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Ask Amy: The bride and I aren’t speaking because of her non-negotiable demand

Plus: Am I rude in my response to these proud ‘no-filter’ people?


Dear Amy: My daughter will be getting married in a couple of weeks (her second marriage).

They were engaged right before COVID and put the wedding on hold. They’ve now decided to go ahead with a small wedding; the guest list is now around 26 people.

She wanted to host it in her house, but her house is very small and she has four dogs who don’t behave.

We offered our (much larger) house and said that we would also help with the food and set-up.

Our daughter agreed on one condition – that she bring her dogs. She wants to dress them up and have them be a part of her wedding.

Her dogs are not well-behaved. They are not consistently housebroken. They bark a lot and jump on people.

These dogs have never been to our house. We have hardwood floors and new furniture. Who is going to be responsible for them?

My daughter said it’s non-negotiable, so she will have it at her place.

Her house is small. Parking and seating will be problems.

Also, my husband has lung disease, and so being in a small house with 26 people and all the dog hair and dander is unacceptable to us. My husband said he won’t be going, but hasn’t told her yet.

We said we’d pay for a reception hall, but that is also unacceptable to our daughter.

Are we wrong in not allowing the dogs at our house for the wedding?

Is she wrong for wanting the wedding at her house even though it’s small and wouldn’t be good for her father?

I’m heartbroken over this, and my daughter and I are not speaking.

Don’t get me wrong – we love dogs. But how would this be enjoyable for anyone?

– Dog Tired

Dear Dog Tired: You and your daughter are at an impasse, but if you can choose to calmly accept her choices – however harebrained you believe them to be – then it will release both of you.

Neither one of you is “wrong.”

The significant difference between you two is … it’s her wedding. She has named her dogs as her most beloved attendants. You’ve drawn the line about having the dogs in your house (smart move) and offered a number of options she deems unacceptable, and so her decision has been made.

If it would endanger your husband’s health to attend this wedding, then he should stay home. If you can bear spending a couple of hours in her home under these circumstances, you should try your best to attend, and see if you can FaceTime or set up a Zoom session for your husband to view the ceremony.

This whole thing sounds like your nightmare. (It is certainly mine.)

But it is her wedding, and if you consciously decide to stop judging and undermining her choices, you should spare yourself both the heartbreak and the tension. Everything after that is up to her.

Dear Amy: I know some people who occasionally come out with, “All I can do is be honest” when asked about something.

You already know that really means, “Brace yourself. Here comes a negative observation encased in a pejorative comment.”

When someone says that, I have taken to saying, “Oh. You’re one of those lucky ones. A whole bunch of us got sucked into believing it is more important to be polite and considerate of other people’s feelings.”

Do you think my response is rude and condescending?

It almost always embarrasses the other person who made the honesty comment.

Please be honest with me (pun intended).

– The Comeback Kid

Dear Kid: Yes, I do think your response is at the very least sarcastic, and definitely condescending.

I do understand your impulse to head comments off at the pass, however, especially if you assume they will be negative or upsetting. But you should consider whether it might be better for you to let people reveal themselves through their own words, and then you can respond with your own brand of honesty.

Dear Amy: Thank you for your response to “Happy Drunk,” who drinks to excess every day and yet claims that his drinking does not harm anyone, including himself.

Wow – I had a parent like that! After a childhood of neglect, my siblings and I got to watch him die an excruciating and slow death from cirrhosis of the liver.

We weren’t so “happy.”

– Hurting

Dear Hurting: Several survivors of “happy drunks” have shared similar stories.

You can email Amy Dickinson at or send a letter to Ask Amy, P.O. Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068. You can also follow her on Twitter @askingamy or Facebook.