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Weekend Celebration Is Overshadowed By Size Of The Bill

DEAR ABBY: My wife and I spent a lot of money flying to our grandnephew's bar mitzvah. We stayed in a hotel and spent the weekend celebrating with the family.

During the last event, a Sunday brunch, my wife was approached by her penny-pinching sister -- the grandmother -- who asked her to co-sponsor the brunch. My wife, who is naive regarding financial matters, agreed without consulting me.

A few days later, we received an email with an amount that is far more than I want to pay. Had I known in advance, we would have skipped the brunch. How should we proceed? -- ON THE HOOK IN AUSTIN

DEAR ON THE HOOK: Your sister-in-law is a walking definition of the word "chutzpah." Your wife was wrong to obligate you without first making sure you agreed. That said, you have two choices: Refuse to share the cost of the brunch, which will embarrass your wife and cause hard feelings in the family, or grit your teeth, write a check and hope your wife has learned an expensive lesson.

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