DEAR MISS MANNERS: I was invited to the wedding of a family member whom I never see and am not close with. I did RSVP to say I was attending; however, at the last minute I could not attend.
Another family member and I were sent the same message through text: “Why didn’t you come to my wedding? I’m so upset at the amount of money I still had to pay for your meal!”
My husband was ready to send her a check! I said “NOOO!!”
I responded as to why I couldn’t be there. She’s still not satisfied, and continues to tell me how much she had to pay for our dinner, as if she expects us to reimburse her.
Was that right of her to chastise us? I understand her disappointment, but she took it too far by telling us her cost due to our absence, and by still reeling over it a month later.
I found out there were 17 others who did not attend. That is the chance one takes when having an event. You invite 150 people, and only a percentage attend. It’s expected; am I wrong? I wonder if she asked anyone else who did not attend that same question.
She should be concentrating on her marriage. I wonder what her new husband thinks. It’s her second marriage, by the way, with grown children.
GENTLE READER: Your cavalier attitude about both missing the wedding and the percentage of guests expected to be absent has canceled any sympathy that Miss Manners would be otherwise expected to have toward someone treated as crudely as you were. Especially as it is not clear that you alerted anyone to your impending absence or apologized for it afterwards.
Without excusing the bride, this situation would try even the most sane hostess -- not just for the monetary loss, which your family member is obviously focused on -- but for its rudeness.
While you do not owe this bride for your missed dinner, you do owe her a proper apology. But only if you want her to let you concentrate on anything other than this situation for the foreseeable future.