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Miss Manners: I confronted the bride about the exclusion, and she got all defensive

Miss Manners: I confronted the bride about the exclusion, and she got all defensive

DEAR MISS MANNERS: My sister is getting married for the second time, and is having a traditional wedding party for the first time.

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Miss Manners: Did I deserve this treatment for being a few minutes late?

My sisters and I are in the wedding, and our children are all included. We have realized, though, that our brother was not asked to be a groomsman or anything else.

I confronted my sister, and she said it’s her fiance’s choice, and that he has had his close friends and cousins chosen for his wedding for a long time.

I said she could have at least let our brother know, as we all expected him to be included. He was upset to learn that he is the only one in the family to be left out.

She went on a diatribe about how we shouldn’t have had any expectations that anyone would be included, it’s her day, and she won’t “force” her fiance to include him (though she also didn’t even suggest it).

I do genuinely hate to stir up trouble for her, as I know how stressful wedding planning can be, but this isn’t about flowers or DJs; this is about excluding our brother.

Am I completely off-base in thinking he should have been included — or at the very least, that he deserved a phone call to explain why he wasn’t?

GENTLE READER: What would that phone call entail? “Sorry, but we are running this thing purely along gender lines and my future husband decided you don’t make the cut”?

This is the problem with casting roles, rather than looking to include the loved ones already at hand.

And Miss Manners has had just about enough of the “it’s my wedding” excuse, especially when the bride only seems to invoke it when it is convenient.

If she is truly an autocrat, could she not find a way to include the whole family? There may well be nothing to be done about it now, but that does not mean that your family cannot voice their disappointment — when the whole thing is over and the bride has presumably returned to her senses.

DEAR MISS MANNERS: Several times now, I’ve been suddenly approached by someone who looks vaguely familiar, who then asks me, “Do you remember who I am?”

This takes me by surprise, obviously, and I have no time to think, so I vaguely but enthusiastically say “hi.” I generally have a hard time remembering faces and names, so I feel very embarrassed.

These are usually people I’m seeing outside of the regular context that would normally clue me in (without their dog, for instance), or whom I haven’t seen in a long time.

I feel like it is really rude to grill someone out of the blue like that, though I understand they’re being friendly. Or maybe they think it’s funny.

GENTLE READER: How friendly or funny can a “yes” or “no” answer be? Miss Manners suggests you politely decline to play this unamusing game by saying patiently, “I’m afraid I’m having trouble placing you. Please, tell me again.”

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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