Richmond Proper: On parental wedding gifts and feuding friends

As fall descends and party season ramps up, Richmond Proper seems to be accumulating more seekers of event-related advice.

As fall descends and party season ramps up, Richmond Proper seems to be accumulating more seekers of event-related advice.

I’m hosting a house party at a vacation destination this weekend and two of the four house guests are having drama with each other. Both people are loosely associated with one another with myself being the common denominator.

Person A says they love me enough to suck it up and deal with the other person for my benefit, and will try and have a good time regardless.

Person B says they won’t cause drama, (even though they always do), they don’t want to be around people who have a problem with them, and will only decline the invitation if I feel their presence would be unwelcome (which for 25% of the party guests they would be.)

Do I tell Person B not to come? Do I force an intervention before the weekend and see what happens? Do I be a total dick and issue the uninvitation?

Why does turning 30 feel like I’m turning 11 again?!

This is a tough one, and I sympathize with you. I’m not sure what drama occurred between Person A and Person B to make them feel uncomfortable, but it seems like the situation is almost enough to back you into a corner where rudeness is the only option. Don’t let it! That won’t help diffuse the tension.

Person A said that he or she will try to have a good time regardless of whether Person B shows up. And Person B said that he or she will come unless you tell them not to. Since neither of them is really forcing an ultimatum, I would not address the issue further. As the drama is between the two of them, and you’re still friends with both of them and want them both to celebrate with you, the responsibility is on them. Let them decide for themselves whether they would like to come or not. If they decide it would just be too awkward, there’s nothing wrong with respectfully RSVP-ing “no.” But if they do come, they must understand that they have elected to be there, that nobody’s twisting their arms, and that they must not spoil your party with squabbling.

I know you want your friends to come and to have an awesome time with you, but don’t feel pressured into solving this problem for them. They can’t force you to choose between them, and I think you’ve done right by inviting them both and showing them that your group of friends does not shatter when relations sour in some corner.

I just turned 30 recently as well, and I can agree that I’m glad to move farther away from the age of immaturity. I hope you have a wonderful 30th birthday, and that you don’t feel 11 for much longer!

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Am I expected to buy a wedding gift for my dad and step-mom?

Yes, you’ve got to get a wedding gift for your dad and stepmom. I completely understand that it’s difficult to shop for parents–any time they want something, they pretty much go out and get it. So the challenge here is to think of something they didn’t even know they wanted, and get them that. Whether it’s tickets to some cool local event or theater they didn’t know existed, or some gadget that would be super useful to them that they didn’t know existed, they’ll be appreciative of the thought you put into it. I’m sure they don’t expect you to spend a ton, so just make sure you find some way to honor them on their wedding day and let them know you care. Even if it’s just a card and maybe a framed photo of the three of you together, they will love it.

Another great gift you can give is to be helpful on their wedding day. Offer to take charge of some task that needs to get done, or to run emergency errands. The gift of your presence and an extra, dependable, set of hands can be a godsend on the day of their wedding.

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Tess Shebaylo

Tess Shebaylo is a freelance writer, crafter, history geek, and compulsive organizer. She works at Tumblr and lives in Church Hill with her husband, Dan, and their two cats.

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