My best friend’s also my long-time work partner.
I’m an amateur photographer. She asked me to take pictures at her daughter's wedding, years ago.
On the wedding day, I started photographing the family early in the morning, and worked all through the ceremony and reception until late that night.
I hardly remember seeing my own family there or participating as a guest.
I was called away from my table continuously to take pictures.
I later edited all, used Photoshop to create artistic pictures, and gave her daughter almost 1000 photos on a flash drive.
I’d said that I wouldn’t accept payment. My friend said I needn’t bring a gift.
However, my husband and daughter also attended the wedding so we gave her daughter $300.
Four years ago, a work acquaintance asked me to photograph her sister’s wedding, for pay.
I worked 13 hours, did all the same things with the pictures and was paid $650.
Later, I confided to my friend that I didn’t want to do any wedding photography again.
Recently, her other daughter got engaged. At lunch with our co-workers, she mentioned that her daughter wants me to photograph the wedding.
I couldn’t make her feel badly in front of others.
She’s always been there for me, especially when my son was in and out of the hospital for two years - often sending little gifts for him or bringing food for the family.
Privately, I gently reminded her of my decision to avoid wedding photography.
She responded that I wouldn’t be doing it alone. They’d also asked another person to take pictures. But previously, the “second” photographer had done very little.
Also, it doesn’t allow me to participate in the festivities.
My family thinks I should be honest with her, but I’m questioning whether refusing is worth jeopardizing our friendship.
Am I being petty?
Pictures or Friendship?
You’re probably reacting similarly to countless amateur photographers who’ve only seen friends’ events through a lens.
However, a long, close, and caring friendship is a treasure, not worth risking for this one last event.
Be clear that you will do it, out of affection for her and her family.
But state that it’s a lot of work, you feel badly missing most of the fun, and need the other photographer assigned to specific tasks, such as taking the photos of every guest table.
When you hand over the pictures, include a nice note of being happy for the newlyweds, as the recipients of your last wedding photography.
My husband of 30 years has gained twice that number of pounds and brushes off any discussion about it.
Ironically, he’s a doctor and already knows how unhealthy this kind of weight gain can be. He already can no longer play tennis, which he loved. Even walking tires him out.
I love him and fear losing him to an untimely, irreversible illness.
How do I get through to him?
Fearing the Worst
Tell him your fears.
But also say that, while he’s potentially squandering your length of time together, you have to prepare for the possibility of living alone.
Boost your own interests, plus your physical well being. Try to walk a little with him, but carry on with other fitness, as well as eating nutritionally.
Also, I strongly suggest couples counseling, where you can openly air your hurt that he’s willingly taking health risks. If he won’t go, do so on your own.
Ultimately, it’s his choice.
FEEDBACK Regarding the woman whose own children don’t like her young step-son (March 23):
Reader – “Why didn't you ask why the children don't like their step-brother?
“Maybe the stepbrother is stealing their toys and punching them. His own mother’s abandonment of him is very consistent with him being a problem child.
“Plus, he seldom sees his father because he’s away for months, so that would also make him an angry child.
“If the message is that the mother's needs come first (i.e. her kids need to put up with the step-brother so she can stay with her new husband), I think the kids already have received that message.
“It doesn't need to be reinforced any further.”
Ellie – I understand that there are different attitudes about what children can/should learn from their circumstances.
My point of view was about children learning compassion, and not having a well-meaning stepmother lose her own kids.
Tip of the day:
A close, mutually caring friendship is worth giving in to one last favour, by setting limits