DEAR ABBY: I recently received two invitations that rubbed me the wrong way. Perhaps, in spite of my young age (26), I'm old-fashioned, but I think they were tacky.
The first was from a coworker who is getting married. The invitation was for a paper shower. I assumed that meant the guests should bring paper for games or other activities. Just to be sure, I called the bride-to-be to find out exactly what to bring. Boy, was I shocked! She told me she wanted only money or gift certificates. I was so put off I didn't attend or send a gift.
The other invitation was to a baby shower for a friend of a friend whom I barely know. I'm a fun-loving person and planned to attend until I read the invitation carefully. The shower was being held at an expensive restaurant, and the invitation said, "No host lunch." Abby, I got the impression that I was to bring a gift, pay for my own lunch, then leave. I didn't attend that shower either; however, I did send a gift for which I never received a thank-you or acknowledgment.
I have been the honoree of both a bridal and baby shower. The bridal shower was traditional with food, cake, games and close friends with whom I enjoy spending time. The baby shower was a luncheon, but my hostesses and I picked up the tab. I hope my guests never felt as pressured or insulted as I did when I received the invitations I have described.
Abby, am I overreacting to this, or is it proper for the '90s? -- NOT ATTENDING MANY SHOWERS IN TENNESSEE
DEAR NOT ATTENDING: You are not overreacting. I don't blame you for refusing the invitations. Let your silence speak for you.
DEAR ABBY: I just read the letter about the boy who was causing his neighbor a lot of trouble. Many years ago, I had the same problem. I was at my wit's end and decided, as a last resort, to try to make the boy my friend.
I went out of my way to be kind to him and, on occasion, even asked his advice. The problems quickly came to an end. Surely the neighbor, when gardening, could offer a bouquet of flowers to take to his mother. Wouldn't it be worth the effort to offer friendliness to help a troubled boy? -- A CONCERNED CANADIAN
DEAR CONCERNED CANADIAN: Yes, it would. Leave it to my readers to remind me that compassion is alive and well, and perhaps all that is necessary to turn this youngster around.
DEAR ABBY: "Worried Neighbor" was bothered by a boy on her block who throws rocks, etc., but his mother never listens when neighbors complain. Now he comes and stands in front of her house and is always "starting something" with her. Although there was nothing wrong with your advice that she speak to local police or a juvenile investigator or counselor, you might also have pointed out that the mother probably never listens to the boy either, and he may be constantly "bothering" her because he is looking for adult attention. Perhaps if she responded warmly to him, difficult though that may be, there might be a more positive outcome for everyone. -- JUST A THOUGHT IN ARIZONA
DEAR JUST A THOUGHT: No need to point it out; you and many other kind-hearted people did it for me. Thanks to all of you for a refreshing perspective.
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