DEAR JEANNE & LEONARD: I recently ran for a seat on the school board in the suburban community in which I live. I’ve accepted the fact that I lost. But what continues to bug me is that my father, a widower, failed to contribute to my campaign fund, even though he knew how much the election meant to me (it’s my first) and even though he’s not short on money. Am I wrong to feel this way? — Ryan DEAR RYAN: At least you’re more at peace than Hillary.
Seriously, is it possible that your father disagrees with your views? If he does, he wouldn’t be wrong to put his philosophy ahead of your feelings. After all, if you’re old enough to run for the school board, you’re old enough to understand that loving you doesn’t require your father to share your perspective on education.
However, if your views on the issues weren’t the reason, you’re not wrong to feel hurt by his failing to contribute. You are wrong, though, not
to let it go. After writing as many checks as supporting you for at least 18 years must have required, your father’s entitled to be forgiven for not writing one to your campaign. DEAR JEANNE &
LEONARD: The oldest child of my mother’s favorite niece is getting married next month. Mom died unexpectedly in the spring, but I know that she had intended to give the bride and groom $1,000 as a wedding present. So shouldn’t my sister and I, as our mother’s heirs, be giving the couple the $1,000 out of the money we inherited? My sister thinks I’m crazy — especially, she says, because our cousin (Mom’s niece) has two more children who would then expect comparable gifts when they got married. But I say, had Mom lived only a few months more, that $1,000 would have been theirs, plus Mom would have wanted us to give it to them. What do you think?
— J.T. DEAR J.T.: Got any other cousins with unmarried children? We ask because rare is the family in which someone receives $1,000 from a greataunt — especially posthumously — and every last relative doesn’t hear about it. In other words, we wonder if you’re not underestimating the number of prospective brides and grooms who might expect the same wedding present.
Even so, you should give the happy couple the $1,000 as long as there’s no question that your mother intended for them to have it. But in doing so, emphasize that the gift is from your mother, not from you and your sister, and that your mother had explicitly told you that she was planning to give them that amount. To underscore the point that the money is from her alone, don’t give them a check from you or your sister — give them cash. And to further underscore the point that you two aren’t going to be ponying up a grand at every future nuptial, you and your sister each should give the couple your own, appropriate-from-a-cousin, gift.
Good luck. It’s not always easy being generous.