Sense & Sensitivity by Harriette Cole

Plus-One Turns Out to Be a Zero

DEAR HARRIETTE: I am scheduled to attend a wedding in a few weeks, but I am having problems contacting my guest. I called a female friend to ask her if she would like to accompany me to a wedding in New York City. She said yes and asked me to help her find an affordable airfare and hotel package. I agreed to help and found a weekend package flying from Chicago to New York for $450. I sent my friend an email telling her what I found. She told me that she would purchase her trip the following week because she needed to pay a bill. Since the initial phone call, I have left multiple text messages, emails and voice mails asking if she's still coming to the wedding -- no response. The wedding is two weeks away, and I don't know what to do. Should I tell the wedding planner to cancel my additional seat, or should I wait with bated breath that I might receive a phone call a day before the wedding, saying, "I am at LaGuardia Airport." What is a guy to do? -- Snubbed, Brooklyn, N.Y.

DEAR SNUBBED: Clearly your friend is not planning to come, for whatever reason. Move past her. If you want to bring a date, invite somebody else, preferably someone who is local so there is no expense or hardship involved in attending. If you do not have anyone to invite, tell the bride that you will be coming solo so that she can have an accurate headcount for the reception.

As far as your friend goes, stop calling her. If she shows up at LaGuardia, by the way, no need to go get her. She has not completed the social contract that calls for basic good manners and communication. You are not obliged to jump when she calls.

DEAR HARRIETTE: Is it too late to pursue a dream? I am a 61-year-old woman, and I have the desire to go back to college to obtain a degree in nursing. Most of my family thinks I am crazy to go back to school at this stage of my life. However, my daughter and her children have helped me learn how to use a computer, surf the Internet and get an email account. I am sitting on cloud nine. I want to be an example to my family that it's never too late to live your dream. What are your thoughts? -- Chasing a Dream, Memphis, Tenn.

DEAR CHASING A DREAM: It is wonderful that you have made the choice to advance your education, and better still that your family is supportive. I recently met a young woman who is headed to college. At 17, she inspired her 60-year-old grandmother to go to college for the first time alongside her.

I was taught that as long as you are alive, you can grow. Part of our responsibility is to continue to reach and make the very best of our lives. Congratulations on living your dream!