During a recent online discussion with Washington Post advice columnist Carolyn Hax, a soon-to-be-bride expressed her disappointment with her fiancé for asking her to sign a prenuptial agreement -- a month and a half before the wedding.
The woman wrote: “We both have said we would never get divorced (and after eight happy years together, I truly believe we’ll make it), but his phrasing is that he analyzes risk for a living and just wants to be extra secure that in the unlikely event of divorce, he is prepared.”
The writer wanted to know that she wasn’t the only one who saw this last-minute rush for protection as a sign that something wasn’t quite right.
“Prenups are wise and necessary in some (very narrowly defined) cases, and I can see why this request for one rubs you the wrong way,” Hax responded.
I’m going to stop there. You can read more of Hax’s take on the situation, but what about you?
This week’s Color of Money Question: Do you think couples need a prenuptial agreement? Send your responses to firstname.lastname@example.org. Be sure to include your full name, city and state and put “Prenup or No Nup” in the subject line.
Where’s My Gift?
And since we are on the topic of weddings, a reader recently asked Judith Martin, aka Miss Manners, if she should have to buy a gift for her niece’s vow renewal ceremony.
Here’s the back-story, according to the letter writer: The niece feels she didn’t get as many nice wedding gifts as did her sister because her wedding was rushed. The wedding was rushed because the niece was living with her man and the niece’s parents were unhappy about the arrangement. So they got hitched in a hurry. Ten years later, the niece wants to renew her vows to get better gifts this time. The aunt (the letter writer) says, “I told my sister and her husband that I didn’t believe it was proper to renew your vows at 10 years and expect guests to bring gifts.” The plans then changed from a ceremony to renew vows to a baby shower. The niece is having twins and throwing herself a baby shower. The aunt chimes in again: “I was more receptive to a baby shower than pledging your vows and expecting a new toaster. Am I out in left field on expectations of people renewing their vows?
Got all that?
So Miss Manners, the wise one that she is when it comes to all things etiquette, weighs in on the expectation for gifts for either event.
First, the renewing of vows: “What the purpose is of renewing vows is something Miss Manners has never understood. Wedding vows are supposed to be permanent (all evidence to the contrary). Where in the marriage contract is the renewal option?”
Then, the baby shower: The niece “simply wants people to buy her stuff, and one excuse will do as well as another.”
People carp about such greed, and yet the gimme, gimme of our culture continues.
I love it when people invite you to celebrate their special events with no expectations of anything. But Miss Manners advises that you stop short of telling folks in the invitation that no gifts are wanted -- a point that I didn’t get at first but do now.