Ask Amy

Sunday, July 5, 2009 at 9:00pm

DEAR AMY: Recently, my fiance, "Timothy," and I decided mutually and amicably that we were not right for each other.

However, the date of the wedding was looming, and we had arranged and paid for it entirely on our own without assistance from relatives.

We decided to go ahead with the wedding despite our feelings toward each other, but we did not tell our families or friends how we felt because we want to keep our issues private.

A week later, we got the marriage annulled.

My uncle, who gave us an expensive breadmaker as a wedding gift, became very irate when we annulled the marriage.

He left long and obscene messages on my phone and on Timothy's phone, saying he wants the breadmaker back.

Timothy and I already divided the gifts between us, and he has the breadmaker and does not want to relinquish it.

We feel as though we threw an expensive party for our friends and families and, even though we are not together anymore, we deserve the gifts as reparation.

This is causing a lot of tension in my family.

How can I defrost the chilly atmosphere the next time I see my uncle?

— Single Again

DEAR SINGLE:
Your selfishness and cowardice have made a mockery of marriage, and now your greed is making a mockery of the generosity of your friends and families.

There is probably not much sense in throwing a little etiquette lesson your way at this late date, but let me try. In this case, substitute the phrase "common decency" for "etiquette"

If you have no intention of staying married beyond a week, you shouldn't lie to friends and family (not to mention judge or clergy) and participate in a wedding.

If the marriage ends quickly, the wedding gifts should be returned quickly.

Your uncle shouldn't leave long and obscene phone messages on anyone's phone, but you do owe him an expensive breadmaker. I suggest you have one shipped to him before he takes you to small claims court or drags you to appear before "Judge Judy."

You owe each and every invited guest an explanation, an apology and their wedding gifts.

Enjoy your single life. It would probably be best for everyone involved if you stayed that way for a while.


DEAR AMY:
I am a recent arrival on Facebook.

Since joining, I have made "friends" with some members of my 1964 high school class.

One former classmate is a woman whom I'm sure is very nice but also whom I hardly remember.

During the past several weeks, she has sent me at least 10 invitations to various off-the-wall online games.

I haven't responded even once, thinking she would get the message.

How do I politely inform her that I don't want to play silly games?

— Faced Out

DEAR FACED OUT: You could continue to ignore all of these requests, but they will probably keep coming because your "friend" has put you on her mass mailing list from her address book.

If this is truly driving you crazy, send a message to her, saying, "It's nice to catch up, but I don't enjoy playing online games. You should probably take me off your invite list."


DEAR AMY:
Today, while playing golf, one of the people I was playing with told an extremely offensive racial joke about our president, who is my hero.

I could not believe this man would have the audacity to say such a thing.

After remaining silent for 30 seconds, I finally said, "I don't want to hear that again."

It made me so angry I almost lost the match.

Did I do the right thing? Did this man think it was OK to say something like that because we were all white? Should I have kept my mouth shut?

— Ryan

DEAR RYAN:
The right thing was to call out your opponent and then win the match.

Well done.

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