My niece and my sister have a close and loving relationship. Now my niece has resumed a relationship with her dad. She says he has changed a lot, and I hope this is true because having a healthy and loving relationship with one’s father can be a source of joy and support.
My sister mentioned to my niece that both parents could walk her down the aisle, but my niece did not take her up on the suggestion. This has hurt my sister deeply.
It makes me so sad to see my sister distressed, and so angry at my niece. Please help me to figure out how to move forward with compassion and support for each of them as the big day nears.
Anonymous: Your sister sees the aisle-walk as a chance to have her due after going above, beyond, through, inside-out and sideways, almost entirely on her own, to get these kids raised.
Fair enough. Understandable, too.
But standing way back here in the cheap seats, I see your niece treating the aisle-walk as one chance, maybe the only real chance in her lifetime, to have what almost everyone else sees as a normal father-daughter experience.
Understandable on so many levels, if not entirely fair.
I hope you — and if this answer has the reach, your sister, too — are able to release the anger and disappointment and just let the bride have this one thing without bitter strings attached.
Your sister has already gotten her due in a way that will keep giving until the moment her light goes out: She was there to build a close and loving relationship with her daughter — her compassionate daughter, way to go, Mom — full of memories of every stage of her childhood. Her ex will never have that.
He will have 90 public seconds, photographed. Fair enough.
Dear Carolyn: How do I break it to someone that if I want to go out with them, they have to be vaccinated? I don’t want to be mean or anything, but I am fully vaccinated and I don’t want to date someone who is not vaccinated.
— Fully Vaccinated
Fully Vaccinated: The sooner you learn that “direct” and “mean” are not synonymous, the better for your entire relationship future.
“Are you vaccinated? Because I will not date anyone who isn’t — unless there’s some medical reason you can’t be.” This lets people know where you stand, and invites them to tell you where they stand, so you both can weigh the chances you’ll be able to stand each other. So much efficacy with one little vaccine.