Dear Carolyn: My boyfriend and I (both men) are getting married and are setting up our online registries, sending invitations, etc. We recognize that we’re fortunate to live in a state that allows same-sex marriage, so we’ve decided that in lieu of gifts we’d like guests to make a contribution to a gay rights organization.
We both have fairly conservative branches of our family and wonder if we need to offer an alternative. My position is that we don’t; my boyfriend thinks it would be considerate. I’d rather have a guest who doesn’t support gay marriage skip the wedding altogether or not bring a gift than get some bogus coffee maker and tacit disapproval. What do you think?
The sheer impracticality of your idea trumps all. You can’t make the donation a condition of attending your wedding, so don’t. You can’t (or at least shouldn’t) put any gift information in the invitation, so don’t.
What you can do is tell people who inquire about a registry that you’d love people to donate to X in lieu of a gift. If you’d like to expand your housewares collection, then you can open a small registry as well - which, again, you tell guests about when they ask.
Dear Carolyn: I’m sharing an apartment for three months with my best friend. I love living with her, but have discovered she’s a slob. I’m no neat freak, but generally like to wash dishes with some soap, instead of just running water over them so the crumbs go away. How do I ask her to either do things “right” or not do them at all? Or do I just lie low and rewash dishes before we have guests over?
It’s just a season, right? Get by and then get out.