Dear Margo: Driven Crazy

My family wants me to learn to drive, but I feel it would endanger myself and others: Margo Howard’s advice

Driven Crazy

Dear Margo: I am currently suffering mild psychosis. I’m 23 and have no driver’s license. My family wants me to get one because they don’t like driving me around. My fiancee doesn’t have one, either, but she’s out of school now and is learning this summer. The trouble is, I have disabilities, and I’m afraid I’ll kill myself or someone else if I drive. First, I have ADHD. I can’t sit still or pay focused attention for very long. Second, I have Asperger syndrome. When I’m paying attention, I tend to miss the big picture of what’s going on around me. Third, I am bipolar. Normally, that’s fine because I take meds, but occasionally, unpredictably, they need adjusting and I develop problems causing stiff muscles. When I stretch them, I get vertigo, and there are also times when I have no depth perception and see double.

My fiancee understands, but my grandmother, my mother and her fiance all keep nagging and pressuring me to learn to drive so I will be “independent.” It’s hard for me to ignore what they say because I live with them and they’re my family, but they always seem to bring it up when I’m at my most sensitive. Is there something I can say to them or show them that will convince them I can’t drive? Also, are there any resources for people in my situation? –Afraid To Drive

Dear Af: No offense, but your family sounds a little bit sadistic, a little bit clueless, and a little bit ignorant. It is nice that they want independence for you, but driving is not what you should be doing, both for physiological and emotional reasons. You would be a danger to yourself and to others. (I am in your boat, in a way, because driving started to make me nervous, and I gave it up.)

I would ask your treating doctor to explain to your family, in detail, why it would be dangerous for you to drive. (Maybe show them this column.) I am not exactly sure why they don’t take your word for it, but that appears to be the case. As for resources, some cities have a version of “The Ride,” a free service for people with disabilities. Check in your town. There are cabs and buses, of course, and soon your fiancee will be driving. Good luck, and stick to your guns. –Margo, rationally

A Tin Cup in a Wedding Invitation

Dear Margo: The daughter of dear friends is soon to marry. The couple is in their early 30s and has lived independently for several years. This is the first marriage for both of them. The invitation included a card stating that since they already have two of everything they would appreciate a monetary contribution. A check of their website suggests contributions to their European honeymoon or down payment on their house. Call me old-fashioned, but this seems beyond tacky. Checking with a close friend revealed that they don’t want to bother with checks or cash; they only want contributions through the website! I’m inclined to send a nice handmade card! Am I missing something? –Old Lady in Texas

Dear Old: You are missing nothing, my dear, but these 30-somethings sure are: manners and judgment. Old and new etiquette dictate that you do not mandate what a gift should be, and you certainly never ask for money. The specification about “website only,” lest they be burdened with checks or cash, is cheeky impudence. I even have something of a problem with registries because, really, who wants to send, say, one place setting? In any case, send them whatever you like — a handmade card would be just fine if that suits you. When the last dog is shot, do let me know if they managed to finance either their European honeymoon or a down payment. –Margo, disrespectfully

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Dear Margo is written by Margo Howard, Ann Landers’ daughter. All letters must be sent via e-mail to Due to a high volume of e-mail, not all letters will be answered.


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153 Responses so far.

  1. avatar David Bolton says:

    LW1: Most likely you won’t qualify for a license (few, if any doctors will sign off on you under unpredictable meds because of the malpractice risk)—so this is probably a moot point.

    LW2: How odd.

    1) If they were that concerned with saving money for a trip or a down payment, you’d think they would elope or forgo a ceremony. 2) Contributing through a website isn’t free—they’re going to have a chunk of change taken out by PayPal or whatever service they use, which isn’t very bright, considering a trip to the bank takes all of thirty minutes, tops. So are all of you supposed to Skype to the wedding as well, or actually show up somewhere? If it’s the latter, I’d bring whatever gift I felt like giving, and tell them to enjoy it (perhaps a book on etiquette, with chapters on how to act civilized while traveling to other countries or modern, tasteful ways to throw a wedding without alienating/angering your guests or appearing lazy). Or make a contribution to a wonderful charity (like the ASPCA) in their name.

    3) Get ready for that mass “thank you” email. You know it’s coming.

    • avatar A R says:

      Ugh, you are right about the payment service, but then if they are that stupid, I doubt they care about the fees either. After all, it’s not *their* money! :)

      I’d probably send a card of congratulations only, but then I am passive-aggressive like that when someone offends my sensibilities. Own it, baby.

    • avatar Chris Glass` says:

      On Letter 1 – Don’t assume that a DMV won’t give a license to an impaired person – they often do. My husband went in to renew his license two years ago and told the clerk he had Myasthenia, osteoarthritis, diabetes, along with a list of other physical issues. He was issued a 10 year unrestricted license. When my son went to renew his license a 92 year old women who couldn’t see had hers renewed because she had no other way of getting herself to the grocery store or doctor. This kind of thing happens across the country not just in my state.

      • avatar David Bolton says:

        There’s a major difference between an impaired driver who takes an anti-inflammatory and one who takes a medication that may cause drowsiness or unpredictable behavior. It should say VERY CLEARLY on the bottle whether or not driving or operating heavy machinery is considered to be safe. If someone gets pulled over for driving erratically and the blow test doesn’t show booze, the cops are going to do a blood test to screen for drugs. A positive result is going to get them a DWI.

      • avatar Lym BO says:

        I worked a a case manager at a rehab hospital and my husband is a physician. Let me tell you that people go absolutely ballistic if you take their license away. Thus, Very few people are willing to do it. I would approximate 5% of drivers are impaired. LW1 is wise beyond his years.

        • avatar David Bolton says:

          Boy howdy—my mom certainly did (went ballistic). Even after she wrecked her brand-new car because her meds made her fall asleep at the wheel.

  2. avatar Mush says:

    LW1: I once stopped driving temporily because where I sometimes perceived objects (like cars) were not where they actually were. This was due to a temporary medical condition. The final straw was when I slid to a stop thinking I missed my turn (i was only driving 20km) but it turned out I was 25 feet before the turn. I had the same problem with family and especially my boyfriend. Many people are simply unable to understand until it happens to them. Its a character flaw. We should never ever allow others to force us into dangerous situations whatever the reason. 

    LW2: In a time where many couples live together before marriage and household items are much easier to accumulate, maybe its time to revise the gift giving standards…if nothing but to keep less garbage out of the landfills.

    • avatar RL says:

      Re LW2: I agree with you, but I also think it is tacky to specify. Since I’m single and don’t have kids and don’t ask people to spend money on me to celebrate my birthday, etc., I don’t give gifts for any occasion. I’ve always though it too much to ask people to give you gifts. If your family and close friends elect to, that’s one thing, but I really don’t like the whole indirect/passive solicitation dynamic.

    • avatar John Lee says:

      When I read LW#2, I thought it might have been one of my guests for my Oct wedding, until I read the part about wanting to use the website.  But yes, that is nearly identical situation, except it’s a Costa Rica honeymoon instead of an European one that we are going on.

      I didn’t want to have to play my “Asian card” but as you can tell by the reaction by people on this board, for some reason, suggesting a monetary gift (of any amount) is considered so tacky by the older generation though suggesting $100 silverware somehow is totally fine.  When you consider the economy the way it is, it is so ridiculously impractical and wasteful.

      So I played my Asian card.  I was born in Asia and I kept some Asian traditions while adopting all of the better American traditions ( I would say I’m about 90% American, 10% Asian).  Asian wedding gifts are money in red envelopes.  Asians know how expensive a wedding can be, how a new life for a couple with dreams of kids and house can be.  We don’t need $100 dining sets or $200 bed sheets.  We need money for down payment for a house, or paying off our student loans or wedding expenses.

      Of course, I said that no gifts are necessary, but if you wish to get something, send us red envelopes.  I also said in lieu of that, we would be also be very happy if you contributed to a cause dear to us – cancer cure research.  And also, of course I would be totally happy just for the guest’s attendence without giving us a dime, a donation or a kitchen set.  Totally optional.  It’s way better than adding more to landfills (the old kitchen set or whatever).

      Sorry old folks, it’s the new millenium and while some traditions are great, this one of wedding registries instead of money can go to the landfills.

      • avatar Maggie Tenser says:

        It’s not just Asians.  Italians, for example, also give money at weddings.  My grandparents have never given a non-monetary gift at a wedding and I always give money too.

        The issue is not with giving money at weddings.  Obviously, I don’t think there is anything wrong with that.  The issue is issuing invitations in which you dictate to your guests what form their generosity should take.  Such an action is presumptious, ungrateful, and contrary to the very idea of gift-giving.

        And, as I said earlier, I’m in my 20s.  Demanding specific presents (and implicitely stating that any other gift would be unwelcome) is rude.  That’s the long and short of it.

        • avatar amw says:

          Maggie, I’m in my 20s as well. Perhaps we had a better upbringing…but I’m glad I’m not the only 20 something that also feels the bride and groom are way off base.

          • avatar Shannon R says:

            I’m another 20 something that was raised properly! I think presuming of gifts is completely outrageous. So is the new norm of spending $20,000 on a wedding. THERE is your down payment on a house! You invite people to your wedding because you want them to share in the day, not be extorted at the Dillard’s registry. Also the parade of engagement parties, showers, housewarming parties, etc that are tacked on to the wedding events that all require gift giving. By the time you even GET to the wedding you’ve dropped $300 or more on all events. I’m so tempted half the time when people holler we’re engaged! to say “Sorry, I can’t afford for you to get married.”

      • avatar Chris Glass` says:

        This issue is not giving money – that is something that I do figuring that there are many things it can cover at the discretion of the couple. It is the way that an invitation is worded. In the past a couple would tell friends and family verbally that money would be a welcome alternative to another small appliance or set of sheets. It is not something that should ever be part of the original invitation. Telling people that you will only accept money or a destination honeymoon contribution is beyond tacky and looks greedy.

        • avatar David Bolton says:

          I think if the wedding guests had secretly chipped in for a down payment on a house or bought the couple a trip to Europe, that would have been a fantastic surprise that would have provided for some great memories for everyone involved.

          But the couple decided they didn’t want involvement or any surprises, which totally deflates the whole gift-giving process for the guests and turns it into an obligation.

          And as far as the cultural traditions mentioned earlier involving money trees and the like—I bet those money trees had cash and checks attached to them, with nary a credit card number or a direct deposit slip to be found.

      • avatar Lym BO says:

        Armenians give money or jewelry. And some decide the amount based on how much the wedding cost and how many people are guests in their party.
        I hate giving money because I want the receiver to remember me when they use that gift. But then is making it about me, not them. However, I always remember the gift giver when I use/see my gift. …. But your point is a valid one…
        If there is a registry, I try to get something off of it. If not, money.

  3. avatar Katharine Gray says:

    LW#1:  You asked if there were any resources for people in your situation.  Yes.  Public transportation, cabs, or arranging for and paying for a chauffeur.  If your doctor says you shouldn’t drive, then giving that information to your family should convince them to stop insisting that you learn to drive.  Offering them gas money and repaying them in other ways for their services to you might also make them less insistent that you learn.  I am less inclined to demonize your family than Margo is.  Perhaps by *independent* they mean you should stop sponging off of them and expecting them to cart you around wherever you want or need to go at the expense of their time and money.  You don’t say if you are employed or not.  If so, paying for your transportation should be part of your budget.   If not, I assume you are getting some sort of government money.   You may have to spend some of it for bus or cab fare from time to time.  Or at least offer to pay for some gas.

    LW#2:  Send a card (handmade or not) and don’t attend the wedding.  The bride and groom are wrong.  They know they are wrong.  But they don’t care.  They have *rationalized* turning their wedding into a money grab by telling themselves its the *modern* thing to do…or its *convenient for the guests to know what to give so we are doing them a favor*.   Or go to the wedding and buy them a nice crystal vase or something.  I would say don’t go and because they are such on-line advocates, send them a congratulatory e-card but that will only compound the situation by adding more bad manners to the deal.    

    • avatar francophile1962 says:

      LW1: One thing to consider is where this poor guy lives. I grew up in a small town in Michigan (10,000 ppl at the time), and even though it was a college town, there was NO public transportation, cabs, or any of the other options suggested. At one point, we had “Dial-A-Ride”, but even that failed. I agree that the gent needs to find another place to live if he wants to assert his independence, but it could be tougher than it sounds.

    • avatar Kari Bergesen says:


      You don’t wish to demonize his family but it’s okay to demonize him?
      How do you know he is “sponging off them” and asking them to “cart him around”?
      That just isn’t fair. Some families are really not generous to their own relatives and DO NOT
      understand mental health issues.

      By the way, public transportation is one thing – hire a chauffeur???

  4. avatar D says:

    I am confused. What is wrong with asking for money? If the couple has enough stuff, requesting more stuff will only take up space, which it seems they do not have. Also, asking people to contribute via a website makes it easier to keep track of who gave what for thank you note purposes.

    I would caution against sending something that was not requested. That is a recipe for getting the sender’s feelings hurt.

    • avatar Cherubim says:

      I really don’t know what the fuss is about, either. This is what every single one of my friends has done, and it seems to work out fine. I guess the older generation will either get used to it or stop attending weddings altogether. Seems a shame they can’t adapt even in the slightest way.

      • avatar A R says:

        Cherubim (and D), it may “work” in the sense that they ask, and others send, but asking for money has long been considered crass and vulgar in many civilized cultures. Civilized societies have norms and mores to allow people to live together harmoniously. It has nothing to do with age. Age is simply an excuse used by those who don’t want to comply with established norms. Don’t seek an excuse; just say, “I don’t care what is civilized. I plan to do what I want anyway and damn the consequences.” At least others will know where you stand when they mail you handmade cards and etiquette books.

        • avatar D says:

          Remember when I said previously that sending gifts that are not requested are a recipe for getting the sender’s feelings hurt? Sending handmade cards and etiquette books could definitely evoke a response that would hurt the sender’s feelings.

          • avatar mayma says:

            I don’t understand this logic, sorry.  I must send the gift demanded, otherwise I risk getting my feelings hurt when The Couple doesn’t like what I gave???  Surely, you are joking.  Do you understand that the proper response is to say thank you to any gift, no matter what it is? — because the gift itself indicates that the sender has considered you, has gone out of his way for you, has tried to make you happy.  (The etiquette book would be passive-aggressive, but you better believe that a handmade card is thoughtful.)

            Your response indicates that you have a certain view on the position of guest and Couple.  You seem to think that The Couple has to be honored in whatever way they demand, or guest will face their wrath.  I think that The Couple should just be happy that people want to hang with them and witness such a lovely event.

          • avatar D says:

            I am not joking.

            How will giving someone a gift they neither want or ask for make the gift receiver happy? The only person that might be happy is the person that is giving the gift. If I want cash, how is a handmade card thoughtful? The handmade card is just as passive aggressive.

            Personally, I think that giving the couple nothing is better than giving the couple a non-cash gift. I do not think that the couple will be be angry if a non-cash gift is given. Just do not expect them to be thankful of a non-cash gift.

          • avatar Matina Vourgourakis says:

            Wow,   Don’t you understand that a gift is not mandatory?  That you cannot dictate what you receive?  If you want cash maybe you should just go get a job. I give a gift because I want to, because I saw something that reminded me of you, that I thought you would enjoy. If I can’t afford to shower you with cash and can only make you a card with my own creativity I suppose you would act pouty and petulant, maybe send me a snippy email or delete me from your friends on facebook.  Where did such selfish behavior come from?

          • avatar David Bolton says:

            “Just do not expect them to be thankful of a non-cash gift.”

            Wow indeed.

            Try that logic the next time you give someone a gift that you’re excited about, and they turn their nose up at it, sniff disdainfully, and state: “This isn’t what I wanted. Can you return it and give me the cash?”

          • avatar Deeliteful says:

            Since I am “old” I agree with David, AR, mayma, Matina, etc. David, your last post reminds me of a Christmas several years ago when my niece opened my gift, promptly threw it on the floor and tore into the next one. Of course, she was just 2 y/o at the time. She made up for that the next year when she opened my gift, hugged it tightly and said, “Ohhh, I’ve wanted this my whole life!” In case you youngun’s can’t do the math, she was 3 y/o then.

            And, D, to keep arguing your misguided position only shows that you still have a lot to learn. Is that direct enough for you?

          • avatar Deeliteful says:

            Since I am “old” I agree with David, AR, mayma, Matina, etc. David, your last post reminds me of a Christmas several years ago when my niece opened my gift, promptly threw it on the floor and tore into the next one. Of course, she was just 2 y/o at the time. She made up for that the next year when she opened my gift, hugged it tightly and exclaimed, “Ohhh, I’ve wanted this my whole life!” In case you youngun’s can’t do the math, she was 3 y/o then.

            And, D, to keep arguing your misguided position only shows that you still have a lot to learn. Is that direct enough for you?

          • avatar Deeliteful says:

            Oops, how did that double post happen?

          • avatar Lym BO says:

            It’s bc you’re old. Lol!

      • avatar JCF4612 says:

        If that’s what everyone in your circle has done, it’s fair to conclude you’ve got a slew of tasteless friends. Behavior that’s totally lacking in class has nothing to do with age or what generation … it tends to stem from ignorant upbringing.

        • avatar Kayt says:

          If that’s what everyone in a circle does then it is following the microculture’s custom. “Rude” is not following cultural rules. Thus doing the same thing as your clan might seem rude to non members,the same way someone standing close to a stranger seems rude in this culture but not in others.

    • avatar Maggie Tenser says:

      It’s rude because trying to dictate to people what they should give you as a gift, which is, by it’s very nature, a voluntary action on the part of the giver, is rude. 

      • avatar Michelles11 says:

        I agree with Maggie, you just can’t ask for money…it’s rude.  If they had just left that portion off of the invitation, they would have gotten it anyway.  To ASK for it is presumptuous

        • avatar Michelles11 says:

          And, I’m 44, so I’m not sure if I am considered part of the “older” generation…

          • avatar Maggie Tenser says:

            Heh.  I doubt 44 counts as “older.”  And, if it helps, I’m in my 20s.  Maybe only teenagers should attend weddings?

    • avatar MKE says:

      what? I’m in my early 20’s and I still think thats completely rude. I can’t imagine the huevos it would take to call up my grandma, for example and say “nah, I don’t really want anything you would pick out for me, just give me cash.” Some things we should not adapt to….I’d hate to see what weddings will end up like if we keep going this way… the bride and groom just walks around with a big bucket poking people until they get enough for a cruise to Cavo? I agree that they should have just eloped.

      If you are in your 30’s, have been with this person for a while, have all the stuff you need… how greedy to ask for more when you’ve already got so much. and yes, dictating what you get as a gift negates the very purpose of giving it…

      • avatar cleanslate says:

        Yea, sorry, I’m just not feeling it.

        If he is simply afraid to drive, fine. He should then own up to it, and either get over it, or figure out how to function despite it, just like every other nervous Nelly out there. But then he shouldn’t blame his various syndromes and medications. And sorry, but being overly nervous doesn’t qualify you for special transportation that other truly disabled people qualify for.

        If his biology really is to blame, also fine. Then he simply needs to get his doctor to say so, and since I’m sure the DMV would agree with the doctor, he can tell his family to back off. And then perhaps he would qualify for special transportation too.

        But since he doesn’t mention having his doctor’s support (and surely he sees his doctor often, given all your ailments, right? I mean, he has to go regularly to get his meds refilled.), I doubt that he has it. In which case, it’s time for him to grow up, pull up his big boy panties, and deal with the hand he’s been dealt.

        It’s the last part of his letter that really convinces me that he’s manipulative….that his family always brings up the issues when he’s ‘most sensitive.’ Oh please. I bet he’s sensitive every time he hears something that inconveniences him.

        • avatar cleanslate says:

          oops – sorry – this was supposed to be in response to the LW1 conversation.

        • avatar MKE says:

          well, I don’t know the guy, but if you are right about him just being “sensitive” all the time and he actually has the capability to be a funtioning human being on his own, then I agree with you and he doesn’t get my sympathy either. He should just figure out a way to get himself places, its not all that difficult. I mean….bikes are healthy… they even sell these nifty things called helmets and elbow pads now for when the vertigo strikes…

          what I said was only if he actually is acurate in his depiction of his multiple issues. Then all the helmets and elbow pads in the world wont save him or other drivers if he starts seeing double or has depth perception issues… (in which case you are right, he should just get a doctor to tell his family they are all insensitive boobs, and then buy a bus pass)

      • avatar Jessica Burnette says:

        I’m 29 and have lived with my fiance for 7 years.  I was always brought up with the instruction that gifts are not things you ask for.  If someone plans to give you a gift and asks what you would like, it’s ok to give ideas, but don’t expect to get what you suggested and be grateful no matter what it is.  We are getting married in 2 weeks and I would be ashamed to ask for gifts!

    • avatar Mishy Smith says:

      Seriously? My fiance and I are in the exact same situation but I would be damned to do something as brazen as this. We are having a wedding we can afford so we can have a honeymoon we can afford. People ask us constantly what we want, need, etc. but I tell them, we live together so there isn’t much really. My mom is insistent on a registry (something I STILL haven’t done but may just to calm those down who keep telling us we “need” one although I don’t know what we will put on it) but I will NOT tell people to just get us money.

      If someone decides to give us a gift card or $20 in an envelope I will be eternally grateful but to not only ask for money but dictate how it should be given is low.

    • avatar Robert Smith says:

      You just don’t get it:  It’s not whether you should request stuff or request cash, it’s rude to request ANYTHING.  They are GIFTS, not admission fees.  Requesting cash is just the more tacky of the two.  Be grateful if you get anything.

      • avatar Lym BO says:

        Admission fees! That cracks me up. My father in law told me he would pay the cost of our wedding in direct correlation to our monetary gifts . He actually said he would pay the wedding costs over $10k if we got less than that. He wanted us to apply the wedding gift money towards our wedding. If we got more then those gifts would cover the costs of those guests!!! This was his answer for convincing us to invite the 200 extra guests we didn’t know or want to invite. I asked him why we just didn’t charge admission!? Then I promptly moved the wedding to the other side of the country and made it all a moot point. Best. Decision. Ever.
        Our wedding went down as the funnest bc it was small (100) and everyone knew each other or got a chance to…

    • avatar Cherubim says:

      Let me clarify. You are not forced to give anything. The point is to provide a suggestion for what the bride and groom would appreciate/need IF you want to give them a gift. Perhaps the wording in LW 2’s case was more directly solicitous than this, but this is how I’ve seen it done. I’ve NEVER seen a registry that explicitly states that gift-giving is some sort of toll to pay.

  5. avatar Kate Olsen says:

    LW! – As Margo suggested – speak to your attending physican, counselor or whomever prescribes your meds.  Many meds say right on the bottle do not drive.  Show that to your family and also a note from the doctor.  I applaud you for realizing that you might put yourself and more importantly others at risk of injury if you get behind the wheel.  Stick to your guns on this one as you are more than in the right.  But a note to Margo, not all places have cabs or buses.  I live in a town that is so small we do not even have a traffic light, let alone a cab service or public buses.  I thank God for my BFF who takes me to Walmart or other stores when needed as I have no monetary means to buy a car since being downgraded to 4 days a week 3 years ago at my job.  It is not easy for us folks in very rural america these days.

    LW2 – I am beyond words at the tackiness of this couple.  Do what you would normally do.  I realize it is dear friends but if it were me, I would do as I always do and present a nice card with a modest monetary gift inside.  To order people to do something for a wedding is just beyond good taste in any sense of propriety. 

  6. avatar Jim P says:

    Some states have a special driving program for the disabled and/or those that are chemically dependent. (E.g. you take strong pain killers for chronic pain.)

    He may not be able to drive all the time, or may be evaluated as not safe to have a DL. But it could be an option for the LW to make the final decision and not have the family question it.

  7. avatar Anne Talvaz says:

    LW#2 – As a matter of fact, I think the young couple are right. If they are already set up in terms of household goods, a gift of money is far more useful than a collection of superfluous objects they may not even like and which will require extra cleaning and storage.

    A friend of mine did exactly that 20 years ago. Shortly after the wedding, she was due to take up a temporary post 800 miles from the couple’s joint home. The money was to be used for travel so they could afford to visit each other more often. When we made the transfer, we weren’t giving money. We were making a contribution to their happiness and love.

    • avatar A R says:

      Anne, if they don’t need anything, they can simply tell those who ask, “Oh we have everything we need, thanks.”
      The problem is that they DO want stuff. Despite having all they need, they want more, which is why they’ve made arrangements to get more. In this case, the more is a trip to Europe.
      Additionally, invitations should never mention gifts. Attempting to cheat the system by printing/engraving the request on a separate card (not the invitation) is still remiss. Nobody’s fooled.

      • avatar sueb1997 says:

        I think it can be done graciously or it can be done tackily, but the mere concept of telling guests they would prefer monetary donations doesn’t bother me in the least.  Yes, a gift is a voluntary action, but everyone knows that many/most wedding guests expect to bring a gift of some sort.  I see the couple as simply trying to avoid being given all the standard stuff they don’t need.
        Years ago I had friends marry who had most of what they needed, so asked guests who wanted to give a gift to contribute towards a large purchase they were aiming for.  It felt very good to know that one was helping them to get what they actually wanted rather than trying to decide if they actually needed a blender or had 4 of them already, etc.
        As I said, it can be done graciously — it all depends on how it’s worded.  I think pretty much everyone knows that there will be gifts, so I don’t see it as a plea for a gift.  Those who don’t want to offer a gift (or who can’t afford to) don’t have to, and generally aren’t thought any the worse for it.
        PS — My personal favorite wedding gift is a gift certificate to a local plant nursery, where the couple can choose what to spend it on.

        • avatar amw says:

          Unless you feel the need to invite everyone and their barber, its likely your guests already know what you have and don’t have. It is tacky and rude to make any reference to gifts on your invitation, not to mention rather presumptuous. A wedding isn’t about gifts or money.

    • avatar DEE2019 says:

      If the family wants to indulge the spoiled (erm – young) couple, let them do it. But it’s really poor manners to beg from friends, which is essentially what they’re doing.  THey shouldn’t be asking.  A gift is a token of goodwill toward a young couple that’s starting out in life, not a fund raiser to make their lives easier.  I think that most people who are posting “it’s fine, you’re old, you don’t get it” are the ones who either have done this, or are planning to do it.   Not everyone is willing to indulge every whim of a couple that already has “two of everything”, so get used to it.  Either earn your own way, or go without, like everybody else.

      Let the family give the bucks, if they’re so inclined, but to ask for money is tacky.

  8. avatar Carol David says:

    LW1 – Where I live in California there is a paratransit system for the disabled. You qualify (I’m not sure exactly what the parameters are) and then pay a small amount per ride. It’s not the most efficient way to travel – you are given a half hour window and they often don’t come within that window – but it is a way to get around cheaper than a cab, easier than a bus. I don’t know where the letterwriter lives but he should check out disabled resources in his area.

    LW2 – Guess I’m one of those old fogies who is becoming extinct. I even hate registries: if I’m going to be told exactly what to give, I might as well just give money. But even worse I hate that so few people send any kind of thank you note.

  9. avatar Cindy Marek says:

    L #1: I don’t mean to sound rude, but: Please. Don’t. Drive. Frankly your family is in serious denial. You shouldn’t drive. You yourself know this.

    • avatar FireyLady says:

      I couldn’t agree more. He sounds like he’s very aware of the limitations his varied issued put him under. How sad that Denial is apparently and Egyptian river in this man’s house.

  10. avatar Cindy Marek says:

    L #2: Gotta love the super-selfish and clueless younger folks…

    • avatar amw says:

      Not all us “younger folks” are clueless and selfish. Some of us still hold true to the values instilled in us by prior generations. A select few unfortunately have minds molded around the behavior they witness on tv…sad, but true. That doesn’t mean we all caught the bug.

  11. avatar Michelles11 says:

    RE: LW2  I am of the opinion that wedding gifts are supposed to help the couple begin their life together.  If you have lived together and ALREADY have all that “stuff” then just get married and celebrate.  If people want to give you gifts, then they give you gifts which you accept graciously.  THEN SEND A THANK YOU note, thanking them for the gift and for helping you to celebrate your life together.  A wedding celebration should NOT be a bid for gifts of money, (especially if the couple is well-established AS A COUPLE with a HOME they have ALREADY furnished and equipped with life’s necessities.)  I am 44, not sure if I am of the OLDER generation or not, but I am constantly amazed at the nerve of people who feel they are entitled to all sorts of things they don’t need or deserve.  I work hard for everything I have and would GLADLY give gifts, monetary or otherwise, to people who are getting married, having a baby, graduating from school, etc but I don’t like the idea of soliciting money from your guests.  Just don’t put it on the invite, it’s tacky and tasteless.  I will have to admit I do like wedding registries because I don’t have to think about what to give to the newlyweds, but I honestly don’t feel people should think that they HAVE to buy something off of it.  JMHO but a wedding should be a celebration of two people commiting to each other, not a bid for gifts or money for a honeymoon or house.

    • avatar A R says:

      Well said, Michelles11. If they have everything they need, why make arrangements to get more? “Oh, we have all we need from our two homes. Just come to the wedding! We’d love to see you that day.”
      Problem is, they DO want stuff.They want money stuff, but they are scared people won’t give it. Instead of crossing their fingers and hoping for a check, they’ve found a way to strong-arm people into giving money.The sad part is that if they were just gracious and patient, many would write them a check when they heard from the family of the couple that they already had plenty of house items.

  12. avatar Barbara says:

    LW #1: You need to figure out an independence plan. Rather than thinking the solution is driving, the solution is transportation. Focus on that. How do you get where you need to go, either by public transportation, through friends, walking, whatever.

    LW#2: I do not agree with the responders here who think nothing of asking for monetary contributions to a web site. Gifts are supposed to be an expression of your good wishes. The very best gifts are those you have chosen personally for the person you are honoring. Somehow this has morphed into building someone’s bank account. Perhaps you think I am old fashioned. I would much rather have one small but carefully picked out gift that reminds me of the presenter than a bigger number in my internet bank statement. I have a very small but beautiful vase that my great aunt sent me when I got married. I smile every time I see it. It is not worth much. It wasn’t anything I would have asked for. It’s not even necessarily the “style” of my house. But it is a wonderful expression of her wishes for my happiness and I treasure it.

    And Carol David — I agree on the point about thank you notes. An email doesn’t do it. A blanket thanks to everyone doesn’t do it. A gift requires a hand written note, personalized so that the person you are thanking knows you know and appreciate what they gave.

    Cheribum and D (responders above) — it’s not about the money. An invitation to a wedding is not meant to be a money grab. It is supposed to be about being surrounded by those who know you well and wish you the best for the future. Somehow this has turned into a play for financing an over the top wedding and honeymoon. If you cannot afford the travel you have planned without monetary presents from others, perhaps you should stay home.

  13. avatar martina says:

    LW#1 – if you have public transportation in your area, they may have a special service for those with disabilities.  We have that service here where they actually have door to door service and for a reasonable fee.  You would just need to get your doctor to fill out a form stating why you need the service.

  14. avatar cleanslate says:

    wow – I am gonna be crucified for this, but LW1 sounds more like a voluntarily helpless / unmotivated guy to me than someone who really can’t drive. If all of those conditions preclude him from being able to drive, or if his meds say he shouldn’t drive on them, then that is something his doctors would have discussed with him long ago, and he could use that to fend off his family without Margo’s help.

    But lots of bipolar people, as well as those with ADHD, Aspergers, drive every day. I personally know several. I also know that those same people – particularly the bipolar ones – love attention, and love to use their ‘disabilities’ to have everyone else’s world revolve around them.

    He’s a 20-something year old, living at home, not driving. If he’s able to work, then he’s able to drive and/or figure out – AND PAY FOR – his own transportation. If he’s not able to work, then he should have plenty of medical documentation to back up his claims of helplessness.

    • avatar Jrz Wrld says:

      If he doesn’t feel comfortable driving with his MULTIPLE conditions, he shouldn’t. Frightened drivers are just as dangerous as aggressive drivers. I invite you to share the road with the LW, but I would prefer not to. I myself have plain-old ADD, and I understand his fears all too well. I drive, but I make sure the conditions are perfect when I do so. No radio. A well-planned route. A check on my emotional wellbeing before I get behind the wheel. No urban driving in confusing cities like DC or NYC. That kind of thing. The LW’s issues go far beyond mine, however, and I can see that the little steps I take might not have much affect on him.

      • avatar D C says:

        I’d much rather ride with you than my ADD husband.  We just got back from spending 3200 miles on the road in 13 days, and there were times I just had to close my eyes and pray.  And we’ve been married almost 30 years, so I’m used to it!  He likes to drive with the tunes cranked up loud, his GPS on and is constantly looking away from the road at at his GPS while driving.  I had to take it away and HOLD it so he couldn’t do that. 

    • avatar MKE says:

      While I agree that if he is actually able to figure this out himself, he should…but it sort of sounds like he isn’t. I know exactly what you mean about bipolars and attention, that is part of their condition, but don’t forget the guy said that the docs are changing his meds up lately, and I tend to believe him about his symptoms. My father has a seizure disorder, and it took them a while to get his meds right, so I had to drive him around for a few months… It may be that he could drive sometimes, under perfect conditions, but that it just wouldnt usually be safe. If it’s as serious as he describes, I sure as hell don’t want him driving on the same roads as I am…for both our safety.

      I can understand if his family gets tired of driving him everywhere when they have their own things to do…so public transportation or programs like what margo mentioned are probably his best option. And maybe when the fiancee gets her license, she’ll be willing to drive him around…and I bet he’ll even chip in for gas :)

    • avatar amw says:

      What you don’t take into consideration is the fact that while medicines can control symptoms, they don’t always work to their full ability.

      I suffer from severe anxiety and PTSD. Typically my daily drives pass normally. At times though, I suffer from flashbacks and images of wrecks and hazards while driving. Thankfully none have been so severe that my driving ability was compromised (other than a lack of attention to “reality”), but if heaven forbid I do have a particularly vivid “attack”, I could go from being the safest, most cautious driver on the planet to one more dangerous than a drunken driver.

      Can you imagine how difficult it would be to make the decision not to drive? Perhaps his doctors haven’t had to tell him not to drive because he won’t. Not everyone with a mental disability is selfish and self-centered. I’d much rather he not drive than take the risk.

    • avatar Mimsy says:

      There was a young girl once who was so nervous behind the wheel that she would close her eyes every time a car approached coming the other way. Would you REALLY want to be out on the road with her? Of course you wouldn’t. Nervous people shouldn’t drive, until they’ve handled their issues off the road. If they cannot, they shouldn’t be told to “get over it’

    • avatar stateoflove_N_Trust says:

      I agree with you.  He needs to talk to the doctor about this.  If the doctor thinks that he shouldn’t be driving, then his family can’t say anything.  If the doctor thinks that he can, he should at least give it a try.  It may just be the case where the guy is downplaying his capabilities because it is more comfortable for him to be dependent.  He may be right too, but I don’t think he has even looked into enough to make a determination.

  15. avatar S Brown says:

    I have a D-I-L who sent Save The Date cards a year in advance for her wedding, invited everybody except the sacker at her supermarket (including my wealthy sister whom she’d met once five years previously), “gave” herself 3 months to send thank you’s and then just didn’t get around to it. Next came her house-warming (bring your own refreshments), her on-line “degree”, and now her baby, etc., etc., etc. These self-involved people with a massive sense of entitlement who “share” their life events in order to vacuum up gifts and money should simply be dismissed for what they are. I don’t think this behavior is “modern”. Greed and selfishness have been around for centuries.

    • avatar Rita@ Goldivas says:

      You’ve summed it up very well, S.

    • avatar SKY says:

      I created an account JUST to respond to this comment. It really sounds like you wouldn’t approve of anything your DIL does anyway. She may have only met your sister once, but how many times has your SON met her? It’s his wedding too. Is he supposed to exclude his Aunt? If he had, I have a feeling you’d be complaing about how you DIL wouldn’t let your son invite his family because she just had to invite “everybody except the sacker at her supermarket.” Undoubtedly she was wrong for not sending thank you notes, but it doesn’t sound like your son ever got around to it either. Were you as hard on him as you were on her? Then you’re disparaging her online “degree.” Not all online schools are reputable, but many are accredited and their students work just as hard as people with degrees from traditional universities. I don’t know about bringing your own refreshments to “her housewarming” (was your son living somewhere else that he couldn’t go out and buy a few 6 packs of soda for “her housewarming?”) Also, I’ve known plenty of nondrinkers who prefer people to bring their own alcohol and take it home with them, since they don’t want to supply it in their home, but don’t want to offend guests by restricting their choices. And why is it “her” baby. Presumably YOUR son had something to do with it, so isn’t it HIS baby too? Your DIL maybe selfish and self involved, but your comment makes me think you’re not so sterling yourself. Just thought I’d point out your DIL isn’t the only one in the wrong here. I’m sorry if i came off as harsh, I’m just sick of MILs acting liek their sons are perfect and their DILs “selfish, self-involved, and greedy” for JOINT actions/decisions!

      • avatar amw says:

        I agree with you.

        Celebrating an online degree is no different than attending a college graduation. It takes a lot of self discipline…more so than going to weekly classes where you are observed and have easier interaction with your instructor. Not to mention, she is bettering herself and ensuring a higher paying job than without it. Why wouldn’t she enjoy the opportunity to celebrate? She deserves it!

        I also don’t believe DIL was in the wrong having a potluck dinner for her housewarming party. If you’ve just moved in, you may not have everything in its place. I’d gather she probably had some things available for her guests. Sometimes it can be hard to find finger foods that everyone will like. The potluck ensures that everyone will have something to eat/drink that they enjoy.

        You do realize DIL’s baby is your grandchild? What is so wrong with sharing the joy of the new family member with those you love?

        It seems to me that your remark about your wealthy sister is one of jealousy. Simply because you don’t like your sister (presumably because you aren’t as well off as she) doesn’t mean that other family members reciprocate your feelings.

        The thank-you notes definitely should have been mailed…it seems the worst thing about your DIL is a bit of a lazy attitude toward common courtesy and wanting to involve you in the things that make her happy. You should consider yourself lucky. She didn’t take your baby…you gained a daughter. Look at her like that and enjoy the additions to your family. Life is too short. And perhaps next time an event she hosts requires thank-yous, offer to help or come sit with the baby for an hour while she gets it done. It’s a nice gesture and will help the two of you bond.

        No offense, but you should definitely take a step back to determine if these feelings of animosity are really warranted.

      • avatar S Brown says:

        Sky, I was widowed young, so this DIL is not married to my son but rather to my second husband’s son. I did not rear him. Referring to the baby as “hers” was no slip; that’s how SHE refers to him, always. No, I am not sterling, but when I married my husband we handled the issue of not needing any more “stuff” by including a small, hand-written note in our invitations saying that the guest’s presence was our gift, but if they really wanted to also give something more, a donation to the animal shelter or the zoo would be a delight.

  16. avatar jj_az says:

    I’m in my late 30’s and am about to get married for the 2nd time.  We’ve been living together for over a year and we really don’t need stuff.  We actually put on one of our enclosures that we appreciated everyone’s love and support and that was all that we wanted to get from them. 

    Technically, you shouldn’t mention gifts anywhere in an invite, but we really don’t want people to get us anything.  Really.  We know some people will anyway, and we will accept graciously, but, to mirror someone else’s point- a wedding is not about gifts.  It’s about celebrating with your closest friends and family.

  17. avatar Susan Thomas says:

    Abington gone through the getting married part twice, I feel that registries are a sort of nice idea, but then I have known couples who figured out what everyone spent on them for a gift. Since when did a wedding go from “we found our perfect person and invite you to celebrate with us” to ” let’s have six showers and jack and jill’s and see how much money we can squeeze out of everyone we know”. Unless there are separate groups of people, I always believed one shower should be enough. Nowadays it seems as though it is not about the marriage, or their love, but about the lengths they go to make it all about themselves, and how much stuff they can grab. It is called having class. If you are in love, and want to get married, then please do so, but don’t expect me to furnish your home, help you buy a home, or pay for your honeymoon. I am 62 years young, and the behavior that I see in a some marrying couples today explains why there are so many divorces. They have forgotten it is about their new life together, and believe it is a great way to make some money without having to work for it. This couple is independent, and has been for many years. What people wish to give is up to them, not for them to dictate. And while I am on the subject, the behavior of quite a few brides I have heard of lately has also gone downhill. Since when should it cost someone thousands of dollars to be in your wedding, when with the type of behavior that you display, chances are in a year you will be divorced? Maybe guests should be able to pay with postdated checks, and if your marriage lasts a year, then you can cash them. I realize the world is changing, but sometimes it is not necessarily for the best.

    • avatar Barbara says:

      Well said. Let’s start a groundswell of people getting back to the basics. You get married, you do it modestly, surrounded by those you love and who love you. The guests bring you their well wishes and simple expressions of their hope for your happiness. You respond with very quick thank yous for everyone who helped you celebrate a joyous start to the next chapter of your life.

      • avatar D C says:

        My daughter was maid of honor at her college roommate’s wedding a few weeks ago.  They had the wedding in the back yard.  The bride was barefoot.  They hung home made paper lanterns and last year’s Christmas lights on the patio.  The bride told the bridesmaids to “just find a beige dress to wear”.  It looked like something out of 1968, but it was incredibly charming. 

        Lucky me — my daughter thought it was an AMAZING wedding.  I’m thinking I won’t have to mortgage the house when it’s my daughter’s turn to get married. 

        • avatar Carib Island Girl says:

          Anyone who would mortgage their house to foot a wedding is stupid, though I realize you are probably joking. I don’t think anyone should be asked to foot someone else’s wedding PERIOD.

  18. avatar Mary says:

    # 1.  You have the good sense to know that you should not drive esp. if you don’t feel safe doing so.  If you live in a city, take advantage of the public transportation out there.  If you are rural , check into the services of your nearest bigger city and see what is available.  Here , if you are disabled you fit the criteria for Senior Transportation and make a appointment a day in advance to go wherever you need for a small donation, * usually 2.00.  Another thought though is to take a driving class, even if you don’t want to drive or feel unsafe, but going through the driving class process may make you feel differently and having a license is like insurance for a time when you may have a emergency and because so many places require a license for id.

    #2.  I would probably make a charitable donation in the couples name.  If they don’t need things for the home, someone else does, and all the money they save because they don’t need anything should give them that honeymoon or down payment for a home. 

    • avatar elaine s says:

      Regarding LW#1:  Having your doctor talk directly to your family is the answer to your question.  If he or she feels you are unsafe to drive, so be it. 

      One question:  do you think having Asperger’s Syndrome contributes to making you unable to drive?  I was married to someone so afflicted and it didn’t make him a bad driver.  He lacked most all social skills, so should the roadsigns where I live that say “Drive Friendly” have been a challenge for him?

    • avatar etienne westwind says:

      “having a license is like insurance for a time when you may have a emergency and because so many places require a license for id.”

      What places? States issue non-driver IDs that should be accepted anywhere a driver’s license is requested. I saw them all the time when I was a cashier and had to card for alcohol or tobacco.

  19. avatar momis says:

    LW#2 brings an interesting question and I don’t know how I feel about the issue yet. I’m Hispanic and was raised in my homecountry until the age of 14 (I’m 30 now). I remember when I moved to the states and started attending weddings I was shocked people had wedding registries. I found them rude. Back home people gift what they want or what they can afford. I’m nowhere near getting married but I’m sure that when the time comes I’d probably not have a wedding registry at all. I already have a house and all or most of the kitchen appliances that I need as well as other items typically given as wedding presents. I don’t have space to put items aside that I already own. More than likely, I would return them for the money that I can use for something else; I don’t even think I would exchange them for something else as I have all that I need. However, I would feel guilty returning stuff that people so thoughfully gave me.

    I think money would be of better use for me but I can’t imagine asking for that. There is no way, in my opinon, to ask for it and not come of as crass or vulgar. I think for me this would be a lose-lose situation. Not sure what I would do.

    • avatar D says:

      Since you say it is rude to ask for gifts via registries, is it also rude to return gifts that you do not want or need? I am assuming that you are returning the gifts for cash so why not eliminate the time you will take returning the gifts (assuming you can return them) and just ask for the cash? If you feel it is a losing proposition to ask for cash but you feel that cash would be more useful to you, you have to not be so concerned about coming across as crass and vulgar, take the short run L, and ask for the cash. You will be better off in the long run.

      • avatar mayma says:

        “you have to not be so concerned about coming across as crass and vulgar, take the short run … “

        HA, HA, HA, HA!!!  My laugh for the day.  By all means, don’t let crass and vulgar stand in your way.  Put those pesky thoughts aside and get what’s comin’ to ya!!


      • avatar Mimsy says:

        No. No, no no.

        That’s almost on the same wavelength as asking for TWO of everything so you can “just return the other for cash.” How utterly mercenary.

      • avatar momis says:

        I have never return a gift given to me; I’ve been fortunate to get stuff I needed at the time or really enjoy having. Overall I don’t have an issue with people having gift registries; they come handy when I don’t want to bother putting too much effort selecting a gift for someone I’m acquainted with but not necessarily close. I don’t think I could get myself to set a registry as I would be too concerned with picking things that are within a certain price range so people don’t feel like I’m taking advantage of their generosity. There lays my dilemma; by not doing so I will probably get something I don’t need. I don’t really know what I would do at that point, I could return it (which to answer the question, I do think it is rude) or I could gift it back to someone that needs it, which is also rude. I guess to not be rude I should just store that item somewhere and have it occupy space that I may not have. I don’t know…

        That is why I say some times money is best thing to gift but I wouldn’t ever think of asking people to give me money instead. Like I said, for me is a lose-lose situation. It may be a cultural thing for me as well as returning gifts was another thing I found shocking when I moved here. As I assimiliate more I’ve learned to see that such practices are not really as shocking as I found them at first but I’m not sure if I still want to do them.

        All of this may as well just be a moot point because as my friends get marry one after the other I get shocked to hear how much it costs to rent a venue for a wedding and to dine and wine your guests. I’ve considered to just elope when the time comes but I already know I never going to win this battle if I do that. I can already hear my relatives complaining that I didn’t do the right thing by eloping or if I do have a wedding they’ll criticize how pricey/cheap it was, how expensive the gifts I picked are, etc. Anyway, not the time to worry about those things just yet.

      • avatar Jon T says:

        In short, “It’s not about being polite, it’s about ME!”

        • avatar momis says:

          Well everyone is entitled to their opinion; just like my opinion/perception is that some people here come off as mean spirited. I simply tried to say that the whole gift thing vs getting money would be a dilemma for me. Didn’t intent to make it seem that is all about me. In that case I would had completely agreed that requesting a monetary gift is not bad manners. I think I’m just going to read the advice column and refrain from making any comments in the future. 😐

          • avatar Lilibet says:

            Momis, I think Jon’s comment was directed at D, not you. You sound very concerned about doing the right thing, and I’ve appreciated your contribution to the discussion. Don’t stop commenting. :-)

          • avatar Jon T says:

            Yes, Momis. It was intended as a joking response to D’s suggestion that it’s OK to be rude in the short run for the purposes of getting what one wants. I promise I’m not trying to be rude or run anyone off the boards. Apologies for any misunderstanding.

  20. avatar PeaceandLove says:

    My son is in the autistic spectrum and is diagnosed as ADHD. He recently graduated from High School, and we had a specialist come in to help him plan for his future. One of the things he did was administer a test to see if he would be able to drive. It was over an hour in length, and measured his ability to focus, response time, etc. He reported that there was no reason why he couldn’t drive. That was several months ago, and although my son is still nervous about the idea of driving, he found comfort in the evaluation.

  21. avatar Robert Smith says:

    “When the last dog is shot”, Margo?  I love odd expressions – my favorite is from Texas: “and that’s the bathwater we’ve been drinkin'” – but I’ve never heard that one.  Can you elaborate a little?

  22. avatar etienne westwind says:

    Re: LW2. As someone who finds it hard to come up with gifts my family would appreciate on my own, I like ideas, which is what Registries are. You don’t have to follow them. That said, it’s nervy to say “here’s what you can get me”, unless you’re below five years old. Stuff like Registries or cash preferences should only be mentioned when asked about, not tucked into the invitation, or spontaneously blurted in conversation.

    Also, in my opinion, if the couple truly has everything they need for their household, it is classier to say “We have all we need, but you really want to do something, we support these charities”. And I don’t mean the charity of us. If those two truly can’t swing the trip and down payment for the house on their own, they need to reevaluate their budget and priorities. A smaller house, or a closer honeymoon with the agreement to save up for Europe as the X-year anniversary.

    • avatar D says:

      You say “I like ideas, which is what registries are” and then say “it’s nervy to say “here’s what you can get me”. Isn’t the point of a registry say to say “here’s what you can get me”? The reason to put a registries or cash preferences in the invitation is to not have to answer the question of what the registry or cash preferences are an umpteen number of times.

      • avatar Maggie Tenser says:

        Well, I would hope that the registry is not “here’s what you can get me.”  Unless registries are only for controlling, ungrateful, people who believe that they should be able to demand specific presents from their friends and relations.  The beauty of allowing people to ask you is that it acknowledges the fact that the gift is voluntary.  It acknowledges the fact that your beloved friends and family could come and celebrate your special day and give you nothing but their good wishes.  And, frankly, the tiny bit of inconvenience involved in waiting to be asked seems worth not appearing to be an entitled whiner.

      • avatar etienne westwind says:

        Okay, I thought my subsequent sentence made it clear I meant “here’s what you can get me”, without solicitation. Gifts are voluntary, and mentioning options without being asked comes across as demanding. No one is obligated to only give a gift from the registry, follow a cash preference, or give any gift at all. People tend think that those who attend weddings without a gift are cheap (and rude, at least how I was raised, though it is equally rude to expect gifts). But it is not a requirement. And LW2 suggests they are not even planning to attend the wedding.

        It is clear that LW2 got the impression they were expected to contribute money to either the trip, house or both. And that could well be what the couple thinks all invitees should do. But there is nothing to stop LW2 from doing something else, like donating to Habitat for Humanity in the couple’s name. Or just sending the simple e-card others have suggested.

        • avatar etienne westwind says:

          “And that could well be what the couple thinks all invitees should do.”

          This should read “And that could well be what the couple thinks all invitees must do.”

  23. avatar Michelle Cook says:

    I used to love going to weddings, picking out the perfect gift for the couple and enjoying the celebration of their love. Nowadays, weddings seem all so scripted, commercial and boring. I find registries appalling – especially if the items selected by the couple are not in the best of taste. Soliciting donations for a honeymoon or a down payment? Tacky beyond words.

    • avatar Barbara says:

      Michelle, I’m with you. Weddings used to be fun occasions to think of something special for the couple. Now it’s a money grab.

      I use the registry to get a feel for the couple’s style and then choose something appropriate, whether on the registry or not. For example, my niece’s registry had a lot of camping things. I happen to know that a lot of their camping gear is quite old. So I bought them two high end sleeping bags. Not the normal wedding present, not on their official registry, but they were thrilled, they sent the nicest note in response with a picture of the sleeping bags in their tent, and have mentioned to me several times how much they think of me when they go camping. (And believe me, I am not a camper at all, so this wasn’t something I would normally have picked.)

      That’s how this is supposed to work.

      • avatar Michelles11 says:

        Barbara,  your reasoning is exactly the same as mine…I like registries because 1. I may be lazy and don’t really want to think about what to buy or 2. I don’t know the couple that well (a friend’s daughter or son…) 3. I can get a feel for the couple’s style and get them something appropriate, but within my budget, or nicer than what they asked for.  I use them as a guide, or I give a monetary gift…regardless, there shouldn’t be a specific request for money in an invite.  The fact that you received a nice Thank You note, and even a picture! says a lot about your niece and her husband. 

        • avatar David Bolton says:

          The best wedding I’ve been to in the last ten years was for a co-worker who got married at the J.O’ the P. on her lunch break. She came back, we had decorated her cubicle and had cupcakes and gave gifts in the break room. She was surprised, appreciative, and we all laughed our asses off and got drunk while she opened presents. Zero drama, 100% awesome.

  24. avatar JCF4612 says:

    LW1: Congratulations on getting a letter to Margo despite your attention problems. By all means, budget your income (either from a job or government aid) for transportation. Hire a college student or even a licensed high school kid for rides. Walking or taking a bus never hurt anyone, either.

    LW2: Why waste your time and talent crafting a homemade card? Love the idea of sending an e-card to the “modern” bridal duo. (I’d also be inclined to skip the wedding, citing a prior commitment, thus eliminating any need to ante up on this ballsy money grab.) Instead, why not take your friend to lunch after the wedding chaos dies down.  

  25. avatar Chris Glass` says:

    The term Bridezilla should be translated to Greedzilla for some folks because that is the way they come across. They are nothing but a hog for gifts. I attended two showers for the bride to be of my nephew. She would only accept gifts that fit the theme of her new home. I was not thanked for either of them. I gave the couple $400 for a wedding gift that was never acknowledged either. The marriage didn’t last a year and I heard that the young woman later had a divorce party.

    Many celebrations, not just weddings, have become out of hand. I was invited to a 20th anniversary party planned by the couple’s daughter. My assessment to attend was $100 a person to cover the cost of the meal and venue. On top of that there was a gift registration at a jeweler so mama could upgrade her diamond.

    These may be modern times but few of us like to be told what to give or forced to contribute to things that we know many of the attendees can’t afford for themselves. Gifts are supposed to be a voluntary contribution to help the happy couple celebrate their new lives not extortion or a way of financing their future lifestyle. I have always given cash to be used at the discretion of recipient but I was scolded for that recently. That couple will be off my social list from now on.

    • avatar amw says:


      Since when did an invitation include footing your own bill?

      I may be young but I certainly do not understand some of the more “modern” practices. If you can’t afford an extravagant party, you can’t afford it.

      The venue we are using for our reception does a cash bar only because it’s located in a dry county. While this was acceptable, I was horrified to discover they also required payment for tea and pop as well. While I will relay the message that it is a cash bar, I am going to pre-pay for drinks and have a voucher for each guest so they aren’t left without a drink because they don’t have any cash.

    • avatar MKE says:

      hahahahaha divorce parties and jewelry upgrades? Really? I thought the 20th anniversary was for china sets, not diamonds… hell it takes 50 years just to make it to gold! I wish you were joking, but sadly I think you are serious about these people…


    • avatar Carib Island Girl says:

      Chris, why are you still attending these events? The quickest way to quash this trend would be if everyone quit going! I do not attend anything in which a “gift” is implied unless it’s very close friends or family. And, gasp, I’ve not been ostracized!

  26. avatar D C says:

    Wedding gifts.  It’s all in the wording.  I know from the time I knew people who were getting married (about 35 years ago), it was common practice to ask where a couple was registered.  If I get a wedding invitation, I’m on every site from Walmart to Waterford looking for names to see what they registered for — maybe that just means I’m nosy, but if I plan to get someone a gift, I’d much rather they be happy with it (read, something they actually want) than to have the reaction my husband and I did when we got that incredibly ugly basket-woven wall art thing that was obviously not chosen just for us.  A girl I knew as she grew up got married a year or so ago and I found that the only registry she had was through a travel agency.  She had plenty of “stuff” — why NOT get donations toward a honeymoon you couldn’t otherwise afford?  And by the way, I didn’t get an invitation to that wedding or a shower — I had been out of contact with the bride’s family for a while — I just heard about the wedding through the grapevine and decided to send a gift.  So I sent a monetary donation to the registry. 

    If you get an invitation to a shower, it SHOULD list a registry if you have one.  That just makes life a whole lot easier for people like me (of which I truly believe I’m the majority) who like to give gifts that make people happy.  The whole idea of the shower is to give gifts.  A wedding invitation should have no mention at all of gifts of any kind.  That is tacky, in my opinion. 

  27. avatar amw says:

    Since I’m planning a wedding myself, I couldn’t help but comment to LW2. In lieu of a “gift” registry you can set-up a registry to pay for your honeymoon which isn’t necessarily a bad idea when the couple has all the essentials that are typically given as gifts. My issue is the way they advertised their wants and expectations. Contrary to their popular belief, while a nice gesture, nothing requires an attending guest to give you a gift. Not to mention, it is considered a wedding faux pas to make such a request, let alone print it on your invitation! My fiance’s cousin and his wife did something similar…their invitation requested cash donations. I have played a little bit with an online registry but don’t really ever intend on using it. I will not say a word about it unless asked and typically I tell my guests their presence is present enough. Because that’s the truth. We are inviting people we hold dear to us and would like them to join us as we make our love “official.” It isn’t about inviting as many people as we can stuff in the venue so we can get that ridiculously expensive china set we will never use. I don’t understand where this sense of entitlement and greed has come from. If I were the LW, I would send a nice card with a note that “regretfully” they are unable to attend but wanted to wish the bride and groom the best. 

  28. avatar Lila says:

    For LW1, THANK YOU for your responsible decision not to drive.

    Disabilities aside, driving isn’t for everyone. A teacher I knew got her license mainly to have a government-issued ID, but did not own a car and never drove: she was too nervous and afraid about it, and recognized that in that state, she was more likely to cause an accident.

    I really wish we would develop better public transit here in the US.

  29. avatar Lila says:

    Re: the tin cup: I am not so offended as the LW is. A friend just had her third wedding last year (third time’s the charm, I hope!). The couple booked a honeymoon and, like the LW’s friends, set up a website where people could buy them specific honeymoon-related items. For instance, you could buy a bottle of champagne for their arrival; one of their nights at the hotel; a horseback rental on the beach; a spa treatment; etc. etc. They were prepared to pay for anything their well-wishers didn’t pony up. All of it, if necessary.

    How is this so different from a standard bridal registry, where we are asked to buy specific china, silverware, etc? These older couples already HAVE that stuff. So instead of $50 for a tureen, why not $50 for champagne? What’s the difference?

    BTW, my friends sent very nice, specific thank-you notes for the gifts. They DO have better manners than some.

    • avatar amw says:

      My guess is the LW was more offended that it was requested than that was what they wanted.

      As you said, some have manners, others don’t.

      I think the honeymoon registries are an excellent idea. How fun to get the opportunity of an excursion that you may otherwise not have been able to afford.

  30. avatar Koka Miri says:

    Lw2: I think this must be a generational thing. I’ve heard of quite a few people asking for monetary gifts instead of physical ones, and I find this perfectly logical – especially if a couple has made house together for a year or so before the wedding, which is definitely more common these days. I’m not sure what the logic is if you say it’s tacky to say “in lieu of a registry, the couple would appreciate any monetary help you’d like to give toward their honeymoon” but towels etc. are ok. The last wedding I was at the bride registered for a metal fruit stand. People don’t exactly register for things they *need*, so if a registry is ok, I think a registry for money should be fine too, as long as it’s not asking for specific amounts. 

    I do agree it’s tacky to say what form the money should come in though, that’s just controlling.

    • avatar Jon T says:

      I think the distinction that gets overlooked is it’s one thing if a guest asks the couple. At that point it’s OK to say, “To be honest there’s nothing we really need as far as things go. Some people have offered us money if you’d like to go that route.” But telling guests in the invitation that the hosts are expecting cash is rude. Giving a gift to newlyweds is of course customary, but detailing what you want up front gives an air of entitlement.
      For what it’s worth,not everyone who attended my wedding reception brought a gift, and we wouldn’t dream of suggesting that they owed us one, let alone dictate how they should spend their money on us. We invited them for their presence, not for what we could get out of them.

  31. avatar K Coldiron says:

    I just got married, and my groom and I didn’t need any things either. We continued to say “your present is your presence” (and meant it sincerely) despite well-meaning relatives and friends who wanted to get us stuff. We ended up raking in a good amount of cash, because my mother-in-law discreetly told people that if they insisted on getting us a gift, cash was what we could use more than anything else.

    So. You can still get cash, if that’s what you want, if you’re not greedy and nasty about it. And I’ll add that the cash was nice, but the lovely cards that we got meant a lot more to us.

  32. avatar Miss Lee says:

    A suggestion to the couple getting married.  You want some cash, you have two of everything…hold a garage sale. 

  33. avatar stateoflove_N_Trust says:

    LW1 seemed to have very good insight into his capabilities and conditions in light of the numerous mental health issues that he has.  Although Margo response was fairly harsh on the family, it is quite plausible that the family actually has better insight in this person’s condition than he does.  Perhaps, he is just afraid to make this major step and is perfectly comfortable with allowing his family to care for him.  It sounds like he is making excuses for his fear rather than trying to see if he is capable of driving.  If a doctor had an issue with him driving, it probably would have been brought up in the letter that a doctor believed him to be incapable of driving.  That would be the strongest argument that he could make to the family.  In most states, if a doctor believes a patient to be incapable of driving, they are usually the ones who start the process to have a license yanked.

    • avatar stateoflove_N_Trust says:

      With that being said, it is plausible that LW1 knows and understands his limitations better than anyone.  His treating physician is who he needs to talk to and that will give him a better understanding of whether he should be driving or not.

  34. avatar S Brown says:

    Sky, I was widowed young, so this DIL is married to my second husband’s son. I did not rear him and he doesn’t know my sister either since they live out-of-state. Referring to the baby as “hers” was not a slip; it’s how SHE refers to him, always. My husband and I solved the issue of not needing more “stuff” by enclosing a small, handwritten note in our invitations saying that the guest attending was our gift, but if they wanted to do more to commenorate our happiness, they could give donations to the animal shelter or to the zoo. My DIL posted on FaceBook that she’d already started using her wedding shower gifts two months before the wedding.

  35. avatar Diane Shaw says:

    Ltr #2.  I’d just send a card, or a token gift (just out of spite – okay, spite’s not good manners, either).  That’s really, really, really, tacky.  Here’s the diff between dictating gifts and traditions:  dictating is setting the ground rules & expectations to someone of what it is you want for whatever occasion it may be.   Traditional gift giving is getting gifts because it’s sort of a societal practice that’s evolved over time.  It’s not something specifically asked for or that should ever be expected.  A gift should always be just that – A GIFT.  Not a shake-down.  I also agree with Margo about registering. But see, people are now expecting gifts as part of the package and, like the LW, guests complain about it.  But rather than putting our feet down, we go with the flow to avoid conflict when all this does is reinforce this as perfectly acceptable behavior. 

  36. avatar Tiffany says:

    LW#2 hits home, because I just attended a wedding last weekend where the invitation not only gave you the list of places where they were registered, but also included the disclaimer that they’d prefer “contributions to the honeymoon.” I’m 29 and not much of an etiquette hound (at all) but this still struck me as inappropriate and crass. If your wedding is just a money grab, have the courtesy to at the very least not broadcast that fact to your guests. Someone else said something to this effect and I think it’s very true: a gift is just that – something given of your own free will as a gesture of love/appreciation/congratulations/whatever. If it’s demanded and prescribed, the entire spirit of the thing is destroyed. In the end, we did give them a monetary gift, but when I received a bachelorette invite for the same wedding with a note that “if we didn’t know what to get, she had a wish list at Victoria’s Secret”, I drew the line. Every event leading up to your wedding is not designed for others in your life to pay you tribute. People need to get over themselves and be thankful for that which is freely given.

  37. avatar Diane Shaw says:

    Here’s a funny one:  Recently, I noticed on a friend’s Facebook page a friend of hers (not someone I know) who had become engaged.  The couple had set up an RSVP post to ask for those wanting to attend the wedding to respond so they’d know who to send invitations to.

  38. avatar tgnorton says:

    LW 1 – they aren’t saying they want you to get your drivers license just for your independence.  They are tired of being responsible for driving you around.  If you are unable to drive, you need to find alternatives to asking your family to do so as a favor.  As mentioned above by Margo – find busses who will work with disabled folks, etc.  Additionally, you could use public transportation, pay someone – perhaps your family member – to be your driver (by the hour, or trip, etc).  Do you offer to cover their expenses?  Do you offer to reimburse their time?  Its alot to expect someone else to be responsible for you, even if its not your fault that you can’t drive.  If you lived in a city where you knew no one – how would you solve the problem?

  39. avatar tgnorton says:

    LW 2 – send them a book on wedding ettiquette

  40. avatar M W says:

    Margo, I have read your columns for years and always enjoy your advice.

    But please, could you not ever use the expression “when the last dog is shot” again?

    -Another Margo

    • avatar LandofLove says:

      MW, I agree. I don’t know the background of that expression, but the image it conjurs is just terrible.

  41. avatar zenaide says:

    LW 2 reminds me of a discussion I once had with friends… In our country, asking for money is accepted, the last wedding I went to that had a registry was about 15 years ago. A couple that we all knew very well, and spent a lot of our weekends with, had invited us to their wedding. A discussion came up that it would be nice to pool the money of our group and do something fun with it ( again, fairly accepted where I live). However, the amount they settled on was of about USD 25 each. Knowing that everyone in our group had a decent job and sufficient funds to buy themselves nice cars, I was slightly offended at the amount, and wanted to give double. The remark I got from another couple in the group, was that if they spent more, they would not be gaining from it, as their food plus drinks would not cost more than that, and that they would be expecting at least the same amount from me for their marriage. They then proceeded to get earthshatteringly drunk at the wedding to ensure they got their money’s worth. I gave my money separately, and got a very nice thank-you card in return ( which is actually NOT a custom in our country, even though I like it).

    • avatar Carib Island Girl says:

      Who are you to dictate what people spend? Although the attitude of the others was equally appalling. Nice group.

  42. avatar Jon T says:

    I know it’s a new day, new millennium, etc. but to this day l can’t abide actually asking guests for cash in the wedding invitation. The couple may as well sell tickets to a group of strangers and let them attend the wedding and reception. They’re clearly more concerned with cashing in than with sharing a milestone with loved ones. I also find the idea of honeymoon registries to be the height of tacky, and I don’t care how commonplace it’s become (common being the operative word here). You want to go Hawaii? Pay for it yourself without shaking down your guests.

  43. avatar elaine s says:

    Here’s a suggestion for LW2:

    Send them a card saying that you are sending them a “spiritual bouquet”.  When someone I know was about to graduate fron Holy Cross College, he and his classmates got a big speech from the Dean, that since they were all going to be big successes in life, they needed to go ahead right then and sign up as alumni, and include the pledge amount they promised to give to the college each year.

    My acquaintance had heard enough of their BS for 4 years, so he filled out his pledge card, promising to send them (you guessed it)…a spiritual bouquet!  For you non-Catholic readers, a spiritual bouquet consistes of sevral different prayers to different saints.

  44. avatar momis says:

    Oh my bad, I thought it was directed to me. Thanks for clarifying!

    • avatar Jon T says:

      Not at all, momis. The posts have a way of landing in weird spots. I should make a point of including a name when I reply to be safe. :-)

  45. avatar tj goldstein says:

    Letter 2 – they already stated that they had 2 of everything. Why give them crap they don’t want? Suck it up like an adult and give them what they would like? Maybe the financial crisis hit them harder than anyone knows, thus, they would like some help with the honeymoon or deposit on the house? Maybe the honeymoon will be the last one for many years to come and they would like to make it a nice one?

    Don’t be selfish.. the wedding isn’t about YOU… it’s about 2 people getting married. What’s the big deal with giving through a site? Most travel agencies have sites where you can pay directly into the couples holiday fund.. not going via a third party like Paypal. Not sure about the house deposit though?

    Time to move into the real days, not get suck in the past where the bride and groom had to grin and bear it when they received 3 of the same toasters and 6 fry pans and could only give them away at other peoples birthdays or weddings or engagements.

    If you are that offended.. don’t go and let the happy couple give your seat to someone who will appreciate the invitation?

    • avatar Jon T says:

      tj, does that mean the bride and groom don’t have to “suck it up like adults” and appreciate the guests’ presence regardless of what kind of gifts they provide? Or is sharing the occasion with loved ones not the point of inviting a person to one’s wedding? I guess newlyweds are exempt from good manners and consideration for others. Personally I’m more than willing to go with a gift that the couple can actually use, including cash. But if they’re going to preemptively reject any gift that isn’t cash no matter how much thought was put into choosing it, then the “happy couple” is merely self-centered and rude. If the day isn’t about the guests at all, then why are they inviting them in the first place?

    • avatar David Bolton says:

      “Maybe the financial crisis hit them harder than anyone knows, thus, they would like some help with the honeymoon or deposit on the house? Maybe the honeymoon will be the last one for many years to come and they would like to make it a nice one?

      Don’t be selfish.. the wedding isn’t about YOU… it’s about 2 people getting married.”

      1) If I got “hit hard” by the financial crisis, the last thing I would do is to plan a European getaway. I might still be crass and ask for cash as a wedding present, but it would be to pay rent or buy things I need. Your logic is pretty flawed there, dude.

      2) I thought the purpose of a wedding was to celebrate the occasion WITH your friends and WITH your family. Not FOR them. Not AROUND them. Why should I go to a wedding if the day is about the couple and the couple only? A wedding is supposed to foster feelings of community and the joining of families into a family. I’m not going to ANY wedding where I’ve been asked to essentially be part of an audience of cardboard cutouts, and I sure as hell won’t respond to an invoice—I mean, request for a gift.

  46. avatar nikkylee says:

    Honestly, I don’t even know how to put into words how disgusted I am with some of the people my age when it comes to weddings. I’m 23, and maybe this is a byproduct of being the oldest of 6 in a poverty level home, but I cannot even imagine acting so entitled.

    I’ve been with my fiancé for seven years, we’ve been “kinda sorta” engaged for five. We’ve been saving on and off (things seem to keep popping up that we need to take the saved money for) for a few years for a wedding. I can’t even imagine asking our parents to pay for any of it (granted, neither of our parents are well off, and I’m 10+ years older than my youngest siblings so my mom still has 4 kids at home)… not to say there’s anything wrong with parents who can and WANT TO help out doing so.

    My ideal wedding is a bbq in my mom’s back yard, with my closest friends and family sitting around or dancing and just having fun. I don’t care about gifts, I am more than able to work for what I want. I certainly would NEVER expect them, my fiancé’s mother offered to throw a shower, and as much as I appreciated the offer, I just wouldn’t be comfortable asking people to give up an afternoon to play a few cheesy games and watch me open gifts. I don’t mean that I think bridal showers are equivalent with cash-grabbing or that I dislike them, but in my case it would consist of a fairly poor family and a lot of friends currently working their way through college. I couldn’t ask that of them. The best thing they could give me is to be near me and to spend time with me to celebrate the relationship that I’ve been so incredibly lucky to have.

    I steadfastly refuse to spend a fortune just because media and big corporations tell me that’s what needs to be done. I’d rather use the thousands of dollars to take my siblings on a vacation somewhere, because they’ve never had one. Weddings are one day, special only because they’re about committing something so much MORE important. If people spent half the time working on cultivating their relationship and their marriage that they do on choosing their wedding colors, maybe the divorce rate wouldn’t be so high.

    I know this probably all sounds incredibly arrogant, and I don’t mean it to be, I know lots of people who’ve had perfectly lovely weddings that were really about the couple and their marriage. It just seems like all you hear about are entitled, spoiled, bratty brides and their dunderheaded grooms, and I hate that THIS is the image of a wedding for my generation.

    • avatar JCF4612 says:

      Nikkylee, I applaud your sentiments. On a side note, however, your prospective MIL needs to be advised that it’s inappropriate for close family members to throw showers — bridal, baby, or whatever kind. Those are to be hosted by friends. Have her check it out with any etiquette authority.   

  47. avatar Cherubim says:

    From (not the best source of knowledge, but nevertheless…):

    A bridal registry is a service provided by a website or retail store to assist engaged couples in the communication of gift preferences to wedding guests. Selecting items from store stock, the couple lists desired items and files this list with the chosen merchant. The list is then made available to wedding guests, either by the couple’s family or the merchant. Upon the purchase of a listed item, this gift registry is updated accordingly. In addition to providing valuable information for the buyer, the system helps prevent the receipt of duplicate or unwanted gifts, potentially saving time for both giver and recipient.
    The practice of a bridal registry was first instituted by Chicago-founded department store Marshall Field’s in 1924 at its Marshall Field and Company Building as a means for the engaged couple to indicate chosen china, silver and crystal patterns to family and friends. US-based Target stores were the first to introduce an electronic self-service gift registry in 1993, using a service provided by The Gift Certificate Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota.[1] The technology was invented and subsequently patented by William J. Veeneman et al., the founder and CEO of The Gift Certificate Center.[2]
    In the past few years[when?] the traditional concept of the bridal registry has evolved. There are now more specialized versions such as honeymoon registry and charity registry.

    • avatar Cherubim says:

      And as a side note, I recently bought a dinner for 2 for dear friends of mine on their honeymoon in Paris, and they sent me photos of them enjoying the meal – I loved the thought that I had brought them a moment of true happiness, memories and enjoyment instead of some material object that they didn’t even want.

    • avatar Cherubim says:

      Final argument, I promise….
      As noted by The Wall Street Journal in a May, 2008 review of popular honeymoon registry services:

      “A honeymoon is a perfectly appropriate gift to request,” says Peter Post, president of the Emily Post Institute, a Burlington, Vt., etiquette think tank. “There’s no objection to it from an etiquette point of view.” 

      • avatar Jon T says:

        I’ll defer to the Posts on the etiquette front. I personally wouldn’t feel comfortable having a honeymoon registry myself, but if the Post institute says it’s acceptable I’ll buy that. There is one other thing worth nothing on this front, also from the Post Institute:

        It’s best to let people know the ‘old fashioned way:’ by word of mouth. Tell your family and attendants where you’re registered. Guests will ask, and they’ll help get the word out. It’s fine to have links to your registry on your wedding website, but don’t make them the most important or prominent feature of your page. Remember, a registry is a “wish list.” Guests aren’t required to choose from your registry. It’s never okay to include registry information on or with any invitation to the wedding or reception, or with any announcement. Why? Because the emphasis shifts from “we want you to be with us on our special day” to “you need to buy us a gift and here’s what we want.”

  48. avatar Jean B says:


    After reading the letter from Old Lady in Texas, I just have to ask this question. What if the couple asked people who are so inclined to give a gift to donate to a chosen charity instead? I don’t know if we will ever marry (probably not) but we have both been married before, have lived together for several years, and God knows we have everything we need and then some. If we did marry (which we have talked about) all we would really want from our families and friends is their good wishes and attendance at our wedding if they are able to make it. Gifts to “make up for” the cost would not be needed, it would be our party and we would be more than happy to cover the costs.


  49. avatar Maggie Richardson says:

    I live in Australia and here LW1 would be able to obtain a card entitling him to half-price taxi fares. If he needs to go somewhere that public transport does not service, this might make it much more affordable.

  50. avatar Annie Chan says:

    L1: Your family has issues if they’re unwilling to drive you around and try to make you learn despite the challenges you would face and how illegal it’d be with your conditions. I’m not sure what planet they’re from but even a normal driver can get distracted at times… imagine what it’d be like for someone with ADHD. Anyhow, why not take public transportation? That’s what I’m planning to do when I finally move out of my parents’ place considering how much of a chicken I am to want to learn how to drive. Only problem with this is I have no photo ID aside from my passport ;o

    L2: The couple in the second letter reminds me of this woman who went on twitter and asked the public for funding for her ceremony because, apparently, she overshot her budget by a mile ($5000 was her budget limit, if I remember correctly. There’s a lot of people who’d be happy just to have that $5000 budget.). She’s not even considering maybe… you know… making it fit her budget instead of trying to get help from strangers? Not sure what the people are thinking who are helping her out… because she’s being selfish and not trying to lower the costs and they’re just helping fund her greed.

  51. avatar Belinda Joy says:

    Oh My Lord! Letter #2 please tell me you’re kidding!

    How inappropriate. What a couple does with the monies they receive from their wedding is their own business. But it is the height of tacky to tell you guests “what” you will be purchasing with the money you may receive. How horrible. A European vacation? A new house?  Really? I agree with Margo, it is not the letter writer that doesn’t get it, it is the soon to be married couple. Simply horrible!

    Letter #1 – Welcome to the club! I am the worst driver in America. No one is as bad as I am. And the worst part is I know why I suck at driving and it is 100% because I am inattentive. I put on my make-up, fumble under the seat for things, look in the glove compartment, am basically distracted by shiny metal objects, ding cars when attempting to park, drive 15 miles BELOW the speed limit (because I’m afraid to drive fast)…..I am horrible! Which is why I drive 2 maybe 3 times a year tops. And when I do it is not fun, for me or those on the road beside me! :-)

    I have always believed, if you are like me – a terrible driver – or have a disability that could affect your driving, stay off the roads! Few things bring me to tears more than hearing of car accidents that take a life.  People through no fault of their own that left the house not knowing today would be their last day. That is unfair and just wrong.

  52. avatar Diagoras says:

    You are the second person I know of who has said 100 guests at a wedding is a “small” wedding! That boggles my mind! I had 25 at my wedding and felt completely overwhelmed and grateful for those who didn’t show!