Steel Advice: Don't treat invite as an insult

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DEAR STEEL ADVICE: I was recently invited to a bar mitzvah. Problem was I was only invited to the ceremony and lunch not to the evening party and dinner. I found it insulting. What is your opinion. Am I being too sensitive?


DEAR HURT FEELINGS: Before you become too irritated and upset, remember the dinner and evening events may be only for close family and the young man’s friends. If you feel you have been slighted and should have been included, accept this oversight as the host’s etiquette breach and not a personal insult. The worst thing you can do is pout because you were not invited. You may learn after the bar mitzvah that the invitation list was controlled by tight economics or other extenuating circumstances. On the other hand, being invited to just the bar mitzvah ceremony and the luncheon is considered a perfect invitation for many people. They welcome being on the second-tier friend list because it frees up the remainder of their day and evening.

DEAR STEEL ADVICE: My mother-in-law doesn’t really like animals. We have two small dogs and when she comes to visit they really like to snuggle up to her and try to get her to be friendly. She doesn’t like it, but all we are trying to do is introduce her to our pets. Should we keep trying?


DEAR PET FRIENDLY: Not everyone likes to snuggle up to someone else’s pet. That does not mean they hate all animals. Your mother-in-law may be unaccustomed to or afraid of your dogs. She may favor cats. Stop forcing the issue and relax when she comes to visit. Obviously the dogs like this lady or they would run and hide from her or even worse growl and nip at her. Give the pets and your mother-in-law time to bond on their own clock. Little dogs have a unique way of getting into and warming even the coldest hearts.

Need some Steel Advice? Email questions to: or write to Mary Ann Wellener, Steel Advice Column, c/o Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 34 Blvd. of the Allies, Pittsburgh, PA 15222. Follow Mary Ann on Twitter at @PGSteelAdvice.

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