Dear Annie: You get lots of questions about weddings after the fact. Here's one that's before the problem happens so you can advise us. We're getting married in June. We sent out about 100 invitations, each with a note requesting a reply by June 1. So far, we've gotten only a handful of responses. As I'm writing to you, there's still plenty of time, but what do we do come mid-June with people who haven't responded one way or the other? Is it tactful to contact people, maybe pretending that we think their invitations got lost in the mail? If we do contact people, should we call or write a letter or email or what? Obviously, the caterer needs to know the number of people, and we need to decide on the seating arrangements. -- Soon-to-Be Wed
Dear Soon-to-Be Wed: Congratulations on your nearing nuptials! It's customary to start going down the guest list and calling anyone whose response you still haven't received two days after the deadline. (So if there's anyone you haven't heard from by now, it's time to get dialing.) Take note of guests' meal preferences so you can get that information to the caterer ASAP, though the guests should still mail back their replies, too.
And let this be a reminder to anyone reading this who's got an RSVP card gathering dust on the fridge. An anxious couple is awaiting your reply.
Dear Annie: I was kind of disappointed that under reader pressure, you retracted your advice to "Miffed," the jealous wife who objected to her husband's platonic friendship with a female co-worker. I thought you had it right the first time.
Perhaps it is because I am a man that I sympathized with the husband, and perhaps it is logical that your female readers would instead react by saying, "If there's smoke, there's fire." But the thing that jumped out at me in "Miffed's" letter was that she did not think there was anything "funny" going on between her husband and his co-worker; she just did not like it that he had a female friend. That "Miffed" would jump in a car and drive all over town to catch her husband in a lie when she didn't think there was anything untoward going on strikes me as pretty zany behavior, and their marriage must be a nightmare. What would we be saying if it were a husband acting that way toward his wife?
The idea that men and women can't be just friends is outmoded foolishness, but many still believe it, unfortunately. I suspect that "Miffed's" husband will indeed leave her someday, but it won't be because of the co-worker.
I would like to say more, but I know I need to keep it short. If you use this, just sign me "Somewhere in Arizona."
Dear Somewhere in Arizona: I'll refrain from flip-flopping, but I do want to share your letter with readers. The more perspectives the fuller the picture. Thank you for writing.
"Ask Me Anything: A Year of Advice From Dear Annie" is out now! Annie Lane's debut book -- featuring favorite columns on love, friendship, family and etiquette -- is available as a paperback and e-book. Visit http://www.creatorspublishing.com for more information. Send your questions for Annie Lane to firstname.lastname@example.org.