Dear Amy: Our 25-year-old daughter was a strong, compassionate, emphatic, loving person until her upcoming wedding turned her into a self-centered brat.
We gladly gave her some money to offset wedding expenses, and then things went haywire.
She has told everyone the cost of her wedding is $350/plate, and expects either cash, or a gift equal in value.
I am beyond appalled, but she claims this is quite acceptable to her generation. I told her that rude is rude, no matter what.
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She has also refused to give the clergy an honorarium, saying that performing this wedding is part of his job. Our relatives are rather astonished, but I have told everyone to speak directly to her about their concerns.
This mess is her responsibility to clean up. She is marrying a lovely man who is a kind and gentle soul, and defers to her. I’m concerned that what should be a happy celebration has turned into an entitled gift grab, and my daughter just wasn’t raised that way.
I’m wondering what we did to have a wonderful young woman change like this. We are going into this wedding with heavy hearts instead of joy. Is there anything we can do? What are we missing here? Is this entitlement really accepted now?
Dear Sad: As the parent of several young women, I am sad for you. I also want you to know that almost every parent can report being disappointed by their children, sometimes in very large ways. It is a specific sort of sadness to think that the values and character lessons you’ve tried to impart seem to have somehow fallen by the wayside.
Your reaction to your daughter’s rudeness and selfishness is completely appropriate.
What your daughter may be too self-centered to realize is that her behavior surrounding this extremely important life-event may brand her as a selfish brat in people’s minds for a very long time to come.
No, her demands are not “the norm.” Although some young couples do openly ask for cash for wedding gifts, they should never set a “price” for attendance.
Yes, stiffing the officiant is a rude, disrespectful, obnoxious affront to a vital service on this day. I’m embarrassed for her, and for you by proxy.
One natural consequence of your daughter’s selfishness and rudeness is that people in her life are going to be disappointed and/or disgusted. You can hope that she has fallen into a Bridezilla trance, from which she will somehow recover, but the sad fact is that she will have a very hard time undoing the impression she has made surrounding this landmark occasion.
Do not enable this behavior by feeding the Bridezilla with any more cash, or by making excuses for her.
Dear Amy: I want to get a tattoo, but my husband doesn’t like them. Do you think I should?
Dear Wannabe: It is your body, covered by your largest organ (your skin), and you should be able to adorn it however you want to. However, in choosing to do so, you’ll also have to accept that you might be disappointing and possibly turning off your husband. You might test the waters by getting a temporary tattoo, or by discussing choosing a design that has significance for both of you. Whatever you decide, it is kindest to let him know beforehand, and tell him that you understand that this is not what he wants, but that you’ve decided to go ahead, regardless.
Of course, you must not ask your husband to feel sorry for you if your tattoo is painful, or becomes infected, or if those Chinese characters you ordered inked into your skin turn out to be an order for a number three entree from your local takeout place.
Dear Amy: I had such an urge to chime in when I read the letter from “Feeling Dished.” Dished didn’t like the way his wife let the dishes sit in the sink, rather than wash them immediately.
Your advice was spot-on regarding the distribution of labor. Is “Dished” also only cooking for himself? Does she cook for everyone, and then he only cleans his dishes? If she does the laundry, does she only wash her clothes? “Dished” needs to look objectively at all she does around the house. It is crazy that he thinks he can only clean up after himself, especially given that they have children.
Dear Reader: “Feeling Dished” thought the solution to his dissatisfaction was to wash only his dishes. He wouldn’t last long in my household.
Email Amy at firstname.lastname@example.org.