Q. How does one go about getting invited to a wedding? Two friends of mine from university, who I have not managed to stay in touch with since we left three years ago, are getting married this summer, and I would very much like to go to their wedding but, understandably, have not been invited. The thing is, I knew them both separately, and was there when they first met each other, so it would feel appropriate to be at the wedding as well! And it would be lovely to see them. Any ideas? — Y.O., by email
A. A two-pronged attack should be used. Send an email, ideally enclosing early pictures of the couple together. Say ‘I’ve always been useless at staying in touch with my friends (I need to get married myself so I have someone to organise me) but I just wanted to tell you how moved I was to hear your news.’ Meanwhile, use a third party to confide in the couple that you hope to be invited. There is nothing wrong with fishing for an invitation — it is a compliment. If they liked you in the past they still will — especially when they learn that uselessness, not rejection, was behind your failure to keep up with them.
Q. How would you react when confronted with a naked older lady in the changing area at the council swimming pool using a file on the hard skin of her feet in front of the other ladies? The resulting snowstorm of keratin lies on the floor where other people may be walking in their bare feet.
— Name and address withheld
A. You might enquire kindly ‘Can I help you? Would you like me to go and ask someone for a dustpan and brush?’
Q. Unlike myself, my wife is very social and popular — but then she has much more energy than I do since she doesn’t commute in and out of London every day. Unfortunately, thanks to the endless dinner parties she makes me go to, I have recently met three other commuters who take the same train back in the evening. They are fiendishly well-organised and one of them usually manages to bag a table on the overcrowded service. They always invite me to join them when they see me walk through the carriage. The problem is not that they talk or drink the whole way — they often just read, so there is no pressure on me, but I just find it hard to keep up a pretence of being pleasant at the end of the day. How can I, without being standoffish, resume the grumpy solitary journeys I used to be able to make?
— Name and address withheld
A. Why not board the train carrying a stinking burger? Stop at their table and say ‘You’ve discovered my guilty secret. I’m always ravenous at this time of night but don’t worry. I’m going to eat it in the next carriage.’ ‘Your’ seat will be snapped up by another commuter so you will be forced to remain in the next carriage.
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