DEAR ANNIE: My brother is 42 and getting married for the first time. His bride-to-be has been married before.
My mom and I would like to give her a bridal shower, but it seems they have most of what they need. However, they don’t own their own home. How do we send out invites and ask guests to give money toward either the cost of the wedding or larger purchases like new furniture or a down payment on a home without being rude? Is there a proper way, or is it not OK to ask for this? — Stumped in Wisconsin
DEAR STUMPED: It is not OK to expect guests to pay for the wedding. The bridal couple should have the wedding they can afford. Showers, however, are about gifts, so there is some leeway when it comes to registries. There are now registries for honeymoons, vacations and, yes, houses, including furniture and appliances. If the couple has such registries, the websites can be listed on a separate sheet of paper with the shower invitation. You also can pass along such preferences by word of mouth.
But part of a shower is unwrapping gifts so everyone can “oooh” and “aaah.” It might be wise for the bride to register at more traditional places where unwanted gifts can be returned or exchanged for something more to her liking (after she writes her thank-you notes, of course).
DEAR ANNIE: With your ability to reach many people, how about a plea to have hooks put in all public restrooms? I’m sure other women also hate to put their purses on the bathroom floor in these public places. — Germs, Yuck
DEAR GERMS: We suspect most women would rather put their purse on their head than drop it on the floor of a public restroom. If there is no hook, try resting the purse strap over the door latch. If that doesn’t work, there may be space on the toilet paper dispenser. You also could place your purse on your lap (awkward, but doable), or get a purse with a shoulder strap and don’t take it off at all. And you might look into purchasing a little plastic hook that will slip over a door and hold a purse, often available at drugstores or hardware stores. (But do be careful if you hang this over the door, as someone can lift it from the outside.) As always, if there is a manager with whom to register a complaint, do so.
DEAR ANNIE: I’d like to help those who feel the same as “Also Lonely in Chesapeake, Va.,” the 29-year-old virgin who hasn’t found Mr. Right. I know it may sound strange in this day and age, but 15 years ago, my husband was a virgin. Due to low self-esteem and a lack of self-confidence, he was afraid to ask a woman out.
We were 43 when we met, and I am so glad. We’ve had 15 very happy years, and I hope there are many more to come. — Donna
Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column.