Dear Urban Diplomat: How do I tell my Facebook friends they’re not invited to my wedding?
I recently got engaged to the love of my life. In all the excitement, I announced the news on Facebook, and suddenly people I haven’t seen or spoken to in years started commenting that they couldn’t wait to watch me walk down the aisle. To be blunt, I don’t want them there and had no intention of inviting them. How do I say “see ya” without being too harsh?
—Wedding Crashers, Riverdale
If you’re honestly concerned about letting these long-forgotten Facebook “friends” off easy, message the wannabe attendees to tell them you and your future spouse are limiting the guest list to family and close friends (read: no long-lost pals or workplace randos). But my advice is: don’t bother. You’re under no obligation to explain your invitation choices, much less to people you barely know or like. It’s far less awkward (for you and them) to just ignore them altogether.
Dear Urban Diplomat,
My parents retired last year. After decades of hard work, they’re finally having some fun—maybe too much. They’re splurging more and more often (dinners at Canoe, Leafs season tickets), and I’m pretty sure they’re living beyond their means. It’s none of my business—and they’re my parents, so it feels especially patronizing to tell them how to manage their money—but I’m worried they’ll turn to me, their only kid, if they find themselves out of cash. How do I convince them to rein in their spending before they become freeloaders?
—Parent Trap, Bedford Park
Your progenitors’ lavish overspending will become your business if they blow through their nest egg and start asking you for cash. Don’t be afraid to have a candid discussion to find out if they’ve mapped out a formal budget to make sure they’re not broke before they croak. Refrain from critiquing their spending habits yourself—they may accuse you of looking out for your own inheritance—and instead suggest they visit an adviser. A professional, objective outsider will be frank about just how many pricy restaurant bills your parents can afford—and how often they should watch the game at home instead.
Dear Urban Diplomat,
Not long ago, I got a raise. I asked a close colleague out for drinks to celebrate. During our hangout, she revealed that, although she’s been with the company longer than me, in a similar position, she makes quite a bit less than I do and has never received a raise. She’s great at her job and deserves better. I’m starting to wonder if she’s been passed over because she’s a woman. Should I say something to my supervisor?
—Overcompensated, The Kingsway
Before you go white knighting, make sure your colleague actually wants your help. If she’d like you to speak to the brass on her behalf, go ahead, but she may prefer a subtler vote of confidence: someone to gently push her to ask for a raise herself, or to help come up with a solid case as to why she deserves more. If your boss can’t give either of you a legitimate reason why you’re making more than she is, your suspicions of gender bias might be right. And if he (I can only assume it’s a he) won’t budge, consider reporting the pay gap to HR, who may be more willing to do something to avoid the legal and PR problems your company’s Mad Men–era attitude could create.
Send your questions to the Urban Diplomat at firstname.lastname@example.org