Leave the drama at the door

The Saratogian (Saratoga, NY) - - YOUR DAILY BREAK - An­nie Lane

DEAR AN­NIE >> My hus­band and I are plan­ning a big party to cel­e­brate our 25th wed­ding an­niver­sary. Sadly, two sisters are all but ru­in­ing the event. They are both close friends of mine, but they are feud­ing with each other. I did not send out on­line in­vites but rather tra­di­tional pa­per in­vi­ta­tions. Through the grapevine, I heard they are both in­quir­ing about whether the other was in­vited.

We just want a peace­ful, fun party and do not want to get dragged into their fight. How can I avoid their tur­moil? It is al­ready cast­ing a shadow on our party.

— Sis­ter Squab­ble

DEAR SIS­TER SQUAB­BLE >> Con­grat­u­la­tions on 25 years of mar­riage! That is no easy feat, and it’s a won­der­ful thing to be cel­e­brat­ing. Hope­fully, it will be a drama-free evening. Speak with each sis­ter be­fore the party and tell them to leave their bag­gage at the door and put their party hats on.

If they’re un­able to do that, or if they be­come de­fen­sive, then tell them they are no longer wel­come. It’s your party, and it’s you and your hus­band’s day. You’re both en­ti­tled to set the code of con­duct for be­hav­ior.

DEAR AN­NIE >> Ev­ery day of my (now ended) mar­riage, I’d look up at the sky like Tevye in “Fid­dler on the Roof” and ask, “How long is for­ever?”

I never re­al­ized I was do­ing this un­til a time came when I saw that my mar­riage had es­sen­tially ended. We were like old shoes that didn’t fit.

Not want­ing to be a quit­ter, I had to reckon with how to “grow on.” Then the phrase came to me, kindly and thank­fully: “For­ever lasts as long as for­ever lasts.”

Not to be cute — but grounded — that worked for me. I was able to con­trol my mind and make ad­just­ments in my life. Not that my mar­i­tal unit un­der­stood, agreed or cared.

It’s tough when our emo­tions rip us away from our minds. Know­ing the value of be­ing able to use your mind and act on your thoughts is a pow­er­ful tool. I highly rec­om­mend re­al­iz­ing over de­cid­ing.

— For­ever Lasts as Long as For­ever Lasts

DEAR FOR­EVER >> Thank you for your let­ter and your in­sights into what the word “for­ever” means. Good luck!

DEAR AN­NIE >> To­day, I opened my news­pa­per, and I was hap­pily sur­prised to see that you printed my let­ter. I just wanted to say thank you so much for your kind and thought­ful re­ply to me. It meant the world to me.

— Em­pathic Daugh­ter of a Nar­cis­sist

DEAR EM­PATHIC DAUGH­TER OF A NAR­CIS­SIST >> I en­cour­age you to write a book. Your let­ter has touched many peo­ple who are try­ing to nav­i­gate life with a nar­cis­sist.

In fact, yes­ter­day’s col­umn had a let­ter by some­one whom your col­umn very much touched.

“Ask Me Any­thing: A Year of Ad­vice From Dear An­nie” is out now! An­nie Lane’s de­but book — fea­tur­ing fa­vorite col­umns on love, friend­ship, fam­ily and eti­quette — is avail­able as a pa­per­back and e-book.

Visit http://www.cre­ator­spub­lish­ing.com for more in­for­ma­tion. Send your ques­tions for An­nie Lane to dear­an­[email protected]­ators.com.

Speak with each sis­ter be­fore the party and tell them to leave their bag­gage at the door and put their party hats on.

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