Bridal Blast

15 Aug

Letterbalm Annoyed WomanDear LetterBalm: I’ve been to several family weddings this summer, with two more coming up. I’m dreading them. I’m so sick of family members asking me why I haven’t gotten married and if I have a serious boyfriend. They bustle right up, stick their faces in mine and pepper me with loud questions. I understand that these relatives haven’t seen me in a while, but I find their behavior hurtful and meddling. I’d never ask why they’ve gotten divorced or why their children haven’t been successful or why they lost their job. I’d really like to avoid these gatherings, but I have to go. So, I need to disarm the meddlers, but how?

–Annoyed at the Nuptials

This is a perennial. Intrusive friends and relatives are the bane of existence for so many. Ms. L.B. offers her consistent advice: Remain positive, upbeat and smiling, and you can deflect almost anything. Don’t consider avoiding celebrations just because there will be boors there. You have every right to be there, so don’t accede power over your life to rude people. Have a few reactions and responses ready along these lines, and be prepared to exit the conversation graciously:

  • [A smile] My, aren’t you sweet/tenacious/bold/amusing to ask.
  • [A shocked look] Now, why on earth would you ever ask me a question like that?
  • Excuse me, please. I see someone I absolutely must talk to.
  • Oh, dear. I must excuse myself to talk with the bride/maid of honor/mother of the bride/assorted relative.
  • My goodness, are you still asking that question? I thought it went out of style 20 years ago.
  • [Only if you are brave] Oh, I’m sure you have much more interesting things happening. Tell me how you’re doing.

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