Dear L. A. Plume,

Our son is getting married this fall. My husband and I have invited him, his fiancé, and her parents to our beach cottage for a weekend. My husband wants to take our son and her father fishing for the day with a guide. When I extended the invitation for the husband, the girl’s mother announced that she and her daughter would go fishing also. The invitation was for the men only, as a sort of bonding day; also the guide charges $100 per person. My husband is happy to pay for the three of them but didn’t expect, or want, to pay for two more guests, especially ones who do not fish. In addition to that, the boat is not equipped with any bathroom facilities, which makes it more difficult for women to be out on the water for six to eight hours. I think it was pretentious of her to ask, but how can I kindly tell her that she and her daughter are not included in the fishing expedition?


Dear Meri,

This sounds like a “duty calls” weekend rather than a fun time with friends. Simply explain to her that it is a men’s day out and that the boat is not equipped with facilities. Tell her that you would be happy to show them around the area or suggest some activities that she and her daughter might enjoy if they wish to go exploring on their own. And buy plenty of wine before they come; you may need it.

L. A. Plume


Dear Ms. Plume,

The extended family just attended our son’s college graduation. All well and good, and lovely of them to travel to the small college town. However, as you might expect, we all went to a bar in the evening, which was full of graduates. A tall, pretty, blonde young woman in a very short skirt was standing next to us; by very short I mean one that barely covered her behind. When she bent over to pick something off the floor, her whole hoo-ha was exposed, minus panties. My brother in law was so stunned by the view that he knocked over his glass of red wine, which landed on my new white skirt. Is it appropriate to ask him to pay the dry-cleaning bill?


Dear Miffed,

Yes. As Dr. Phil says: “When you choose the behavior, you choose the consequences.”

L.A. Plume


Dear L. A. Plume,

I was invited to a friend’s house for dinner last night and was asked to bring wine and a salad, which I did. I also included a pie, which I picked up in a local bakery earlier in the day. After a lovely meal, my host told me he didn’t serve the pie because he is diabetic (which I didn’t know). So I took the pie home with me. Was that rude?


Dear Carol,

That was not rude at all. There is no reason to waste good pie, ever. Think of it as an act of kindness – you saved the pie from being thrown away, or worse, eaten by him. And you managed to look generous while acquiring breakfast for yourself; as my mother always said, there is no difference between pie and toast with jelly.

L. A. Plume