Dear Annie: Last month, I attended a bridal shower for my "new" granddaughter. The shower was lovely, and we all enjoyed ourselves. We took pictures of everyone with our friends and family and the new bride.

My grandson's wedding was last weekend. When my husband and I arrived, the bride and groom were off with the photographer taking family pictures. I assumed we would be called to join in, but after waiting for some time, we were escorted into the reception area, and the next thing I knew, the ceremony was beginning.

I am totally confused as to why we were not included in the wedding pictures. I brought this up to my son (the groom's father), and he said the "kids" did not want to hear any more ideas on how the wedding was to be arranged. They had paid for it themselves, so my son felt he couldn't make suggestions.

I could have accepted that explanation if it weren't for the fact that the bride's grandparents were invited to the picture session. Even my daughter-in-law's mother was invited, and she is related the same way I am.

I want to understand why we were not included. We have never had an issue with either one of them. We have always been supportive and loving toward the newlyweds. My son tells me to let it go, but I am having a hard time doing that. I don't want to make everyone angry, but I'd like to ask my grandson and his bride whether this was an oversight or simply the way they wanted it.

The holidays are here, and we probably will all be together. I am so hurt and confused that I dread seeing them. How do I get past this? – Overlooked

Dear Overlooked: We think this was an oversight, and we hope you will treat it as such. Weddings can be so stressful, even under the best of circumstances. Those couples who handle all of the details themselves often end up feeling overwhelmed, and unfortunately, important things can slide and feelings are unintentionally hurt. You certainly won't want to hear a different answer, so we urge you to forgive them, and we hope they will apologize.

Dear Annie: I am a senior citizen who plays an online video game with mostly teens and young adults. On two occasions, another player has disclosed a personal crisis (the death of a grandparent and an unexpected pregnancy), and other players who were online immediately came together as a spontaneous support group.

The advice and concern offered by these normally raunchy trash-talking antagonists was heartfelt and kind, and the equal of that from a parent, counselor or religious leader. Keep on gaming, young people. – Geezer Gamer

Dear Gamer: There are so many negative stories about posts on the Internet, including gaming sites, that it's wonderful and encouraging to hear the positive side. Thanks for giving them a shout-out.

Dear Annie: "Torn in Pennsylvania" said she gives homemade gifts to her family members, even though they never reciprocate. I have been on the receiving end of homemade gifts and perhaps can offer another perspective.

I have a spouse, children and grandchildren with whom I exchange gifts. I have no desire to do this with extended family or friends due to the cost and time involved. Whenever I have been the recipient of a nice but unwanted gift, I thank the person, but that's it. If the opportunity presents itself, I will casually mention that I prefer not to exchange gifts regularly with others in that manner. Still, I have one friend who continues to give me gifts. She seems OK with my not reciprocating, but it still makes me a bit uncomfortable.

If your recipients do not reciprocate, please do NOT continue to give them things. Chances are that your gifts, though lovely, create an obligation that they would rather not have. Please let them off the hook. – Enough Gifts Already

ANNIE'S MAILBOX is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please email your questions to anniesmailbox@comcast.net, or write to: Annie's Mailbox, c/o Creators Syndicate, 737 3rd Street, Hermosa Beach, CA 90254. 

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