laplumeDear Ms. Plume,

The question you received about being (un)invited has had people standing on their tippy-toes looking over everyone’s shoulders to see who’s on what list. There was even a separate party for the (un)fortunates who didn’t attend that “big” event. With the constraints of room, budget, etc., how is it possible to avoid hurting someone’s feelings when a party is held and not everyone can be included?



Dear Bizzy,

I suppose it all hearkens back to those days in elementary school when teams were chosen one by one and there were those left out and standing solitarily on the playground. The “pick me, choose me,” desire doesn’t ever seem to vacate our psyche. There will always be those people who raise their hand higher and wave it like a flag to be noticed by the teacher. Quite simply, most people want to be acknowledged and included. That said, it just isn’t always possible, or reasonable, to invite everyone every time.

L. A. Plume


Dear Ms. Plume,

Your recent column re: uninvited guests rang a bell with me. Although I was not part of that experience, I’ve had a similar one in reverse and don’t know how to make amends. We invited friends to dinner at a private club in a gated community. They arrived ahead of us and were turned away at the gate. Quite frankly, we never thought to leave their name at the gate, as it had never been necessary before. They went home, the rest of our party was diminished by their absence, and I’m sure they were hurt/annoyed/offended. What can we do?

Mr. and Mrs. X


Dear X’s,

I know who you are, and heard what you did. Although it was an oversight on your part, it was thoughtless. Only a grand gesture is in order here – perhaps something like buying them plane tickets to California and paying for a weekend in a posh vineyard resort in Napa Valley with several dinners and wine tastings included.

L. A. Plume


Dear Ms. Plume,

I met a man on and after several conversations he invited me on a date. He took me to a nice dinner in an expensive restaurant. It was a pleasant but lackluster experience; I realized that we were not a “match” and politely told him afterwards. His response was to say that I should have told him that before he paid for my dinner! Obviously there was no way to know that ahead of time. What should I have done/said?



Dear Confused,

Read my columns more carefully – try a coffee date first. There is very little romance attached to coffee in the daytime with a stranger; if that goes well, then consider dinner. The other options are to order the most expensive wines and meal, and not worry about what he says afterwards… or pay for your own.

L. A. Plume


Dear L. A.,

Once again, I’m going to meet a man I met on an Internet dating site. He seems nice and interesting but he told me that he has spent $1000 on flowers for dates he’s had this year that didn’t work out.

Is that a red flag?



Dear Bonnie,

Yes! Enough said.

L. A. Plume

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