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Posted on Sat, Oct 29, 2011 : 5 a.m.

Bride's plans for adults-only reception irks older sister

By Dear Abby

My younger sister is getting married next month and has requested that no kids be brought to the reception. My "kids" are teenagers and I feel that at least children of the immediate family should be allowed to attend. Incidentally, Sis and her fiance have a little girl and boy who will serve as a flower girl and ring bearer. The children will participate in the wedding party introductions, then will be carted off.

Finally, she wants my 15-year-old to baby-sit the young cousins. Because we don't think it's right, we have decided that we will attend the wedding ceremony but not the reception. It is not my intention not to share her moment, but I'm afraid my teenagers won't understand why they can't celebrate their aunt's special day. Am I making too much of this? -- RSVP UNDECIDED IN NORTH CAROLINA

Your sister's reason for excluding "children" could be budgetary -- or fear that young children could be disruptive. By saying "no children" she is trying to be fair to all the parents. However, if she wants your daughter to baby-sit, she should make the arrangements with your daughter -- including offering to pay her for her time -- especially if there will be more children than the flower girl and ring bearer in her care.

My boyfriend, "Adam," and I have been together for three years, and hopefully will be for many more to come. One of the core values he feels strongly about is not drinking, and not associating with others when they drink. I have never gotten drunk, but I do have one or two drinks a month with friends. When I mentioned it to Adam, he became extremely frustrated. Now things have become rocky between us.

I feel like I have done something devastatingly wrong, even though I know I haven't. I can't promise Adam I'll never drink again, but I respect his values enough to keep to the couple of drinks per month and no more. I feel he doesn't trust me now. What should I do? I love Adam and want to make things right, but I won't make a promise I know I can't keep. -- HARDLY A DRUNK IN SEATTLE

I wish you had told me why your boyfriend is so against being involved with someone who has an occasional drink. Were his parents alcoholics? Is he in recovery? Was he upset because it took three years for you to tell him you have a drink or two a month with your friends, and that's why he "doesn't trust you"?

While you and I may think your boyfriend's attitude is unreasonable, it's clear to me that if you want him, you will have to take "the pledge." And if you can't do that, Adam is not The One for you.

My husband and I own a business in a rural community and have two additional employees. We all work together five days a week. It's a small, intimate office and nothing is private. Would it be considered unprofessional if my husband or I greeted each other with a kiss (a peck) when arriving or leaving the office in front of our staff but when no clients are present? I think it's OK, but he doesn't. -- SHOWING AFFECTION IN MISSOURI

I think it's OK, too. But if your husband isn't comfortable with demonstrations of affection in front of the staff, respect his feelings on the matter and do not force it.

Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Write Dear Abby at or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

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