DEAR ABBY: I have read your column for years and usually agree wholeheartedly with your advice. However, I was stunned to read your reply to "On the Spot" in New Jersey, who chose not to invite her neighbor's 8- and 6-year-old children to her son's bar mitzvah.
Yes, it's true that children are invited to bar mitzvahs. But in this case, the neighbor's children are not family and are too young to be playmates of the bar mitzvah boy. The parents are within their rights to exclude these children from the guest list, especially when the cost of additional guests is taken into consideration. Furthermore, it was rude of the invitees to RSVP that their uninvited children would attend. -- LINDA M., ROCKVILLE, MD.
DEAR LINDA: You're right -- I goofed. My readers were quick to set me straight. Read on:
DEAR ABBY: I am 14 and recently had a bat mitzvah myself. I understand the situation. This was a challenge for our family, too.
Abby, these affairs are expensive, and it is not always affordable to include kids who are not close to the family. Also, young children can't sit through a three-hour service. That mother should discuss the situation with her neighbors and tell them that due to budget and space restrictions, the number of guests is limited. -- ASHLEY S., FOUNTAIN VALLEY, CALIF.
DEAR ASHLEY: Where were you when I needed you?
DEAR ABBY: The bottom line is, it takes "chutzpah" to include uninvited children. -- SUE K., WEST ORANGE, N.J.
DEAR SUE: It also takes a lot of nerve or gall ("chutzpah") to bring uninvited guests to weddings, anniversaries and other invitation-only events. However, if my mail is an indicator, chutzpah is one commodity that's never in short supply.
DEAR ABBY: I am planning a small, intimate wedding this summer. Most of our guests will be family and very close friends.
My mother asked me to invite a longtime friend and co-worker. We sent the woman a save-the-date card. When Mother saw her the next day at work, the friend said she would be happy to attend -- if she didn't have a "band gig." Mother felt embarrassed and slighted. She would now like to start working from home to avoid this person and has asked me not to send an invitation. What should I do? -- SOON-TO-BE BRIDE IN VIRGINIA
DEAR SOON-TO-BE-BRIDE: Since the co-worker has indicated that if a job comes up she might be absent, take the hint and don't send the invitation. Better that she was honest in advance about the fact she might be able to attend, rather than being a no-show.
P.S. Although your mother is disappointed, she should not let her co-worker's reaction spoil a warm workplace relationship. Avoiding the woman is not the answer. Forgiving her and moving on is.
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