Wedding Woes

Ask your friend what she wants.

Dear Prudence,

My friend Samantha lost her baby son in a tragic accident a couple years ago. She is currently expecting a baby and has one other child. In a few weeks, Samantha will be in attendance at a ladies-only milestone birthday I’m planning for a mutual friend. The group includes several other pregnant friends and moms, some of whom she knows (and who know her situation) and some of whom she doesn’t know. We don’t usually have parties like this in our group, so there isn’t much precedent.

Can I protect Samantha from well-meaning questions like “How many kids do you have?” as the moms at the party get to know one another? She has told me it’s really difficult to answer those standard questions about kids and I want her to feel comfortable. My goal here is to let people know without Samantha finding out. She’s a tough, smart woman and I don’t want her to feel embarrassed, or like I was spreading her personal information. Or should I just ask her what she prefers?

—Careful Hostess

Re: Ask your friend what she wants.

  • banana468banana468
    Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
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    Ditto - ask her.  "Hey, the ladies may be nosy at this function.   Do you want me to tell them about avoiding topics that may hurt in advance or should I just keep my mouth shut?   I'll follow your lead" 
    short+sassyernursej
  • Ask her what she prefers, and do that. 

    I definitely don't think your goal should be "let people know, without her finding out", however. Let her be in control of how the information is shared. She knows she's invited, she knows these questions may happen. Reach out to her and ask if there is anything you can do to make her feel more comfortable, and listen to what she says. 
    short+sassy
  • mrsconn23mrsconn23
    Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
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    banana468 said:
    Ditto - ask her.  "Hey, the ladies may be nosy at this function.   Do you want me to tell them about avoiding topics that may hurt in advance or should I just keep my mouth shut?   I'll follow your lead" 
    Exactly, but not asking her and then telling everyone to treat Samantha with kid gloves is the worst plan.  Someone will fuck it up and it will make it even worse.  Also Samantha moves about the world on a daily basis and interacts with people who aren't 'in the know', so I'd bet that she's come up with some coping mechanisms when it comes up in small talk. 
    STARMOON44charlotte989875short+sassy
  • mrsconn23 said:
    banana468 said:
    Ditto - ask her.  "Hey, the ladies may be nosy at this function.   Do you want me to tell them about avoiding topics that may hurt in advance or should I just keep my mouth shut?   I'll follow your lead" 
    Exactly, but not asking her and then telling everyone to treat Samantha with kid gloves is the worst plan.  Someone will fuck it up and it will make it even worse.  Also Samantha moves about the world on a daily basis and interacts with people who aren't 'in the know', so I'd bet that she's come up with some coping mechanisms when it comes up in small talk. 
    This. 

    Also I think there is a difference between friend saying "you know sometimes it's hard when people ask these questions, because I don't know how to answer and it makes me sad". And her not being able to function when people ask these things. My guess is that she's talked to her friend about the former in the course of the friendship, not as a way to ask for people to treat her differently, but in a "hey this thing sucks and I want to talk to my friend about it". 
    mrsconn23
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