Dear Annie: We belong to a private club. The club policy allows a member to sponsor a nonmember so that the nonmember can have an event at the club. However, in the event payment is not received from the nonmember for any reason, the member must pay the bill in full. Last year, our longtime friends "Bob" and "Deborah" asked us to sponsor a baby shower for their daughter at our club. Bob and Deb stated that they would pay for the event in full. We agreed. At the end of the event, they paid as promised.
Bob and Deb have since moved to Florida. But this year, they asked us to host the wedding reception for their daughter at our club. Bob initially said it would be handled just like the baby shower. We agreed. Later, we learned that Bob and Deborah were not going to pay for the reception — that it was up to their daughter and future son-in-law to figure that out. We have no idea about the income, debt or finances of this young couple and don't know how realistic it is that they'll be able to afford all of this.
Meanwhile, the reception grew to 230 invitees. Because of the change in circumstances as to who would be paying and the size of the event, we asked Bob and Deborah to sign a promissory note to guarantee they would pay for this event if the couple were not to pay. To our surprise, Bob and Deb refused to sign any guarantee agreement, saying that they are on a fixed income and that we should trust the newlyweds to pay.
We then contacted the daughter and asked that the couple either obtain a letter of credit from their bank or prepay for the reception. She and her fiance declined to do either. Bob and Deborah now say that we are insulting and rude for not trusting their daughter and her fiance to pay and that we "are putting money over friendship." Are we being insulting and rude to our friends and their daughter? — Looking for an Answer in Illinois
Dear Looking: Your friends are declining to sign a promissory note. With an expense as large as a 230-person wedding, that would cause anyone's eyebrows to rise. I find it highly suspect that Bob and Deborah rebuffed your request with the excuse that they're on a fixed income — as if you and your wife are Mr. and Mrs. Moneybags and shouldn't worry so much about being stuck with the bill.
To be fair to the young couple, talk to them directly about your concerns. Perhaps the young man's family would be willing to sign the promissory note. If not, no problem; there are thousands of other venues they can choose from for their wedding reception.
Dear Annie: I just read the letter from "Tossing and Turning," who was concerned about downsizing her possessions as she gets older, and I want to share an invaluable resource for every senior. No matter where the senior lives in the USA, he or she has a local Area Agency on Aging. Visit the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging website (https://www.n4a.org) and enter your ZIP code. The information and assistance team at the AAA will have answers to many questions and will guide seniors and caregivers through the programs and resources available in the community. — Sherri
Dear Sherri: I've just visited the website, and it seems to be a fantastic resource. Thanks for providing this information.
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