Dear Annie: My husband's sister is legally divorced and planning to marry "Roger" this April. This will be the second marriage for both of them. Here's the kicker: They have been planning this wedding for almost a year in the hopes that Roger will be divorced by the wedding day. However, the divorce has not happened yet, and it doesn't look like it will come through before the ceremony. The hall has been paid for, so they plan on having a mock wedding.
I have no great desire to attend this bizarre event, but because it is my husband's sister, I feel obligated to be there. So tell me, Annie, what kind of gift do you give for a mock wedding? Frankly, I would like to give a mock gift.
Please help me with an answer so that I am not arguing with my husband constantly. Thank you. Want the Real Thing in Arizona
Dear Arizona: This is what's called putting the cart before the horse. You have two choices: Either treat this as a big party and wait until they are legally hitched to give them a wedding present, or consider this to be the actual wedding and give the present now. If you opt for the latter, you do not have to give them a second gift later. Whatever you decide, the gift should be the real McCoy.
Dear Annie: I am a 50-year-old female and have worked at the same company for 20 years, along with "Maggie." She is a nice person, but our professional relationship is rocky.
Last year, I was given a promotion and became Maggie's supervisor. Her position requires organization, timeliness and attention to detail. She has none of these skills. In addition, she habitually lies, and that is the reason I am writing. While she never says a bad word about other workers, she cannot tell the truth about her ability to do her job. I never can get a straight answer regarding what tasks are completed and what still needs to be done.
Maggie's previous supervisors never addressed the issue because they felt it was "too sensitive." However, other workers have trouble doing their work because of Maggie's inefficiency to hold up her end of the assignment. The president of the company is aware of the problem and would like to fix it, but he and Maggie are longtime personal friends. He would never fire her. Do you have any suggestions? Peeved in Peoria, Ill.
Dear Peoria: You are Maggie's supervisor and must hold her responsible for her work. However, you are unlikely to fix 20 years of bad habits. If the boss won't transfer her elsewhere, here is what you can do: Keep a close eye on Maggie's output. Ask often for updates -- in writing. Remind her when she falls behind or doesn't follow through. If you know she is procrastinating or covering mistakes, call her on it, and demand an explanation. Be nice, but relentless. It's more work for you, but it will make her mighty uncomfortable, and she will learn to be more responsible.
Dear Annie: Please help me settle an argument. What is the proper seating arrangement for two men and two women in a car? Should the men sit together and the women sit together so that they can talk, or should they sit as couples?
Thanks in advance for your help. Sudbury, Ontario
Dear Sudbury: There is no set rule here. Often, men prefer to sit in front because they usually have longer legs and need the space. If the couples are close friends, sit wherever you prefer. If the couples are not that friendly, it is less awkward when the partners can sit together. Hope that settles it.
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