February 26, 2024


We Bring Good Things to Life

Ask Amy: Engaged couple advised to warn guests that big wedding may shrink due to restrictions

Dear Amy: My fiance and I are getting married this fall. We will NOT be postponing the wedding.

Our venue is assuring us that we are on track and that our guest list of 150 will be allowed into the venue by then.

It’s getting close to the time when we have to mail invitations, and I’m worried about what to do if the social gathering restrictions tighten again before the wedding.

If that happens, how do we possibly dis-invite only some of the guests? Is there any tactful way to do this?

Not the Tacky Bride

Dear Bride: First of all, give me the name of your venue’s manager – this person seems to possess more insight into the movement of this global pandemic than the CDC.

My point is – it seems foolhardy to make any specific assumptions about larger gatherings scheduled for this fall. You should understand this, and you should urge your guests to also understand — and to be prepared for the possibility that your plans could change radically, with relatively little notice.

I suggest a note included with your invitation, saying, “Due to the pandemic, we are forced to face the possibility that our plans may have to change, with relatively short notice, and that we might have to substantially truncate our guest list, due to local restrictions. We promise to do our best to keep in touch with all of you. The health and safety of all of our guests will always come first. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you have questions, and – fingers crossed – we will be able to celebrate together.”

It is not “tacky” to be honest and authentic. Your wedding gift to your guests will be to care, deeply, about their health and safety.

Dear Amy: I am trying to untangle my long-term problems from some short-term pandemic-related ones. I don’t know where to start. I am a 50-year-old, married woman who runs a small business, mostly from home.

The business has fared pretty well during the lockdown. I am thankful because it gives me the flexibility to care for our 24-year-old disabled son.

My husband is 16 years my senior and is very controlling – he always has been. He is dismissive, and a real nitpicker.

I am no longer the twenty-something that swooned at his machismo so many years ago. The marriage has been rocky for a couple of years.

He retired and I started to buck his authority. He retreated a bit by starting a building project on some land we own in a nearby state.

His absence was bliss for me! However, he returned a few weeks ago when the pandemic hit our area.

His return has made me SAD, tired, and angry.

He follows me around the house, correcting me. I spend a lot of time trying to escape his presence, “running errands.” I feel empty inside.

I know the “Go To” answer for middle-aged cranky couples is “go to counseling to regain that spark.” I don’t think there ever was a spark!


Worn Out

Dear Worn Out: Yes, I would definitely suggest counseling to “regain that spark.” I’m talking, of course, about you and your spark. Your husband is responsible for his own spark.

Most therapists are now offering virtual counseling, and it might be very helpful for you to describe your situation to a counselor who could review some strategies for coping, and also coach you through your options. The American Psychological Association offers a “therapist locator.” Check locator.apa.org.

There is no question that the pandemic – and the uncertainty and stress – is taxing many relationships, especially those that were already strained. If it is medically safe for both of you, you might suggest a “trial separation,” whereby your husband returns to his building project and you both contemplate the reality of making the separation permanent. Bliss might follow.

Dear Amy: Following up on “Living the New Normal,” with questions about interviewing for a job remotely, I won my current job through two Zoom interviews.

A few things to consider:

Organize your notes so you’re not shuffling them to find your point. I like 4-by-6 index cards.

Dress like you’re interviewing in person.

If Zoom, put together your setup and Zoom someone in advance to tweak the lighting, where the computer is, and your general appearance.

I’m 65, so don’t tell yourself you can’t do this.

Be positive and present yourself with the best tool in your arsenal — you!


Dear Jane: You’re my hero!

(You can email Amy Dickinson at [email protected] or send a letter to Ask Amy, P.O. Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068.