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Miss Manners: The bride told me to lie to her fiance about why I can’t be ‘best woman’

Miss Manners: The bride told me to lie to her fiance about why I can’t be ‘best woman’

DEAR MISS MANNERS: My best friend since childhood is getting married in about six months’ time. We were a couple from the ages of 14 to 21, and now we are in our mid-20s.

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It was an amicable breakup: I joined the Navy, and he wanted to settle down. No romantic feelings remain on either side.

He asked me to attend his wedding as his “best woman.” I, of course, accepted. I bear no ill will toward him or his future bride and only wish to see him happy.

Last week, his fiancee pulled me aside at a dinner party I was hosting to congratulate them and requested I make up an excuse as to why I can’t attend the wedding. She doesn’t want me in the wedding party, but she doesn’t want to anger him by not including me. She doesn’t even want me to attend.

Miss Manners, as he is my dear friend, I have contributed a great deal to his wedding, financially and time-wise.

I am no marriage counselor, but this doesn’t seem right to me. I would feel horrid lying to my best friend, but I also don’t want to ruin their relationship or his special day. What should I do?

GENTLE READER: This is the bride’s problem, not yours. Because even if you complied, we all know it would not end with the wedding.

Are you going to be forced to make up an excuse every time your best friend asks you to socialize? Not to mention the fact that the lie would be exposed eventually and likely ruin both relationships — yours and theirs.

Therefore, Miss Manners suggests you say: “I am not going to lie to my friend. If you do not wish to have me there, then it is up to you to tell him why. Of course, I will comply with whatever you both agree to.”

Then you might want to check if your wedding contributions are refundable.

DEAR MISS MANNERS: My 10-year-old grandson decided to have his stuffed animals — a raccoon, a monkey, a bunny rabbit and an octopus — “spy” on me.

They are put in places where they can “watch” me. (I should add that the animals do not have any embedded cameras or recording equipment.)

My wife of 40 years goes along with this. I put the animals away, but she brings them back, maybe even hiding them better.

I have never seen this issue addressed before. How do I get my grandson and wife to stop having these animals spy on me? I am 67 years old, a retired attorney and a minister. I do not need watching!

GENTLE READER: The monkey says otherwise.

DEAR MISS MANNERS: Is there a polite, inoffensive way to decline a handshake? It seems that the practice is returning post-pandemic.

I have late-stage cancer and arthritis. Handshakes are painful. They can also spread germs, and it may take weeks for me to recover from a cold.

I thoroughly enjoy people, but don’t care for the practice of shaking hands.

GENTLE READER: “I’m sorry, but I don’t want to give you something.” That the “something” is your hand may be kept between you and Miss Manners.

Please send your questions to Miss Manners at her website, www.missmanners.com; to her email, dearmissmanners@gmail.com; or through postal mail to Miss Manners, Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.

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Miss Manners: How do I tell them I won’t serve the fancy dessert they brought?