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Faux Pas of the Year

Stories which earn the coveted honor of actually making Miss Jeanne bust out laughing or cause some lower mandible rug rubs.

Jan-Jun 2000 Archive
Jul-Dec 2000 Archive
Jan-Dec 2001 Archive
2002 Archive


As far as tacky weddings go, I don't think that anything can top my cousin's last year. He is 24, she is 23. Both of them make twice as much as I do in a year, and this is how their wedding went.

  1. The bride had her BROTHER for a maid of honor, and the groom had his two brothers and his SISTER stand up for him. So not only were the genders all wrong, but they did not even have the same number of attendants. And yes, the bride's brother held her ring and her flowers, and also signed the marriage certificate as her witness.
  2. I’m at a loss to understand why you think this is an etiquette faux pas. The bride and groom rightly choose to surround themselves with people nearest and dearest to their hearts with no regard for stuffy, meaningless traditions. Nor did they use someone as a warm body to fill out bridal party numbers for the sake of appearances.


  3. There was no color-coordination among the bridal party. The bride wore a long sleeveless white dress with a floor length veil with a headpiece made of these cheap celluloid flowers. The veil and headpiece set had been her grandma's from the 1940s, and it looked it too. It was probably sentimental, but the flowers were very yellowed, and just old and tacky looking.
  4. The groom and the brothers and the fathers all wore suits. Just regular work suits, not tuxes. They did not match. The bride's brother wore a grey suit with pinstripes, and the groom's brothers wore a black and a blue suit, respectively. His sister wore a blue pantsuit.

    The MOB wore a yellow sundress. The MOG wore a green sundress. Needless to say, the party was very... colorful.

    I’m beginning to like this bride and groom! It seems they chose to let their attendants wear their best suits rather than spend more money on clothing that would be worn once.

  5. The ceremony was with a justice of the peace and took a total of 5 minutes, tops. The justice read poetry and pronounced them married. Oh, and the 50 guests? We sat on folding chairs and picnic benches. They had been decorated, but they were just folding chairs and picnic benches.
  6. So?

  7. The bride and groom did not even buy rings for the occasion. My cousin says that they don't wear jewelry normally. I think that they could have bought some cheap bands for the ceremony, even if they tossed them in a drawer afterwards.
  8. It’s tempting to think your Ehell submission was a hoax. Can one person really believe all these things are heinous faux pas?

  9. There was no alcohol at the reception. It had been catered by a local concern that was obviously more used to doing graduation parties, so it was just a buffet. There was not even a wedding cake... unless you count the homemade chocolate sheet cakes that the MOB had made.
  10. How sweet! The couple is staying within their means.  As for alcohol, Miss Jeanne isn't swayed by the whines of guests who feel cheated when no alcohol is provided.  Hosts are not obligated to serve alcohol either. 

  11. The decorations were minimal at best. Just white tablecloths and flower vases with a little fake ice sprinkled about. Thank goodness the reception was indoors. The mosquitoes would have been terrible otherwise.
  12. There was no music and no dancing for this late afternoon wedding. Instead, the bridal party went from table to table to talk to everyone. They had not bothered to hire a photographer... so the bridal party went around taking pictures of the newlyweds visiting with the guests. Some fun, right?
  13. The reception hosts have no obligation to provide music and dancing, just sufficient refreshments to suit the time of the reception. The bride and groom are to be commended for making the effort to personally greet every guest.

  14. Oh, yes, the invitations. There were none. Instead, the bride wrote letters to all of us to invite us. They were handwritten, which is ok according to my etiquette books, but since they were not on a tight budget, you would think that they could spare the dollar that a printed invitation would have cost.
  15. Spare me your angst.  I'd rather have a handwritten letter inviting me to a wedding because it shows an investment of time that the bride gave to her guests.

  16. I asked the groom's sister about planning the wedding, and she said that she thought it had all been done for under $1500. Believe me, it showed.

Speculating and inquiring about the financial arrangements your host has made is exceptionally rude and none of your business.

Basically, the whole affair had kind of a low-rent feel to it. I'm sorry if this sounds b*tchy, but I really got the feeling that the bride and groom were not taking their marriage seriously because they did not observe many traditions. I'm taking bets on how long this will last. Fauxpas0422-02

You barked up the wrong tree with this Ehell submission since Miss Jeanne has a long history in real life of helping people coordinate and plan weddings which reflect a realistic budget and does not indebt the hosts. 


When I got engaged, I chose 5 girls to be my bridesmaids. My wedding was about 22 months away. One day I received a call from my MOH. She informed me that she was pregnant and due one week prior to my wedding day. "I don't know how this happened" she said. ( She must have skipped health class ). Obviously, I was upset and told the other members of my wedding party about how disappointed I was because I felt that she could have maybe waited one more month. I then decided to demote my MOH to alleviate the responsibility from her so that she would not be stressed out (being 8 months pregnant) and promote another bride's maid. About one month later, the new MOH informed me that she was pregnant too. I was so upset. Mostly because she knew how I felt about the first girl becoming pregnant and she went ahead and did it too. I hid my feelings to try to be happy for her (because it is good news) but worried that these two pregnancies would become an issue further down the road.

Follow me, readers…..the storyteller is upset the first MOH did not "wait one more month" to get pregnant yet a month later when the second MOH announces she is also pregnant, the bride is "so upset". The issue really isn’t the timing but rather that an attendant will be pregnant during the ceremony and her attendants did not consult the bride on their family planning.

When it came time for my shower, neither the new MOH nor the former MOH contacted anyone.

But you said you demoted the former MOH to "alleviate the responsibilities from her". It sounds like she took you at your word. And if you meddled in my family planning, I might not be too motivated to plan a shower either.

No moms and none of the other girls. I finally had to get the ball rolling. Because they waited so long, most places were already booked for Saturday and Sunday. Then one of them has the bright idea of a Friday night (keep in mind that none of them checked to see if I had any plans already and none of them checked with the moms to see if any elder family members could make it). I freaked out. Needless to say, I planned my own shower in 1/2 hour. What took them six months to do, I did in 30 minutes. This really made me angry. The straw that broke the camel's back was when my new MOH informed me that it was inconvenient for her to attend my rehearsal dinner because it was on the 4th of July and she had a cookout. That was it! Arrange my rehearsal for her? Yeah, right. I wrote her back an email that I was speechless and that if she couldn't make it, not to worry. I told her we would go on without her. Now as my shower approaches, I wonder what is going to happen. If I could do it all over again, my wedding party would be minus two.


Dear Mistress of E-Hell:

My fiancé and I take the train to work every day and sometimes we catch up with our acquaintances (names changed) Ann and Bill who also ride the same train from time-to-time. Chris and Bill took a few courses together in graduate school, but are not especially close. One morning, my fiancé did not ride the train with me and I ran into Bill and Ann. We sat together and chit chatted until one of them asked what I was doing a month from then. Flattered (I thought my fiancé and I were being invited out to dinner or to a party) I said, "nothing" when Bill chimed in and said, "We know what you're doing! You're coming over to our house and going to a Tupperware party!" Now I don't know them very well, but I figured, might be a drag, but who knows....I don't HAVE to get anything (my fiancé and I have a graveyard of the stuff in the kitchen and really don't need anymore), after all, I've never been to one of these things before. So I agreed.

A week before the party I got the invite and RSVP'd and said I would be there. The day of the party was early in the week and I had had a long, hard day at the office. When I got home, all I wanted to do was curl up and watch some TV or read a book and I had completely forgotten about the event. Just when I was getting relaxed, the phone rang. I was late. Immediately, I got up and headed out the door. A few minutes later I was at the event and upon entering, I profusely apologized for my tardiness and told them I had completely forgotten. After that we all sat down for the Tupperware lady to go through her spiel. However, we had to do the "allotment of Tupperware dollars" first. It goes like this: If you RSVP's to the event you get 100 T-dollars, if you were on-time you get another 100. If you were the first one there, you get 300 if you brought an outside guest you get 500, etc. Well, the t-lady started with, all those who were on time raise your hands. DUH everybody was but me! I felt singled out like a dolt. Needless to say, I got t-dollars for RSVPing. What is the point of this you may ask? Well, after the longwinded presentation of how great Tupperware is there is an auction. With your t-dollars you can get free Tupperware - nothing big, but who cares.

So, the girl goes into her longwinded presentation. She has three different sets on display which she highly encourages you to purchase. However, during the show, Ann keeps going to her fridge and pulling out her Tupperware of the same sets and displaying how great it is. Fine. But here's the kicker. Midway through the t-lady's spiel she asks for two volunteers to host a t-party of their own and then adds, "that's how Ann got all of her stuff! And if you commit today, Ann will get even more free stuff...but if you cancel on the party Ann will lose the Tupperware she will get from you committing to your own party." Immediately I thought, "geeze, you mean to tell me she invited me over so she could get lots of free stuff when I have to pay for mine? And now she wants even more free stuff at the expense of my time? No way!" Plus the t-lady needed a guarantee of 2 people to host their own parties, otherwise Ann would get nothing additional from what she got for hosting this party. Ann graciously volunteered to have her house used for any such parties if one's own dwelling was a problem...maybe for more free Tupperware! Needless to say, I did NOT volunteer.

Now came time to order the fabulous Tupperware we were corralled here to do. I saw a few small items that I would like, but nothing big. After all, my fiancé and I have TONS of the stuff and little space for it. Ann came around to me and asked what items I was going to purchase. I told her just a few small ones, we have almost everything already (not Tupperware brand, but just as good and CHEAPER!). She seemed disappointed, she went from a smile to a blank look. She then suggested, rather encouraged that I buy everything for the new wet bar / kitchenette installed in my basement....her smile then returned. It was then I also realized that she would probably get even more free Tupperware from this party depending upon the grand total sale of the evening. I felt used. I also thought to myself, "Lady, you have some nerve. Greedy to the end. You make a decent salary, your husband is well off, but you insist that your friends/acquaintances should help provide you with free stuff." It would have been different if we were good friends, but I had only been out with Ann and Bill once and chatted with them on the train a few times. It was just that she needed the Tupperware and didn't want to pay for it. I quickly filled out my form, gave the t-lady a check and planned my exit. I went to Ann apologized again for being late and politely said my good-evenings. I knew I should have stayed home watching TV.    Fauxpas0530-03

Miss Jeanne has a problem with all product home parties, not just Tupperware, because nine times out of ten, the person hosting the party hasn't bothered to extend personal hospitality to the guest in any other context.  Their "hospitality" is a ruse and the guest is being used as a vehicle to acquire more possessions.  I personally do not accept invitations to such parties if the hostess hasn't extended the effort to entertain me just for the enjoyment of my company.

This is truly the ultimate way to have your wedding ruined, so bad someone went to jail (neither of my parents) and the wedding was postponed two years.

My mom was 19 and my dad was 21 when they planned their wedding-the first time. I was an infant, about 8 months old, now 22 years. My mom had her only older (and unmarried) sister, 22, as her maid of honor. This offended her 6 younger sisters, all pre-teen and older, who proceeded to run amok. Thanks to my dad's parents having an old video film camera, I was able to see this. Ah, those old film reels.

While my mom is getting dressed, her MOH, my aunt Margie, was talking with guests. One of my dad's sisters, was holding me when Margie asked to. So Stacy handed me over. Stacy was being paid to keep watch over me. But she lost track. Anyway, Margie and another sister, Connie, who I think was 17, decided that there was enough time before the ceremony to go show their gorgeous baby niece-even they admit that-to Margie's old boyfriend to try to trick him into thinking I was his so he's give her money. So Margie and Connie took me from the wedding without telling anyone.

So they went to his house, which was just down the street from my parents' backyard wedding, and ended up drinking up a storm and doing some lines of crack.

My mom was nervous with me not by her side every second and insisted that Stacy bring me to her every half an hour or so just so mom could see that I was okay. But Stacy didn't know where I was. No one did. The last time she saw me was when she handed me to Margie. So rather than getting excited to be soon married, my parents and grandparents and some of the guests ended up searching for Margie and Connie.

They came back pretty soon after that, but without me. We later found out Margie's ex believed her about me being his, but she was so stoned she forgot I was there when she left. She said I was at her ex's when she cleared her head just enough to remember having me, but when everyone went back, the house was dark and locked. The cops were called.

They broke into the house and I wasn't there. So instead of getting married, my parents had a missing child.

To make a long story short, the boyfriend saw Margie leave and leave me behind, so he took who he thought was his daughter to his best friend's house, who also had a baby, with him to get more drugs. The friend's girlfriend took (what my mom said was surprisingly good) care of me a couple of days until another aunt saw this guy at the store buying some beer. She asked him where I was and he didn't say, so she grabbed his arm and yelled for someone to call the cops. Finally, about a week later, they found out where I was and child endangerment and kidnapping charges were pressed against Margie and Connie.

My parents were finally married almost two years later, when the horror of the day ceased enough for them to not feel like hyperventilating. Only this time the ceremony was small so that it would not seem out of place when my parents kept me with them, even at the alter. They are still together, and had one more child, my brother. Now it's my turn to walk down the aisle soon!

I never realized until I read your site how many of my own stories I had to contribute! This one's about a neighbor. A little background: My family moved into this middle class, suburban neighborhood in Texas when I was 10. (I am now 22), after we had moved to America from Japan a few years before. My mother and great-uncle, who moved to this house, speak English well, but have pronounced accents. I am half-Caucasian, and speak English with no accent.

All right. This incident occurred in 2000. My neighbor, "Sam," had a Rottweiler mix, "Brasco" who was an outdoor dog. I owned a cat named Tamami, who was getting on in years (about 11 years old) and was an indoor cat, but had lately spent afternoons outdoors in the sun. Tamami had a cat door through which she could come and go, and she never went beyond my yard as her arthritis restricted her movements. Brasco, though a large dog that had bitten at least four teenagers and a child, was not reigned in by his owner, who frankly seemed afraid of his own dog. Sam walked his dog not on a leash attached properly to a collar (the law down here), but on an old rope tied loosely about his dilapidated collar.

My fiancé (20) and myself (21) were excited to learn that his parents were sending us to Europe to tour France as a gift. Given our combined ages and student status, this was especially exciting for us. We had a beautiful trip, but were looking forward to coming home. Imagine my shock when I was greeted with the following note:

"My dog killed your cat. Sorry, Neighbor."

The note was tucked under the windshield wiper of my fiancé’s car. I had had this cat since I was 10 years old.

I learned the full story from my other next door neighbor, "Dan." Dan, a father of 3 and fellow cat lover, had witnessed Sam using my front yard as his dog's personal toilet while I was away, knowing my elderly great-uncle was rarely home (Not all the elderly are sedentary). One day, while Sam allowed his dog untethered to use my sculptured lawn as a commode, Brasco spotted Tamami sleeping under the rose bushes. It was quick and ugly. Tamami could not move fast enough given her age, and was caught in the jaws of this beast who shook her to her death, holding on to her throat. Sam never even attempted to pull his dog off!! The kicker is: Dan told me that Sam just walked off, leaving the corpse of my beloved pet lying on my lawn. The note on the car was placed there three days later, after Dan kindly buried my poor cat so I could at least be spared that!

My fiancé later explained that Sam probably thought I couldn't read English, which was the only way he could possibly think of that would explain the curtness of the note. I don't blame the dog: I blame the owner! The only option I had, I was told by neighbors, was to sue in small claims court for the original price of my cat, $55 to cover the shots when I got her for free from the SPCA, or to put the dog to sleep. Not much of a choice. Nothing could make up for the loss of a family member!!   Fauxpas0627-03

My husband and I were married on March 22, 2002. After reading these stories this might pale in comparison but I just had to tell this story. All of the groom's friends were a bit jealous of the groom getting married. They knew that he was happy. He found the perfect girl and the perfect job, etc, and was moving into a brand new house. They had tried to do little things prior to the Wedding to sabotage things between us, (like making advances toward me and trying desperately to get him into trouble), but it didn't work and I just kept my cool and let things flow.

The rehearsal dinner came and went. A good time was had by all, so I thought that maybe his friends were going to lighten up a bit and behave like adults during the Wedding. The Wedding day comes and the ceremony is beautiful, everyone fakes smiles for the photographer and we move on to the reception.

Everyone is introduced by the DJ and takes their places at the brides table. 2 minutes after the bridal party is seated, the beastmen (6 in all) get up from their seats and leave to go to the other room where the bar was. This was prior to any festivities, food, 1st dance or anything. They started drinking and planned to spend the entire evening out by the bar. I speak to the Groom and tell him to get them corralled and back to the table. He does.

Champagne was passed out to each table for the toasts and the beastmen drink their bottles prior to any speeches. The best man delivers his speech, the formalities are over and the beastmen make a beeline for the bar again. After a number of drinks one of the Beastmen goes to the DJ and tells him to announce that the groomsmen have a surprise for the Groom. The DJ announces it and the groomsmen take the groom to the dance floor and literally POUND him with our beautiful wedding cake. It wasn't just a harmless piece of cake in the face, it was a violent attack. They even bruised his face and forced the icing into his ears. His hair, face, shirt and vest were covered and I had it on my wedding dress as well. This little stunt was not well received by most of the guests and they were so disgusted that some of them left. (we later found out that the grooms mother was in on it as well!)

The Groom, angry and dazed stands up and punches the first person he sees, right in the face and goes to the bathroom to clean up. Meanwhile, the beastmen, (proud of their feat) decide to show off by dancing by themselves. They ran onto the dance floor with big smiles on their faces and slipped on the buttercream from the cake smashing, and went right into and underneath the DJ's table. I call that just desserts! (I just hope our videographer got it on film!) We sent them a bill for the Dry Cleaning after the Wedding. Needless to say, there was a falling out between my husband and the beastmen after the wedding and my husband and I haven't spoken to them since. Picture enclosed!


Our church's late wedding coordinator had been serving in that capacity for many years, and loved to tell stories about funny/strange things that had happened. This was her favorite that she told me while we were planning our wedding.

The wedding party had been called to assemble at the church fully dressed for pictures at 3:00 the day of the wedding even though the wedding itself was not to start until 7:00 that evening. This was several years ago at a time when taking pictures before the ceremony was almost unheard of. Everyone looked fine, and the pictures were taken without incident. The session took about ninety minutes. After the photographer was finished, the four parents invited everyone to go with them to get an early dinner. Older relatives accepted, but none of the wedding party. The wedding party then discovered that they were all dressed up and had nothing to do for the next two-and-a-half hours. They all figured they would not have time to change into regular clothes, go somewhere, do something, come back, change again, and be ready on time. They therefore were stuck in a church with nothing to do. One of the groomsmen decided to provide some entertainment, and went out to his car to get some of the bottles of Jack Daniel's and other spirits he had brought for the reception. Although our denomination does not frown upon the consumption of alcohol, our church does not allow alcohol in its buildings, so the groomsmen had planned a "tailgate" bar for the parking lot during the reception.

All of the wedding party (still dressed for the wedding) eagerly joined in the impromptu party the groomsman set up in the bride's room, and by 6:00 - as none of them had eaten that day, and no mixers were provided - all were intoxicated. The wedding coordinator said she arrived to find several of them "sloppy drunk" and one bridesmaid vomiting in a sink. She said not one of them could speak without slurring words. The parents returned and were just as horrified.

The parents and the coordinator along with a few relatives did their best to get the now disheveled people cleaned up and ready for the wedding. Hair had to be restyled and makeup reapplied. Vomit and spilled drinks had to be washed off of two gowns and one tux. Despite their best efforts, most of the clothing remained wrinkled, but the party at least looked somewhat better. The minister (rightly!) felt it wrong for people to take their wedding vows while drunk, and had to be convinced that the couple was not too wasted to understand what they were doing.

The coordinator stated that when the processional music started, she truly feared that some of the bridesmaids would not make it down the aisle on their high heels, and that some were visibly wobbly as they walked. She also stated that the bride started crying and hung onto her father's arm looking as if she would be sick at any moment. There was no hiding the "aroma" of booze with the underlying scent of vomit as the wedding party passed the congregation. A few of the groomsmen and bridesmaids giggled through the whole thing. The bride cried for most of it.

The wedding continued with the bride and groom slurring some of their vows and the bride almost heaving, but the marriage was completed. Everyone made it without passing out or acting too unruly. The coordinator stated that both the bride and another bridesmaid got sick surreptitiously during the reception, and some of the groomsmen's remarks were off-color, but nothing too upsetting occurred. The atmosphere was rather tense, though, and the bride continued to suddenly cry at random. The planned parking lot bar never happened. The couple still is happily married today, so the final outcome was good. I understand that the pictures were beautiful even though the couple has little memory of the actual ceremony. Fauxpas0627-03

In spite of the fact that I have been suffering from infertility for quite some time, I reluctantly agreed to throw a baby shower for the wife of my husband's oldest friend. Her SIL had been in the planning stages of this shower when her son fell ill and she, as well as the mother-to-be (MTB), asked me to take over. I was to coordinate with the MTB's oldest friend (OF), whom, I was told, could not be expected to help pay for any part of the shower, as she was in a precarious financial situation. I have to explain here that I only talk to this couple once or twice a year - usually when they are throwing a party that requires gifts. Nevertheless, I knew that if I didn't step in and throw this shower, nobody would, as the MTB is really not very well-liked, even by family members. Upon my acceptance of the assignment, the MTB sent me an e-mail detailing what she expected out of the day. First, she wanted there to be no children over the age of 3. The age of 3 was selected, as it would specifically exclude her ill nephew and one of her cousins. She wanted this explicitly written on the invitation. Second, she wanted no men in attendance. That's fine - this is the South, and generally, men aren't expected to attend baby showers. Third, the shower itself had to be held on one particular day - no exception. Also at a particular time, so that she (the MTB) wouldn't wind up eating dinner late. The problem? The date was exactly two weeks from the day I was asked to pick up the slack. The fourth *condition* that she listed in this e-mail was that she wanted a fruit tray with strawberries and *FRESH* pineapple - I quote "none of that canned stuff." Also, there were to be no finger sandwiches of any sort, as the MTB thinks they're "gross." A couple days after I agreed to take over, the aforementioned OF that I would have to coordinate with called me and started grilling me about my progress. When I asked her, basically, what the deal was, she explained that the MTB had her call so that she could find out what I had done so far.

This continued all the way through the preparations - the MTB had the OF call and ask me if it would be "too much trouble" to carve a watermelon basket for the strawberries and fresh pineapple (YES, it WOULD be, considering that I had already agreed to do hand-molded chocolates and a quilt with sentiments from the shower-goers long before I ever agreed to plan this stupid shower!), and could I please pick up the cake from the baker that the MTB had arranged? MTB even planned the games, telling the OF what she wanted to play. (OF, being broke, was in charge of the games.) I sent out 30 invitations and spent a couple hundred dollars on everything for this shower.

The day came and things were going well - we only had eleven people show up, and I suspect it was because of the "no kids" rule - there had been a few ruffled feathers about that. The party started in the early afternoon, and the MTB was not there yet. About thirty minutes after the party started (thirty minutes PAST the time appointed by the MTB, mind you), she finally arrived with her "new best friend", her HUSBAND, and the FTB (my husband's friend!)!! The NBF's husband and my husband's friend sat around, watched me move a couple tables by myself, and then went off to bowl, but not before leaving an empty fast-food cup on the floor. The MTB herself allowed me to pin on the corsage I had made, and then didn't speak word one to me for the rest of the party. She spent a good deal of time complaining about the headache she had, and berating the guests for not carrying Tylenol in their purses. Her mother came dressed in shorts and a tee-shirt, while everyone else was dressed casually, but nice - sundresses, skirts or slacks. MTB's husband, and the husband of the "new best friend" came back at the end of the party, watched me move the two tables back, packed all the loot in the car, and left. The MTB said maybe five words to me the entire time. Lucky for her, two of them were "thank you." I ha spent the entire party feeling ill-at-ease, not knowing anybody, and trying to keep the rented facility clean.

When I related the entire story to my husband, who witnessed how much work I had put into this shower, he agreed that when their baby is born, we'll visit in the hospital, give them a plant, and then quietly never contact them again. Fauxpas0630-03

Ok, my sister told me about your fun website and I run the risk that she may read this and get mad at me but here it goes. By the way, my other sister who has no children says that I am over reacting to this outrageous action by the other sister but listen to this and judge for yourselves. Am I wrong to feel robbed of one of the most important events in one's life?. I was the first of three sisters to have a baby. This was going to be the first grandchild on both my husband's and my side of the family. Everyone was very excited and my mother and younger sister wanted to be at the hospital to share in this family event. I had a somewhat difficult relationship with my father growing up and secretly hoped that my child, his first grandchild, would be a boy since he had fathered three daughters and had no sons. I even rehearsed different ways to tell my Dad if the baby was a boy.

After 16 hours of labor I delivered my baby, a BOY! Being that they were there at the hospital, my mother and sister were the first to get the news. I waited for the doctor to finish putting in the stitches and for the nurses to clean me up before I reached for the phone and called my father. I was so excited that I was going to say those words to my father that he always wanted to hear "it's a BOY!". After about 3 rings my father, who knew that I had gone into labor earlier, answered the phone and when I said "Hello Dad..." he excitedly shouted back "IT'S A BOY!!! Your SISTER already called me!" I was DEVASTATED! I asked him in disbelief "'Taffy' already called and told you?!" and he said "Yes!". I did not cry at the birth but I shed quite a few tears of disappointment, MY moment had been stolen and ruined! What was even more shocking is that when my husband took his turn on the phone and called HIS parents he was told the same thing! My sister had called my husband's parents too!

Needless to say he was pretty angry, "what the #@*~! is the matter with your SISTER?!" he said through clenched teeth, after having just spent 5 minutes consoling me and saying that her "FAUX PAS" was "no big deal". I never confronted my sister about what she did, she could be pretty thin skinned and I knew that if I went off on her it would accomplish nothing. I even sort of joked that I was going to be at the hospital with a pocket full of quarters and one hand on the phone when she gave birth but I could never actually do that to anybody. I just regret that my husband and I were not the ones to tell our parents about their first grandchild. (deep sigh) fauxpas0701-03

Here is how my husband and I treat this type of situation which occasionally has arisen among our children. Information is something that is personally owned and can have value to its owner. That owner can choose to share it with you but unless specifically granted, the receiver should never presume they now own the information and can give it away to anyone haphazardly.

If the hearer/receiver were to share this information without the owner’s permission, we view that as theft because something has been stolen. "Taffy" knew, maybe not cognitively but certainly on a gut level, that the first news of a new grandchild would have an emotional impact and she wanted to be the one who got the thrill of bearing good news first. In essence, she "stole" the thrill of that moment not only from her sister but from her brother-in-law as well.

I have finally met Bridezilla and she is a co-worker of mine, we will call her "Jane". Jane and I hit off the first couple of days I started working for this company just over a year ago. She is sweet, thoughtful, and very shy. Since I’ve known her, she has been planning her upcoming wedding, which will be in her home state, and we spend a lot of time talking about all of her plans (even outside of work). It has been really exciting having her share her plans with me.

She is finally getting closer to her wedding date. A couple of weeks ago, she had a bridal shower back in her home state with all of her family. She never disclosed this to anyone at work except for me and another co-worker. Since I knew in advanced, I decided to surprise her and buy her something off of her registry and forward it to her parents address.

Purchasing a gift from her registry got to be complicated. One of the items on her registry, was an item that my company produced (why she didn’t buy it with our discount is beyond me). So, I figured it would be worth it for me to buy her the whole set of what she wanted and then just call the department store to let them know that it was purchased. But it wasn’t that simple. My company’s customer service department got confused on the instructions on where to delivery the goods (Jane sits right next to me and I couldn’t have them deliver it to my desk) and it took 2 days going back and forth via e-mail with me on it. I gave up and asked another co-worker to pay for it under her name with my cash.

So I sneak the gift home and wrapped it with some very nice paper and a beautiful satin ribbon and I handmade the card and wrote a very nice message that made my Mom cry. All that I needed was Jane’s parent’s address. The only information that I had for Jane’s parent’s contact information was an e-mail address for her Mom, which I oversaw one day when she was reading her e-mails. After e-mailing her Mom to let her know that I was not only a co-worker but a good friend and wanted to surprise Jane with sending a gift to open at her shower, I got no response after about 4 days. I find out that Jane’s Mom’s e-mail is blocked. So I stay late one night, so that I can sneak on Jane’s computer to find some other information. I find her father’s e-mail address and give him the same letter. So about 5 days later, I still don’t have a response. I find out that this is his work address and he is a teacher currently out of school. Completely frustrated, I stayed late again and grab another e-mail address that I assume is Jane’s sister. Luckily it is and she quickly responds with the parent’s address.

I sent the package in plenty of time and requested that the sister take out the present from the box so that my return address wouldn’t give it away. The sister was to take the present to the Bridal Shower. The sister gave me confirmation that this would happen.

The day before Jane’s trip out to her home state, she gets an excited call from her sister. I can hear a lot of giggling and excitement going on from her end until near the end of the conversation. All of a sudden, she starts getting angrier and angrier with her sister and is demanding answers. From what I am hearing on her end, she had received some surprised packages and her sister gave this person her parent’s home address. Well Jane is upset because she wanted to know who it was from and why her sister didn’t tell the person to send the gifts to her current residence. She went on and on and round and round with her sister about this issue. She finally hangs up and comes straight over to me to tell me the story about what her sister did and why would someone want to send a package to her home state when she has to send everything back to her current address! I am of course feeling really bad at this point and I am not sure if my mouth came up from being on the ground. I don’t know what was worse, her anger that she got a gift or how much of a rampage she was on (please note that I have never seen her ever exhibit this type of behavior). I mumbled something to her like not to worry about it. That it is only a gift and I am sure the person who sent had only the best intentions. But this was not good enough for her. She got a hold of her Mom and started questioning her to death. Finally, the Mom gave her a fake name but it didn’t really settle with Jane because she didn’t know this person and she was still upset that they didn’t send this to her current address. At this point, I couldn’t figure out why someone would get so upset that they received a gift and now I am very hurt. So, I just had to ignore her or just not answer her for the rest of the day.

So now the Bridal Shower is done and over with and it is Monday morning. I thought for sure she would come up to me with a sheepish grin or an apology of "how could you let me ramble on about the package on Friday". But instead, I got nothing. She brought pictures. I got excited. I thought for sure, I would see a picture of her holding my present or see it on the gift table. But it wasn’t on the gift table because the first picture of the gift table was when her parents and sister got there. There were three gifts on the table and one of them wasn’t mine. The second picture of the full gift table didn’t have my gift on it either. Then there were pictures of every gift that she opened with her attending fiancée holding up the matching card. I am disappointed that there is no picture with her and my gift and she still never gets around to thanking me for the gift. But, she insists on going out to lunch and I am hoping that maybe she would take this opportunity to say something.

Lunch time comes and we are sitting at the table with another co-worker who knew about the shower, and who had to buy my present for her, asked Jane what she got as gifts. Jane lists all of her gifts but mine. The co-worker flat out asks her if she got my gift to which we got that "Oh yeah". The co-worker asks if she was surprised to receive it and we got another "yeah". I asked if she liked the card and she made the following comment: "Oh it was really pretty. When my fiancé saw it later on, he commented on how pretty it was and thought you did a really good job." (The co-worker and I later discuss how odd that comment was because the fiancé was at the Bridal Shower reading the cards while she opened the presents. When did he miss seeing my card?) I asked if her sister took the present out of the box and she said no and that she guess it was from me as soon as she saw my return address. The gift table also did not have my "UPS Box" on it or by it either.

I do know that she set aside a weekend to write out all of her thank you notes from the Bridal Shower. Sadly, its three weeks later; I still haven’t received a note or a verbal thank you.

Ironically, the other girls at work asked me if I wanted to go in on getting Jane a wedding gift. I will not be contributing.


My friend Alexis is getting married this year, and she asked me to be one of five bridesmaids. Great! -- or so I thought. First, she tells us that we can pick our own dresses, she just needs to approve them first. She insists that she would not want us to spend more than $150 on a dress. After three outings, she finds the perfect dress (remember, it was supposed to be up to the bridesmaids?) with a price tag of $300. Hair will be $50, nails will be $40 and guess what?? Make-up is free!!! Whooppeee. That's all fine.

Next, Alexis tells us that she wants to go away for a weekend with all of her bridesmaids to get "away from the stress." On this weekend away, we are all expected to pay for a hotel, a fancy dinner, a night out for a staggette party, a "spa" day and an expensive tour. Fine.

For the shower, Alexis wants a lot of people to come. And she indicates that she will pick a date that works best for her, and if the bridesmaids are busy, they'll have to change their plans. Whatever.

A few months before the wedding, she and her fiancé arrange a "party to celebrate with our close friends," which ends up being a money-grab. They make people buy tickets to get in the door, buy drinks, bid on auction items, etc., in hopes of raising money for their own wedding. AFTER the party, they inform everyone that they have soooo many guests coming to the wedding, that they will not be able to afford to have a host bar, and drinks would be $2 at the wedding.

Alexis also tells me that she will be very upset if she does not get out of the wedding what she puts into it .... i.e., the value of all the gifts must equal what she has paid to have the guests there. She said she will think twice about inviting people who she suspects may "jip" them on gifts.

Alexis laments that it's very hard to buy a new house and get married in the same year. She feels that people just don't understand how much it costs to get married and they should feel honored if they are included in the day. I sure do.   Fauxpas0712-03

Obviously someone who is in dire need of her friends declining the "honor" of attending her wedding.

My story is one that could not have gotten any worse. It's long and worth the read. You'll see.

My cousin was to be married in September of 2000. She announced her engagement to a man I will call William. What a surprise! He is an ex of mine. We parted on good terms since we realized we had grown to be basically friends, and over the years lost touch.

Jennifer has always been greedy beyond all reason. She broke up with a boyfriend in high school because he could not afford to buy her a-get this-Corvette convertible at 16. Since then, she somehow made herself desirable by being so "selective" in her choice of boyfriends, and let it be known her sexual prowess in bed was something to envy. All before age 18. One of her criteria was that any boy who wanted to date her had to "bid" for her with a preselected gift. Always something expensive. Her first selection was a particular ring she wanted, a one-carat diamond. Whoever wanted to date her had to buy it for her. We live in a fairly rich town, okay, very rich, so it wasn't long before one young man decided to "buy" her. Now why her parents didn't object came up only recently-if she married rich, she would be able to support them.

This continued for several years. She even got a house from a past boyfriend while in college, a "mini"-mansion. Over 8,000sqft. The boyfriend tried suing for it back, but the judge said that it was a gift, plain and simple. She reminds me of a courtesan in the olden days, where it was a thing of prestige to bed a certain lady, often at a very substantial cost. That's Jennifer. In our small, rich town, it's known that those who can be with her have money, and who doesn't like to show that off?

Anyway, back to her engagement.

William designed something, which I will leave unknown because he is a good person and I don't want him embarrassed (and it's nothing technological either), and made millions. He had left town before her "transformation" and met her while he was on a vacation to Italy. Fate. I'll get to the meaning of that later, and how I know these details. She "charmed" him, and he proposed before his visit to Milan was over. It was an extended trip, and she was on it with another boyfriend, who was trying to "win" his way into her panties. She had not had sex with him, but did with William. Within the month she claimed to be pregnant, and he is too much of a man than to run or question his obligations. So he did what he felt best-proposed. They left Italy together soon after that.

(Side note-she brags about how she did not let her other boyfriend know she had left, and how the poor thing was frantic trying to find her.)

We are at June 2000 now, and they decide to marry before the baby is born. They decide on September.

When I first saw William again, before I knew of his fortune, something sparked in me, but he was my cousin's fiancé. And it pained me that he was going to marry someone like her. But she is my cousin, and he is someone I once loved.

She told everyone that she wanted a Titanic wedding, complete with the final dress, the Heaven dress, as her wedding dress, which she expected her talented sister to make for her, and guests in Titanic fashions, held on a ship in the Atlantic. A private ship crossing the Atlantic. She wanted a replay on the movie basically. And all guests were to wear Edwardian clothing ONLY. William was at a loss, but did not want his child to grow up in a home with one parents and the other on visitations only,as he had growing up. She wanted him to finance it, but for her parents to contribute at least $50,000, "like good parents should." I don't know what her parents were thinking at this point. But they mortgaged their house with the intent of filing bankruptcy and living off their son-in-law. Jenn made clear that she expected large gifts.

So plans started underway, and William had little choice but to pay the accommodations and transportation for over 200 people. When he tried telling her he wanted to offer to help she had a fit, saying any money guests had to spend on that is less that they'll spend on a gift. So he relented, to calm her down as he did not want harm to come to his baby. We were all still expected to furnish period-correct garb, no matter the cost.

And she pretty much forced me into being in charge of the correctness.

But wait-the bad stuff hasn't even come yet. Here is the true beginning.

At the beginning of September she picked her bridesmaids, and told her sister to add those dresses to the "order," but the order one Heaven dress and four of the dress called the Dinner dress was too much, and Lilly had to ask her design school friends to help, who did so for their friend. Lilly paid for the materials as her gift to her sister. I was one of maids. Her maid of honor. I had the honor of being terrorized. I planned her bridal shower, as elaborate as my budget could afford. I spent more than I could truly afford because she pulled her old trick-having a fit and causing concern for the baby. I did not want the child to suffer for this, so I complied.

She requested a copy of the guest list, most of which she gave me to begin with. I just added relatives. She went through the list without telling me and sent follow-up cards, disinviting some people, and assigning gifts for the rest to buy. Yes, assigning them!

At the shower, she was angry because it wasn't elaborate enough and the food wasn't exactly what she hoped, even though she gave no input, saying it was my work. She sulked around, insulting people for not wearing period clothes, which I did not plan on. These poor people would be wearing them on the ship! When she opened her gifts, she started throwing things because some of the guests deviated from the "assigned" gift to what they could afford. She stalked out of the hall and broke a window on her way to hailing a cab, leaving many gifts unopened and all the guests in shock. We recovered and gathered the gifts up, the shower ending earlier than planned. Among things unopened were a crib from Little Miss Liberty of Beverly Hills our grandmother bought (those things are more than the typical monthly salary!) and crystal. We took everything to her home, and were lucky the housekeeper was there, or maid as she says and William hired and pays for. She we left the gifts in the front hall. The next day I drove over to see if she was okay. But I did not stop. All the gifts were shattered and broken on the lawn.

About an eighth of the guest list backed out, the rest hanging on for the cruise we were assured. The remaining time before we left she bossed everyone around, costing her several friendships.

Once in England, we were to be there one night before departing for the ship the next day. However she was already there as planned. In that time she found new dresses she wanted everyone to wear. And she expected us to foot the bills. Like we had money to spare after our wardrobes for the trip. I ran out of the hotel room so hurt and cried and tried to get lost so she couldn't find me. At the elevator, I nearly hyperventilated. The doors opened and there stood....William.

I tried brushing away my tears. I couldn't let him see me crying. We'd talked briefly here and there the last couple of months, and I still had feeling for him, which I doubted he returned. But he looked as haggard as I. He asked if I wanted to go to the courtyard and take a breather, and of course I did.

For several minutes we just sat in silence. He spoke first, and began spilling how he did not want to marry her, but his child needed a two parent household. The conversation turned over the next couple of hours to several topics. He said he'd buy the dresses since everyone was already out so much, and since he could afford it it was the least he could do, and asked the store name. But the way he looked at me told me he still felt something for me. I jumped up, stated the name, and ran back to the elevator, up to my room.

At about six that evening, my roommate and I were napping, exhausted from the redeye. But there was a knock that woke me up. It was him. He had gone to the store and asked to buy the dresses on hold for the X party, and he was delivering them. My roomie cried out of relief. She just couldn't afford another dress.

The next morning we boarded the ship and were given cards with our staterooms on them. The bridesmaids, myself included, were actually given rooms made over to look like maids' quarters on Titanic. With as little space as well. The guests, with few exceptions, were placed in "second-class" and "steerage," depending on how much she liked everybody. The wedding was the next night. The current night was the rehearsal.

The rehearsal was actually fun, and went as one should. She wore the Jump dress and I wore a fashion I'd seen on a website of old fashions. Some of the guests were dressed more period than others, but only those in the first-class and "servants" quarters were allowed this night. The rest ate in respective dining rooms. The night drew to a close and I thought the good would come, if tonight were an indicator. How very wrong I was.

The next morning dawned bright and early. I was not the only one with the idea to walk to deck to watch the sunrise. Jennifer slept until just a couple of hours before the ceremony, which was fine with all of us. We played old games and talked, and in general acted like we were in 1912. Until Jennifer woke up.

We knew she had when she stormed out of her stateroom and onto the deck, looking for her sister. She began screaming at her, as she had decided only a week or so before that she wanted her dress to be Swarovski crystal, not the glass beads her sister bought. She screeched on about her sister ruining her wedding day and that she is out of the party, and invited the first woman she was to replace her. Lilly ran off in tears, the rest of us again in shock. How I wished William could see this and avoid the biggest mistake of his life. She snapped at me to get inside and help her dress. I followed, swearing that after this was over I was disowning her (which I did).

She began on how the ship wasn't big enough, and her shoes too plain, etc. Nothing satisfied her. Her greed had reached such a peak that nothing would do. I did her hair, hoping to have time to do my own, and set her Swarovski tiara on her head (she loves Swarovski). Not good enough. She swept her hands through it, knocking the tiara to the floor. I tried again, still not good enough. She yelled at me to get out and get her mother. I only hope her mother was spared the yelling.

The next time I saw her I was dressed and outside the doors while waiting for her to get there so the ceremony could start. She arrived, and I will admit she looked gorgeous, and at ease finally. He mom whispered into my ear the words Sleeping pill in her drink. YES! Maybe she'd be calm now! Jenn was drowsy and the wedding was a replay of the rehearsal, lovely.

Regardless of how badly someone is behaving,  giving them a "mickie" to drug them is highly unethical, dangerous and probably illegal.

But the reception......

The medication wore off and she began swearing like never before, at her new husband, us, the band. She had such a sinister look on her face as I'd never seen. I went to the deck to take some air, where there were several others, her husband as well. I stood by him and he told me the cost of this affair (I nearly fainted) and how he wishes he had never met her, because he could tell he'd be miserable. But his concern was, as always, his baby. We who were out there remained for some time, and regretted going back.

In the meager half hour she was drunk off her rocker, standing by the cake, with a bottle of whisky almost gone. William and I, as well as several others, ran to get. She was about to fall on the cake. William was in disbelief, and asked her why she would hurt the baby. Here's the worst of it. She responded, hiccupping:

"There never was a baby. I just wanted a rich hot guy to marry me."

I don't know which went through me first or harder-that he will probably divorce her and I could pursue him, or how hurt he must be. Then she turned on me, calling me a whore, that she saw us from her room in the courtyard talking and how I couldn't have him. The band stopped playing, the guests stood in the usual shock. Nothing should have surprised us by now. But something did. She threw her arm through the cake and started to fall. No one caught her, but she did bellow. Then William....laughed.  Laughed!

And exclaimed his intent to get this marriage annulled, how relieved he was, and let is all come out about how he only married her for the baby. She tried biting back about getting money from him, but not so fast. They aren't from a community property state. But this story has a good end.

William swept me up in a circle and planted one on my forehead. When Jennifer came to being sober the next morning, she felt like the biggest ass, so embarrassed she stayed in her room the rest of the trip, refusing to see anyone but her mom.

The annulment was filed within days, and granted quickly. Jennifer went to stay with her grandma some states away, leaving William to pursue me, or me him. We were married ourselves in April. In a normalish wedding with a Titanic undertheme (who says she's the only one who loves Titanic?) in which guests could dress as they'd like. But did their old clothing ever come in handy! She was sent an invitation. But her grandma (this is the one we do not share through our moms, who are sisters) sent a short letter with a small gift saying Jennifer has shamed herself into the ground, is truly expecting now without knowing the father, and that she declined.

So see? What goes around, comes around!


I don't know if you have seen the "Save me" sites going around at the moment - most notably I think they are awful, especially as there is no reason these people need to be "saved" except their own poor money management skills! Anyway, today I found this one - - which I submit for your perusal. My husband and I both worked and saved hard for 9 months and had the wedding we wanted funded entirely by ourselves, and while we certainly don't have the debt that this couple have, we would never have dreamed of asking strangers (or anyone) for help with our wedding expenses - we would have married in a registry office or been patient! Love your site! Fauxpas0208-03


When my daughter recently had a baby, her husband's family used it as an occasion to once again make every situation a family reunion. By the time two hours had passed after giving birth, my son in law's step grandfather, grandmother, brother, mother, cousin, and the cousin's year old baby were all in her room. I felt this was extremely rude of them, and should have been a time when the new mother could be resting a little. They could have at least been out in the waiting area beside the nursery. Anyway, several months passed and I finally got into an argument with my son in law. I suppose I then committed poor etiquette because I informed him that he and his family are a bunch of hillbillies, lol


Yes, I'd say you were quite rude.  From a different perspective, your daughter's in-laws' behavior could be viewed as excited, unified family support to welcome a new arrival to the family.  I am certain your daughter and her husband are sufficiently mature enough to handle their own offenses they may have with people without you taking up their battles for them.  

Our wedding took place in May, 2002. I had no problem getting my sister, best friend, and Aunt to be bridesmaids, but my husband only had his brother as Best Man, and my sister's boyfriend as a groomsman. We needed another guy. He asked one friend, who was honored, but couldn't, and asked his other brother, who told him he would, but ended up bailing out three weeks beforehand, siting money difficulties. Finally, he asked another friend, "Darrell". I had met and never really like Darrell, but thought, maybe I needed to give him another chance. Darrell said he'd be the third groomsman. He got fitted for his tux, attended an elaborate dinner party in our honor, hosted by some of my dearest friends, and stayed in touch as things proceeded. He showed up for the rehearsal, (long afterward, I found out he'd been drinking and had probably been high.) and attended our rehearsal dinner. He accepted a beautiful rosewood clock as a gift from my husband for being in the wedding. It had an engraved commemorative plaque on the front. I thought it was strange when he thanked my husband for telling him the wedding was at 1:00, he'd thought it was at 4pm. He'd received an invitation and was in the wedding, after all!

On our wedding day, as my bridesmaids and I lined up to go down the isle, I scanned the front of the church. The candles were being lit, the last guest was being ushered in. Where was DARRELL??? No one replied. It was as if I were speaking in a vacuum. "Where's Darrell??????" I tried again. Again no reply, and no responses. I figured whatever it was, we couldn't change it now, and went on with our procession. I never really liked the guy, anyhow. After the ceremony, when the bridal party was all together in the church basement, I asked again! No one knew, he'd just never shown up! We called his house, and his roommate told us he'd left the house at 10am in his tux and had one stop to make before he came over to the church. We called the police, the hospital, but to no avail. At the reception, everyone wanted to know where the third groomsman was! After the reception, back at our home, we called his house and got the roommate again, who claimed not to know where he was.

Strangely enough, though, Darrell himself called us not five minutes after we talked to the roommate. His story went like this: He'd gone to his ex-girlfriend's house to feed their guinea pig and clean its cage. (In a TUX?) He'd laid down and fallen asleep, as he'd not gotten much sleep the night before. He had only woken up a half an hour before he was speaking to us, and he was SO SORRY. Let's see, how do you fall asleep at maybe 11am, and sleep until 8pm- straight without waking up???? My husband let him off lightly, as we had a house full of friends, had just come home, and didn't want Darrell to dampen our good moods. I, however, was not as forgiving a couple weeks after our return from our honeymoon when I called Darrell to tell him how LAME I thought his story was, how I didn't appreciate his showing up at our rehearsal with a buzz, and how little I thought of his lack of responsibility and insensitivity to my husband's feelings for letting him, myself, and the entire bridal party down by not showing up for the wedding. I continued by telling him I felt he didn't deserve to accept the handsome and costly gift my husband had given him, and he needed to return it to him immediately. Darrell offered no other excuse than his own flakiness, and said he'd return the gift. Of course, he never did, and we've never heard from him again, but it just goes to show you, ladies, if you get bad vibes about someone, and you just don't know why, trust your instincts! There's probably a reason!