Dear Urban Diplomat: My cousins bailed on my wedding. Should I say something?
I got married this past summer, and we had a reception downtown with 120 guests. Four of my cousins who RSVP’d yes were no-shows, setting us back $180 per plate. It’s been a month since the wedding, and we haven’t received a single call or text explaining their absence. We see them a few times a year at family gatherings and don’t want to make things weird, but we feel slighted. Should we confront them or pretend it didn’t happen?
—Missing Cousins, Corktown
It’s too late to stop things from getting awkward—your cousins made sure of that when they ghosted—but the longer this strained silence lasts, the weirder things will get. Call them up and ask them if everything is okay. If they’re alive and well, you have every right to ask why they disappeared into the ether. Assuming they’re neither sociopaths nor savages, they probably feel guilty and embarrassed, as well they should, so they’ll likely respond with the profuse apology you deserve.
Dear Urban Diplomat,
I live next to four male university students. Earlier this year, they dug a hole in their postage stamp–size backyard and had bonfires most weekends, sometimes staying out past sunrise and yelling “Look at her!” as the flames grew. My bedroom would smell like smoke, forcing me to sleep on the couch and invest a small fortune in Febreze. I thought they’d settle down once winter hit, but the relentless revelry continues, now with jackets and tuques. How do I deal with them and finally catch some Z’s?
—Blazed and Confused, Trinity Bellwoods
There’s no ban on bruh-fuelled merriment, but there is one on open-air burning. The Ontario Fire Code prohibits the use of outdoor fireplaces and pits in the city. If you’d rather not impart this wisdom yourself (say, through a friendly knock on the door or even an anonymous note), make a complaint to Fire Services, and they’ll send an employee to the ersatz frat house to issue a warning. If the boys keep “her” burning, keep calling. Serial offenders can be fined up to $50,000 and forced to foot the bill if any fire trucks show up on the scene—to the tune of $1,100 per vehicle.
Dear Urban Diplomat,
When my boyfriend and I moved in together, his 15-year-old cat came with him. I thought I wouldn’t mind, but the animal is a menace. She yowls in the night, scratches and bites me, pees in my shoes, and regularly leaves “presents” (that is, mangled mice) on our doorstep. Honestly, I’m counting the days until the decrepit feline finally kicks the bucket, and, in my darker moments, I’ve considered speeding up the process. Is it wrong to ask my partner to give her away?
—Kitty Kitty Bang Bang, Malvern
You’re mistaken if you think you can compete with the Internet’s most beloved animal. Cat lovers are masochists who will sacrifice anything—sleep, footwear, possibly life partners—for even the most demonic of feline children. If your boyfriend is unfazed by midnight howling and bodily harm, he must really love his pet, so any conversation about sending her away won’t end well. Plus, ditching an animal as soon as it becomes a burden is a total jerk move. For now, pray your relationship lasts longer than the kitty does—and lock up your shoes.
Send your questions to the Urban Diplomat at firstname.lastname@example.org