Join the debate. Vote Now on the Dear Abby Poll of the week.

by Abigail Van Buren

Woman Drowns in Sorrow of Man's Drinking Binges

DEAR ABBY: My 35-year-old sister is soon to be married for the first time and has planned an elaborate affair. She has many friends, business associates and family members to invite. Because of the expense, she is not inviting the "younger" generation.

When I called to respond to her invitation, I explained that I will be attending, but my wife –- due to health issues -– will not be able to come. I told her I would like to substitute our only teenage daughter. My sister's response? She told me she has so many people to invite that she has a waiting list, and she'll substitute someone from that list!

This seems rude to me. Have you ever heard of a waiting list? –- MIFFED IN SAN JOSE

DEAR MIFFED: As a matter of fact, I have. It's sometimes called a "B" list. When a wedding invitation is issued, the rules of etiquette dictate that only those people whose names are on the invitation are invited. While I understand your desire to take your daughter, you committed a breach of etiquette in asking to make a substitution. Because your sister had decided not to include the younger generation, your daughter's presence could cause problems for her with other members of the family.