Ask Amy: October wedding creates a pandemic dilemma
Dear Amy: My daughter is scheduled to get married in October.
The state where the wedding is to take place has lifted all restrictions on these ceremonies.
She and her fiance will travel from their home state, which is currently a hot spot for COVID.
My daughter doesn’t want to put her life on hold. She doesn’t want to wait to have the wedding or reception.
She is willing to downsize, but not (in my opinion) to a safe level.
I’m in good health but at an age that is considered “at risk.”
She wants me to come and participate. I will have to fly to get there. I’m torn, as I have been social distancing and following CDC guidelines up to this point.
Any advice for me? — Reluctant
Dear Reluctant: Your daughter is an adult who is making a choice that might seem to you (and me) to be particularly short-sighted. Her desire “not to put her life on hold” is natural for an eager bride, but her choice to pull people into a gathering might end up putting her guests’ lives on “hold,” if you know what I mean.
The risk for transmitting the virus is particularly high for larger gatherings. I just read an account of an outdoor charity reception that was held in Washington, D.C., earlier this month, with all of the guests presumably educated and concerned about transmission — and nine guests came down with the virus, with one becoming seriously ill.
Weddings and funerals are particularly challenging because of the age differential of guests, the likelihood that they would have traveled from far and wide, the emotional context of the events (with people wanting to be physically close), and — with weddings — the presence of alcohol, which impairs judgment.
Given how often the pandemic landscape changes, each of us has to make the choice that is best for us, given what we know at the time.
Right now, what you know for sure is that it is very risky for you to travel and to gather with others who have traveled from a “hot spot.”
You must make the choice that is wisest for you.
Mothers want to be there for their children. We want to give our kids what they want in life. But understand that if you felt pressured to attend, did attend, and then became ill, your daughter would be devastated, so your choice not to attend will on some level be for her, also.
Hard as it is to face, not being there might be the best way for you to “be there” for her.
Dear Amy: How does one politely reply to the question: “Can I bring my boyfriend/husband along on our girl outing?”
This happens to me a lot. I plan a get together with a female friend, and they ask, “Is it OK if Ben comes along?” or “Can I bring John?”
I am married and never communicated that my husband would be included in the event.
I have made movie plans with a female friend who then asked to bring her new boyfriend (whom I had never met) along.
The goal of these events is generally for women friends to catch up, see a film, shop, have fun, etc.
I like to spend time with my female friends for this purpose — not to have to entertain or listen to a guy, who changes the dynamic and makes me feel like a fifth wheel.
So when this happens, what should I say? — Fifth Wheelin’
Dear Wheelin’: Forgive me if I wax nostalgic, remembering a time when people just casually went to the movies. Ah, those were the days. Of all the social activities that have paused during the pandemic, going to the movies is the one I miss the most.
This is easy. If you issue an invitation, you get to dictate the terms, but please don’t blame your women friends for asking. They’re only asking, and you get to answer.
If the question is: “Is it OK if John comes along?” The answer should be: “Not this time. I’m leaving my guy behind, too.”
Dear Amy: “Left Out in Lancaster, PA,” described the classic “friendship triangle,” where one person is gradually excluded.
Having been on all sides of a friendship triangle, Left Out might consider that a sexual attraction is developing between the two friends who are leaving her out. — Been There
Dear Been There: It is a distinct possibility.