Dear Annie: Unruly children ruin wedding for some guests

Note: The following column is updated from a previous Dear Annie column published in 2018.

Dear Annie: I recently attended a wedding where one woman and her spouse brought their six kids. Additionally, there were countless other children. There was an appetizer table set up while the wedding party had photos taken, and the children acted like they hadn’t eaten in weeks. They also ran, played tag and generally acted like it was a game to see who could take the most from the table. They did not get food and then find a seat to settle down and eat. An 86-year-old man, family to the groom, actually left before the meal, as he was concerned someone would make him fall!

There was a cash bar there as well. I, too, left early — and I am the parent of one of the people being married. The children were already running without any parental supervision, and I did not think alcohol in the mix was going to improve the situation.

Was I wrong to just ignore the hordes of children running through the dance floor and dashing under tables?

I did not know all the people to ask them to control their children, but I also did not feel it was my place — Confused Southerner

Dear Confused Southerner: I’m sorry that you had to experience that. I don’t think it really matters if it’s 1920 or 2020; allowing children at a wedding to take all of the food and run around as if it’s recess on a playground is incredibly rude. Their parents should have stopped them and explained that they need to be respectful during a wedding and that it is an honor to be invited.

In hindsight, you should have said something to the parents of the children — politely and firmly.

Dear Annie: I live in a condo with my husband, and the neighbor next door keeps coming out of her apartment to investigate who’s at our residence, or she comes out when we have company and rudely interrupts our gathering. She always has to know who is there and what we are doing. She purposely eavesdrops on our conversations and has called our landlord. She even called the police, giving false statements that my husband and I were fighting. We have been threatened by the landlord that we have to move out if we don’t stop, despite our explaining that there is no fighting.

We don’t bother her, and we do not have any other issues with her. We have tried to get along with her and even told her she does not need to come out every time we have company. I have started documenting her actions, and since I get along with all the other neighbors in the building, I am going to get statements from them as well.

She doesn’t talk to us, but she continues to come out to investigate.

What is the best advice to get her to stop the unnecessary invasion of privacy? What is my next step? — Tired of Nosey Neighbor

Dear Tired of Nosy Neighbor: Your next step is to talk to her. Ask her to kindly mind her own business. If she does not, then you can continue what you are doing and document her snooping.

You have every right to feel comfortable in your own home and don’t need to put up with someone intruding on your personal space.

Send your questions for Annie Lane to [email protected].