DEAR HARRIETTE: I recently attended an out-of-town wedding of two gay friends who can now legally marry in their state. Although I do not see them often, we share a long history (more than 30 years) of friendship and mutual friends.
Even though I knew several dozen of the attendees (there were only 65 people total), I was seated at a table where I did not know anyone. They were all nice, and I made a sincere effort to talk with everyone at the table. But I felt hurt and overlooked, which sucked all the oxygen out of the evening for me. I begged off dancing since I was not in the mood and left the party early.
Of course, I did not complain, but I feel sad now that I am home. I am happy for my friends, and I celebrate their commitment and love for each other. At the same time, I made the effort to attend the wedding, which involved round-trip airfare and hotel accommodations, and now I feel hurt and disappointed. How do I move beyond this? -- Stung, Washington, D.C.
DEAR STUNG: As hard as this may be to believe, I do not think your friends intended to isolate you at a table with strangers. Of course, it would have been best for them to seat you near people you know, especially since it seems you traveled to the wedding by yourself. But weddings are so tough to organize, and logistics often aren't handled in the best possible manner.
What you could have done is to enjoy yourself fully. At weddings, people don't usually spend much time at the reception table. Yes, they eat there, but then they often mingle with people at other tables, talk to the bride and groom, dance and have a good time. You decided to let your table placement knock you over. That's unfortunate.
I do not recommend bringing it up. Instead, let it go. Your friends would not have invited you and then intentionally hurt you. In the future, if they invite you to an activity, you can request that you be seated near people you know.
DEAR HARRIETTE: My third-grader came home from school saying that a group of kids in her class almost came to blows as they discussed their "views" on the presidential election. I suppose it's great that these 8- and 9-year-olds are talking politics, but clearly they are just saying what their parents are saying. How can we keep them talking but prevent any fighting? -- Political Mom, Syracuse, N.Y.
DEAR POLITICAL MOM: It is good that children are aware of the presidential election. It means that adults who are potential voters are paying attention.
You are right that the children are parroting their parents' views. That's all they know at such a young age.
What you can do is speak to the teacher. Let the teacher know that the children are interested in the election and need some support in discussing it with decorum. Ask the teacher to set a discussion time where children can air their views and be guided on how to debate and disagree respectfully.