My partner and I recently got engaged and have begun the wedding planning. While we both agree that we would prefer a low-key, inexpensive event, some amount of money is still going to be spent, and we are having trouble raising the funds on our own. I know that it is typical for the father of the bride to pay for the majority of the expenses, but being that there is no bride, this makes things more difficult. My fiancé’s parents are well off and very supportive, but my own parents, especially my father, are not as well off. My question is: How do I go about asking either parent for financial support for this wedding? If I want this wedding to go the way I'd like, I need some type of financial aid. Gay marriage is fairly new, so there doesn't seem to be any precedent set for this.
The Supreme Court, in their historic decisions about gay marriage last week, neglected to address the pressing issue of just who is going to pay for the bashes. So in lieu of the high court, I will provide the lone opinion that whatever the gender of the couples involved, the precedent should be that if your dreams and your finances are at odds, then it’s your dreams that need modification. Liza Mundy has a fascinating piece in the Atlantic about what gay couples have to teach heterosexual couples about gender stereotypes and equality. Since many wedding rituals come from the time when women were handed over from their fathers to their husbands, gay and lesbian couples who marry have a chance to help blow up these anachronistic assumptions—including that the bride's family pays (which is falling by the wayside anyway). It’s lovely if any engaged couple has parents who are willing and able to help underwrite the celebration. What’s not lovely is for people old enough to get married to pressure their aging parents to jeopardize their own bank accounts to pay for a party. You say your parents are of limited means. That means you don’t hit them up to pay for a wedding you can’t afford. If your future in-laws offer to contribute, accept what they give without telling them you consider it a starting offer. You and your partner are embarking upon a life together. One of the first things you need to do is learn how to make a budget and stick to it.
I began working for a very small company a few months ago. Our office shares a floor with a much larger firm. I’m being treated for a kidney function problem, and one of the side effects is that I urinate more frequently than most people. It hasn't affected my life until now. The restroom is on the other side of our office, in plain view of the desks for the other firm. The fact that I go into the bathroom every hour or two has begun to draw some attention; people trade glances whenever I head that way, and more than once, I've heard employees whisper about whether I have an eating disorder, etc. If these were my co-workers, I would just be honest about my medical condition, but I don't even know them. I have become so self-conscious that I have started making excuses to walk to the nearest public restroom outside of the office building, which is two blocks away. Do you have any advice for how I can tactfully handle this without drawing even more negative attention?
I guess no employees at the other firm are middle-aged men. Sometimes I wonder if the gender wage gap can be explained by there being secret bonuses for time spent facing the urinal. The average adult urinates once every two to four hours during the day, so your frequency is not wildly out of normal range. But let’s say you had a condition that had you going to the bathroom every half hour. You’d think the strangers at the other desks would have concluded that you go to the bathroom a lot, then moved on with their lives. You have nothing to be embarrassed about, nor should ever feel the need to explain why you visit the toilet. Since it’s good for people, especially those who sit at desks, to get up and move around, go outside for a short morning and afternoon break and stop at the public restroom when you do. Otherwise, instead of worrying about who’s looking at you when you make your long march, do what everyone does these days: While you’re walking, stare straight at the screen on your phone.
More Dear Prudence Columns
“Skin Deep: Should a husband tell his wife how he feels about her physical flaws?” Posted March 22, 2012.
“My Gay Husband: He’s closeted, but I don't mind. Should I set him free anyway?” Posted March 15, 2012.
“Gastric Warfare: I fear my mother-in-law is poisoning me, but my husband doesn’t believe it.” Posted March 8, 2012.
“Smell Ya Later!: Should I break up with my fiance because he thinks I have horrible body odor?.” Posted March 1, 2012.
More Dear Prudence Chat Transcripts
“The Wrong Touch: In a live chat, Dear Prudence offers advice on a frisky roommate, felonious family members, and friends who become lovers.” Posted April 2, 2012.
“Whoa, Momma: During a live chat, Dear Prudence offers advice on having children after tragedy, elective surrogacy, and the demands of parenting twins.” Posted March 26, 2012.
“Should I Leave My Infertile Partner?: In a live chat, Dear Prudence advises a man who wants to bolt after learning his girlfriend can’t have kids.” Posted March 19, 2012.
“Sex Education: In a live chat, Prudie advises a student whose pregnant friend doesn’t know where babies come from.” Posted March 12, 2012.
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