One of my best friends is having a bridal shower in a couple of weeks. I couldn't be happier for her, but I'm nervous about attending. It's a fairly small group of people, but there will be a few guests from out of state whom I don't know at all. I've been told they're vaccinated, but I'm not — and I don't think I will be by then — so I just don't feel comfortable. How can I tell my friend I won't be there without hurting her feelings?
Party Pooper (female, 26)
Dear Party Pooper,
Don't pussyfoot around. Just be straight-up with your pal. Unless she's been living under a huge boulder this past year, she'll understand where you're coming from. You should never feel guilty about putting your safety first, and I'm willing to bet that you won't be the only one to decline the invitation.
Celebrations during a pandemic are tricky, to put it mildly, and hosts ought to make arrangements to include their rightfully cautious friends. Find out whether there's a virtual aspect to the party. If there isn't, you could offer to help make that happen. Having the entire event on Zoom might be a bit much, but it would be easy-peasy to pull off an online moment for people to toast the bride-to-be.
Alternatively, you could plan an in-person celebration with her at another time. It could be as casual or fancy as suits your friendship — all that really matters is that you spend some time together to mark the occasion. At the very least, you could swing by on the day of the party before all the guests arrive to drop off a gift and give her some love.
If all else fails, feel free to use me as an out. Tell her your Reverend said you can't go.
Good luck and God bless,