Ask Clare: My friends made a housewarming gift registry

Welcome to Ask Clare, our advice column.  Have a question, dilemma, or quandary?  Send it to Clare in an email or on her Facebook page.

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Dear Clare,

We were recently invited to a housewarming party. There was an email invitation that included a link to a registry. I thought that was out of the norm and kind of rude. My wife disagrees. Of course, I was planning to bring something – maybe champagne and a plant but I am not down with buying a set of pots because these people moved to a new place in La Quinta. What do you think?
– Warm house, cold heart

Warm house, cold heart,

Letting guests know that gifts are expected always requires a healthy dose of tact. Maybe the email was missing that. That said, home ownership is a big deal for a lot of people – and the point of a housewarming is to be kind to the newly broke. Before you balk at the registry, take a look at what’s on the list. It may be more modest than you think. Have you had them over to your place? They probably just don’t trust your taste.
– Clare

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Clare,

I am a divorced dad and I have a crush on my kid’s teacher. I’ve tried to keep it cool during the school year and I am relieved it’s coming to an end. Is there a not creepy way to see if she’s interested in getting to know me beyond parent-teacher conferences that include my ex?
– Teacher’s pet

Teacher’s pet,

Hmmm. That’s tricky if your kid isn’t switching schools. You don’t want to get a reputation as a creep. Teachers talk, especially about the parents. I think a simple note that thanks her for her work with your child and says, “Here’s my number if you want to stay in touch.” Whatever you do don’t get into the backstory to make it clear that you’re divorced.
– Clare

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Clare,

We are going camping over Memorial Day Weekend in Joshua Tree with another couple. I am newly pregnant after a few miscarriages. Needless to say, I am not drinking, which is out of the norm for me on a trip like this. How do I get through the weekend without raising suspicion? What if they ask me why I am not drinking – or even more directly ask if I am pregnant?
– Happy camper

Happy camper,

Congratulations! Your news is yours and you don’t have to tell anyone, even if they ask directly. Your spouse can help you through the weekend by offering to make the drinks for everyone. Bring mixers and solo cups. Try not to be stressed. They’re probably going to be oblivious to what’s in the cup. Take your prenatal vitamins in the tent.
– Clare


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