DEAR ABBY: Our son and his fiancee are having a destination wedding. My husband and I are hosting a local reception here where we live because we would like our close family and friends to be able to celebrate their wedding.
Our problem is, our 24-year-old daughter is an alcoholic who doesn't see her drinking as a problem. She says she can handle it. Well, she can't! She got so drunk at the last family wedding that the police and paramedics had to be called. She's currently on probation because she assaulted a paramedic.
The only way she could go to the destination wedding is if we paid for it, which my husband and I agreed not to do. My husband does want to include her at the party we are having in our city. Because she is uncontrollable and unpredictable, I do not want her there. Oh, and this is the same venue where she got hammered at the last family wedding.
I don't want to take the chance that she will ruin this special evening. My husband thinks he will be able to control her and that it won't "look right" if the sister of the groom is absent. I think it would be much worse if she causes a scene, and I would rather avoid a potential disaster. What should we do?
Mother of the groom
DEAR MOTHER: Your daughter is an addict in denial, which is sad for all concerned. Because her behavior is unpredictable, and there is a strong possibility that she will disrupt the reception, she should not attend. If your husband is worried about how it will look if she isn't there, he should consider how it will look if the police have to be called and haul her away (again). What your daughter needs is an intervention, not an invitation.
First or second?
DEAR ABBY: I'm a newlywed, married to an amazing man who also brought me an adorable 5-year-old stepson. Although we married only three months ago, I have been in both of their lives for three years. We recently found out we are expecting, and I am over the moon! We haven't told anyone yet because we are waiting to get through the first trimester.
My question to you is, while this baby is my first, he or she is clearly his second. How do I answer when people ask if this is our first baby? In a sense, it is our first baby, but I don't want to lessen the importance of my stepson. At the same time I'm so excited to share that yes, this is my first baby!
I'm looking forward to all the excitement and the advice people can give, and I want to share the news. Do you have guidance on how I ought to phrase the best news of my life? I never thought I would have this dilemma.
Over the moon in Las Vegas DEAR OVER THE MOON: Congratulations on your impending birth. I applaud you for your sensitivity to the feelings of your stepson. If you are asked if this is your first baby, reply that it is your first but your husband's second. And when you do, be sure to tell the "asker" how much you would appreciate any advice the person would care to share about infants, and I'm sure you'll get an earful.