ASK AMY: The best man is eclipsed by the best man

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Dear Amy: I am a 28 year old male. My childhood best friend, “Kenneth”, recently got engaged.

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I couldn’t be happier for him.

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Kenneth has decided that I won’t be his best man at the wedding. The brother of his future wife, “Bart”, will be.

When he told me about it, I was a little hurt; although I recovered quickly. I know his marriage isn’t about me.

Then, a few weeks later, Kenneth and I went out to dinner.

We all laughed and joked and had a wonderful time, until Kenneth made a joke about me being the “best man” but Bart the “best man” (because he chose him instead than me).

I laughed a little to play along, but honestly, it hurt me deeply.

Kenneth and I have spoken many times about what a jerk Bart is.

He is rude, ungrateful, spoiled and upright. He’s also a womanizer.

I tried to forget that silly remark, but it has now been repeated many times, not only by Kenneth, but by other members of the wedding party.

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Even though it’s always said with a laugh and meant as a harmless joke, it bothers me more and more.

I’m just kidding because I know this wedding isn’t for me and I don’t want to cause any drama.

The wedding is still several months away, but I don’t know if I can still bear to hear this “joke”. Am I overreacting?

Or should I speak privately to Kenneth?

I know he didn’t mean to hurt me, but I don’t even know why he made the joke in the first place.

Do you think it’s worth discussing with him, and if so, how should I approach it without causing drama?

Or, again, am I just overreacting?

– Disturbed in the bridal party

Dear disturbed: You don’t need to keep guessing your own reaction to this comment. It was pretty bland and nasty the first time you heard it, and it doesn’t get better with repetition.

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My instinct is that “Kenneth” tries to cover up the fact that he ignored you for the honor of being his best man, while acknowledging that he did – “own it” with a not funny pun .

I guess in time, you might be relieved not to have this friend’s bachelor party. (Talk about dodging a mojito!)

I suggest you face this by playing the “dumb”. You might say to Kenneth, “That best man/best man thing. I don’t understand. What are they talking about? I mean – are you trying to tell me something? »

And then – you wait. He will sputter and laugh. When he’s done, you can say, “Well, that’s not really funny, it bothers me, I don’t like it, and I’d like you to stop.”


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Dear Amy: My husband and I got married on Christmas Day. He died on a Memorial Day weekend eight years later.

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Despite the passage of time, it remains a difficult season.

What makes it extremely difficult is the forced cheerfulness of the season.

As I try to smile and respond in kind, it’s exhausting.

Being scolded by strangers for not showing the holiday spirit is frustrating. Demoralizing. Depressing.

I don’t want charity from strangers or trying to piggyback on someone else’s family reunion; I find the serenity of being alone. I just wish other people would stop forcing their interpretation of Christmas down my throat.

All I want for Christmas this year is for others to remember that it is a difficult time for so many people in this country, from the working poor to the homeless who will be crowding into shelters and soups popular.

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So please don’t insist on others joining your celebration, and please don’t call that woman in the checkout line “Scrooge” for not being “full in a good mood” ; you have no idea of ​​the difficulties she may be going through.

— Still mourning in Jacksonville, Florida

Dear Mourner: Letting people “be” is a gift we can all give ourselves.

Dear Amy: I was interested in the “Distant Brothers” question, wondering about sending a boastful Christmas letter to a distant brother. Thank you for encouraging this person – and others – to stop bragging.

– A fan

Dear Fan: I like simple factual stories about where and how people are. I especially like photos of children, elders and pets.

Privileged people live every day in their privilege. That should be enough.

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