laplumeDear Ms. Plume,

I put myself in an unfortunate situation when an out-of-town friend was supposed to come visit/stay with me for a business meeting. Her plans depended on a deadline, which was undetermined; and I received a dinner invitation in the meanwhile. I hated to turn down the invitation, I was unsure if the out of town friend would actually show up, and I really wanted to see the dinner friends. Long story short – I tried to balance the two, pleased no one, and offended others. Now I’m in the dog house and don’t know how to get out. Suggestions?


Dear Melle,

No. Next time eat kibble and stay home. There is no such thing as pleasing everyone, it’s a myth; sometimes pleasing anyone is an equal delusion.

L.A. Plume

Dear L. A. Plume,

We, along with several other couples, were invited to a friend’s wedding. Schedules were planned accordingly, gifts (and outfits) purchased, and then suddenly we were all uninvited! The reason apparently was that the couple decided to make it a “family only” affair. I’m at a loss and don’t know how to respond. Any suggestions?


Dear Bewildered,

One of the beautiful things about a wedding is having your friends, as well as family, be in attendance to witness your vows and support you as a couple.  But wedding plans, and the attending emotions, can easily spiral out of control. Since you all were invited, then not, the nice thing for the wedding couple to do would to be to host a celebratory gathering for all the dis-invited guests sometime after the wedding. Protocol dictates that you send a wedding gift if you are invited to a wedding, even if you don’t attend; otherwise it is not necessary.  Probably the best thing you can do is wish your friends luck and happiness, because their hurting people’s feelings is not an auspicious way to begin a new life.

L. A. Plume

Dear L. A. Plume,

Last weekend we went to visit my friend’s daughter for her birthday. We traveled several hours to her college town, where part of the festivities included a Saturday afternoon football game. Parents of the daughter’s friends invited us to a tailgate party before the game started. Although we were told just to “bring ourselves,” we did take a cooler of drinks. When we got there, the college students and some of the adults were occupying all the chairs. We stood for a couple of hours and no one even offered us a seat. To make matters worse, the hosting parents never even offered us any of the food they were passing around. I just wanted to leave and go the stadium, get out of the heat, find our seats and grab a bite to eat. I totally felt like a third wheel. Did I miss something in the invitation issued by local people to out-of-towners when they said to “just bring ourselves”? Was that some sort of tailgating code for bring your own chairs, food, umbrella, etc. which you did not think to bring with you from home because you didn’t know you were coming to this party? Or were they just rude?


Dear Curious,

They were just rude. Send them a thank you note telling them how much you enjoyed their hospitality. Oh, never mind; they won’t comprehend the sarcasm.


Read more Calling Card