until we were well on our way home and away from the "happy couple."
If that wasn't enough, they were complaining about some blue towels they had received that they had not registered for. Barbie said they hated them and had returned them. Want to guess what my shower gift was? The blue towels, of course. I couldn't believe she was saying this to us!
My husband was so disgusted he quietly excused himself from attending the bachelor party. Now he no longer even wants to go to the wedding -- let alone give them another gift. He says they make him sick. But we already sent in the card saying that we'll be attending. I agree with my husband on this. The only thing holding us back is the etiquette issue of being a "no-show." Otherwise, I couldn't give a rip about those people. What to do? -- SPEECHLESS IN MICHIGAN
DEAR SPEECHLESS: After the performance you witnessed, no one can blame you for feeling as you do. Your breach of etiquette would not be in skipping the fund-raiser (oops! wedding); it would be to do so without first informing the couple and having them go to the expense of ordering food and drinks for you. They should be notified immediately, in a short note, that "your plans have changed, and you are not able to attend." This will get you off the hook without being rude to a couple you really don't care to associate with in the future anyway.
DEAR ABBY: I recently had surgery to correct a defect in my urethra. The medical term for it is "hypospadias." I let my co-workers know in an e-mail and provided a link to answer any questions they might have. The link had a photo, and now some people are accusing me of "inappropriate conduct." I have since sent out an apology and a warning not to go to the link.
Abby, it was not my intent to be unprofessional, but I didn't want to have 35 conversations about what the condition is, or 35 conversations about why I am walking so slowly and with a cane. How should I respond? -- HEALING IN NEW YORK CITY
DEAR HEALING: It's time to discuss this with your supervisor or the director of human resources at your company because your mistake could affect your career.
While I understand your intention, you gave out far more information than your co-workers were comfortable with. You could have accomplished the same thing by simply "confiding" in one co-worker. Have you never heard of the office grapevine? It works faster than instant messaging.
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