DEAR AMY: I recently got engaged. Our engagement was joyfully announced on his family’s Christmas card and family newsletter. The pictures on the card included two professionally taken photos of his siblings and their families, both very lovely.
The photo of us, however, is horrendous. It is a snapshot that his father took at a party; we are mid-laugh and a little sweaty. It’s really garish and unflattering.
This is a pattern; his dad has aired such photos of us (and others) before in Christmas cards and wedding slide shows seen by countless snickering observers.
I am appreciative of the love they have shown, and I know his father has no malicious intentions and is completely oblivious to the embarrassment caused, but my fiance and I are pretty irritated that this photo accompanies our engagement announcement.
My fiance doesn’t want to say anything because he thinks it’s spilled milk, but I especially want to safeguard us from having a similar experience at our own wedding. What should I do? -- 10 Pounds Heavier
DEAR 10 POUNDS: Because this is a pattern (and doesn’t involve only you), your fiance should try to speak to his father: “Dad, we’re so thrilled about our announcement. But come on, Dad, we think we look like orangutans. I’ll e-mail you two or three shots of us we like, if that would help.”
Some people are so cuckoo-controlling at their weddings that they confiscate guests’ cameras. Don’t be those people. Please remember that your future father-in-law might be one of those guys who truly don’t see the difference between Kate Middleton’s wedding photo and a Polaroid of cousin Wendy from fat camp. Try to see this as something you will laugh about later.
And then remember to laugh about it later.
DEAR AMY: My aunt gave me her engagement ring and told me she wanted me to wear it rather than have it sit in a box. I told my son that this ring will stay in our family for generations. I told him that when he found someone he wanted to marry, the ring would be his.
A year or two later, he called from college to say that he was going to ask “Josie” to marry him, and he asked for the ring. I stupidly gave it to him.
They got engaged and then picked out matching engagement and wedding rings. Josie now keeps my aunt’s ring in a box.
Is there any way I can ask for this ring back (to be worn until my passing) without causing hurt feelings since it is really what my aunt wanted? I wouldn’t mind if Josie were wearing it, but I haven’t seen it on her since they got married nine years ago. -- Foolish
DEAR FOOLISH: I realize this must be painful, but you cannot expect that a ring you gave to your son for his wife must be worn because of the wishes of a long-deceased aunt whom she has never even met. Please do not blame your daughter-in-law for not wearing this ring. She had nothing to do with its procurement.
You might as well ask for this ring back, but be prepared: As “foolish” as you say you were to give it away in the first place, you might feel more foolish in asking for it to be returned to you.
If you do ask for it back, do not judge or cast blame — simply say that you miss the ring very much and wonder if they would return it to you so you could wear it again. They might be very happy to comply.
DEAR AMY: Like other readers, I did not think the situation described in the letter from “Sober” amounted to sexual assault. Pulling the police into such a minor fracas is very silly. -- Overreaction
DEAR OVERREACTION: If someone described a drunken man pulling a woman by her hair, trying to drag her into a bedroom and kissing her against her will, I don’t think there would be much debate about an assault. The fact that the aggressor in this case was a woman shouldn’t make much difference.