DEAR ABBY: My sister was married recently. At the reception, her new mother-in-law was seen by multiple guests gesturing with her two middle fingers while the father of the bride was giving his toast. It was a very formal event, and it was shocking to see an adult act like this. Our family feels embarrassed and insulted because we hosted the wedding, but our biggest concern is how can the bride move forward?
When the groom politely approached his mom about a week after the wedding, she refused to acknowledge it, insisted it was an "inside joke," and then gave him a long list of complaints about our family. (I suppose they were her justifications for her behavior.)
She refuses to apologize. I feel she should extend an olive branch and apologize to my sister and our parents, but at the very least make amends with her new daughter-in-law. It upsets me that she doesn't care about building a good relationship with my sister.
My sister was brought up to take responsibility for her actions. It's hard for her to move on when her mother-in-law refuses to speak of it. Should she really just act like nothing happened? -- SISTER OF THE BRIDE
DEAR SISTER: The groom's mother's inhibitions may have been lowered because she was intoxicated when she did what she did, and that may also be the reason she won't speak of it, even to her son. It's an embarrassment for their family, not yours. The woman isn't someone you will be forced to interact with often on an intimate basis. That burden falls upon your sister, who has my sympathy because it appears her M-I-L is going to be a handful. Please allow me to offer you some advice: Stay out of this and let your sister and her husband handle it.