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About The daily Astorian. (Astoria, Or.) 1961-current | View Entire Issue (July 28, 2015)
THE DAILY ASTORIAN • TUESDAY, JULY 28, 2015
Family tries to blackmail niece Tomorrow’s horoscope
By Holiday Mathis, Creators Syndicate Inc.
Dear Annie: My daughter
is getting married in two weeks.
My 80-year-old mother-in-law is
unable to attend, but she called
us with a request. Her daughter,
“Donna,” the bride’s aunt, will
be flying across the country with
her two young children to attend
the wedding. She asked whether
Donna’s two children could have a
role in the celebration because she
thinks Donna assumed they would
be asked to participate after going
to the expense of buying three tick-
ets to attend.
We do not feel this is an appro-
priate request and it puts us in an
awkward position. My mother-in-
law is trying to make us feel bad
for saying no to something that was
never a consideration. Donna has a
history of being manipulative. No
other children were invited and we
do not want other parents to feel
bad that their children were not in-
cluded at all.
If we say no now, my mother-in-
law will push even harder, adding
more stress to an already stressful
event. Can we simply say we are
“taking under advisement” and let
it go? — Stressed in Shrewsbury
Dear Shrewsbury: Yes, that
is one way of dealing with a pre-
sumptuous request. You also can
bite the bullet and say firmly, but
politely, “No, but we appreciate
that Donna is coming and bring-
ing the children.” What someone
spends to attend the wedding is up
to them. It should not be used as
blackmail to get a starring part in
Still, you might consider finding
a small role for the children, possi-
bly handing out programs, asking
guests to sign a welcome book or
directing them to their seats if the
kids are old enough to handle the
responsibility. It’s a minor effort
that will make the children feel im-
portant and assuage your in-laws.
And please don’t worry about not
having invited other children. The
bride’s first cousins are in a sepa-
rate category. But you should not
be held hostage by someone else’s
inappropriate demands on your
daughter’s big day.
Dear Annie: I read the letter
from “Artist’s Wife,” whose hus-
band was asked to do a portrait for
a family member who has yet to
pay him. She has at least one real
boar for a relative.
My niece is an artist. I like her
work, family or not. When I saw
something on her website I really
wanted to own, I approached her
about it. She offered to sell it to me
at a discount. I refused her kind-
ness and bought two pieces from
her at the same price she was ask-
ing for her other work.
One family member did not
take advantage of another on ei-
ther side of this transaction. If I
couldn’t afford my niece’s prices,
I wouldn’t have asked her to sell
When all was said and done,
she was so grateful for the decent
treatment that she created a third
piece of art for me as a gift. It was
her choice, and I appreciated it
tremendously. — Grateful Family
Dear Grateful: Thank you for
demonstrating how relatives should
behave toward one another. Taking
advantage of someone because you
are related not only is unfair and
unkind, but it poisons the well for
future family encounters.
FRANK AND ERNEST
WIZARD OF ID
ROSE IS ROSE
ARIES (March 21-April 19). You may be
down on certain aspects of your physical
self today. Just know that beauty is not
created part by part. The beauty is in all of
your parts working together.
TAURUS (April 20-May 20). You’re quick
to blame yourself for not being in a better
mood, more cheerful or brighter around
others. Consider that it might not be your
fault. Maybe you’re reacting to a tone that
was established long before you got there.
GEMINI (May 21-June 21). You pride
yourself in your ability to remain cool under
pressure and calm in the face of adversity.
But how do you react to good news and
augmented fortunes? You’ll soon find out.
CANCER (June 22-July 22). You are an
expert at recognizing people’s defenses,
especially the ones that are not so easily
discerned, like the defense of being ex-
tremely friendly or tired, or the defense of
being annoyingly picky.
LEO (July 23-Aug. 22). Categories and
distinctions matter. Be careful not to blur
the line between your work and personal
lives, as this will prove over time to be a
mistake that affects both areas of your life
VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22). Your resolve
is strong. You’ll stay calm when others are
losing it, partly because you don’t believe in
overreacting and partly because the plan-
ets favor your emotional control.
LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 23). Humans are
imperfect, and that’s one of the best things
about them. You and a friend will be bond-
ed in your imperfections. Tonight, a sur-
prise will keep a relationship from getting
SCORPIO (Oct. 24-Nov. 21). When
you’re communicating at the top of your
game, you begin every interaction, wheth-
er with a stranger or with your nearest and
dearest, with a greeting. Your stellar luck of
the day will owe to this nicety.
SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21). You’re
not the most emotional or demonstrative
person you know, but it will be appropriate
to go in for the hug today. In fact, your hugs
have healing power.
CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19). The
beauty of an anonymous gift is that the one
who receives it can enjoy the gift without
feeling the obligation of reciprocation. Ev-
ery so often, you give like this because it
feeds your soul. It’s that time again.
AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18). You usu-
ally get along perfectly, but today there’s a
rub instead of a groove. Consider that you
may have misinterpreted the other per-
son’s behavior, and that is the real cause of
the problem (not the behavior itself).
PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20). It’s a laid-
back, casual, easy-going kind of day for the
most part, but when it’s time to make an
impression, don’t relax too much. The rule
is that it’s better to be overdressed than un-
WEDNESDAY’S BIRTHDAY (July 29).
Your birthday kicks off a series of accom-
plishments. Share your good fortune with
others in October, and teach them what
you know. Someone falls deeper and
deeper in love with you at the end of the
year. The award in February comes with
more money and responsibility. Taurus and
Sagittarius people adore you. Your lucky
numbers are: 40, 17, 29, 33 and 11.