DEAR ABBY: My mother-in-law is an attention-seeker. She's very loud and talks in a baby voice so that everyone looks at her. She made my wedding shower and, years later, my baby shower all about her and the gifts she gave. Not only did it take the spotlight from my husband and me, but it made other family members' gifts or contributions seem inadequate. She always has to give the biggest and best (while letting everyone know) and distract from other people's special moments.
My daughter is being married in a year and a half. She has already told me she doesn't want Grandma "Dorothy" to come dress shopping because she doesn't want to be embarrassed, but she does want my mom and her fiance's mom and grandmother to be there. I have told her that she has to invite Grandma Dorothy.
I do love my mother-in-law, and I want her to come to all of the festivities. The problem is she gets irrationally mad if you ask her to modify her behavior in any way. My question is, how do I ask her to reel it in without offending her or making her mad? My husband's solution is to ignore his mother's behavior. -- CRINGING IN MISSOURI
DEAR CRINGING: It's time to step out of the way on this matter. You seem to have forgotten that this upcoming wedding is not your wedding, but your daughter's. Her wishes about who should attend what should prevail. If she understands the ramifications of excluding Grandma Dorothy and is willing to forgo the lavish gifts and contributions her grandmother bestows, then that should be her privilege. Further, the person who conveys that message should be your daughter, not you.