DEAR ABBY: I recently got married at the courthouse. We had been considering it for months. (A courthouse wedding doesn't take a lot of planning.) We decided it was best for us and went for it. We didn't want to spend thousands of dollars on a wedding, and I'm not one for tradition. We invited immediate family and two of our friends.
My grandmother made excuses not to come, saying, "Not enough space," and, "I'm taking care of my grandchildren." It hurt my feelings that she didn't want to be there. Both my parents have passed away, and I wanted what family I have left around me. However, I now know that my grandmother didn't want to come because she's "traditional." She assumed I'm pregnant. (I'm not.) Many other people are also assuming that I'm pregnant because we didn't announce it and did it at the courthouse.
I'm a private person and don't feel the need to tell everyone everything that's going on in my life. My grandmother is currently not speaking to me. Should I tell her I know she was talking to our family behind my back? How do I tell her how much she hurt my feelings by staying away, assuming something and spreading rumors? What should I say to my family who are hurt because I didn't invite them? What should I tell people who think I'm pregnant? Should I just leave it alone, and in nine months they'll realize how stupid they were for assuming? -- NOT PREGNANT IN TEXAS
DEAR NOT PREGNANT: Not every couple wants a large, formal wedding. Many people -- like you and your husband -- prefer to put the money toward a down payment on a house, paying off credit card debt or travel. If your grandmother thought you might be pregnant, she should have asked you. If you would like to tell her you were hurt that she wasn't with you when you pledged your vows, feel free to do so. And while you're at it, point out that you have "heard through the grapevine" that she has been telling people you are pregnant, which you're not. (She should be ashamed of herself.) And explain to anyone who feels hurt not to have been invited that you kept your wedding small for financial reasons, not because you had to rush into anything.