Denying one’s family may bring further questioning
It also has the advantage of being more relatable, even if others’ circumstances are not as dire as yours.
Dear Miss Manners: Iam50 years old and have been living with a man for more than eight years. I have always had a good relationship with his mother.
Over the years, we have received holiday cards from his mother addressed to both of us and signed “Love.” But this year, the envelope was addressed only to her son; enclosed was a “son”specific card signed “Love,” and a second card to me with only her name noted.
I mentioned this to my partner and he said, “What is the big deal? You got a card.” I told him that it was hurtful. Am I being too sensitive?
Gentle reader: Not knowing how this lady generally operates, Miss Manners could not say. It is her usual policy, however, to assume the best.
If you are anxious to find out her intention, you may do so delicately by saying, “It was so kind of you to think of me, as always, with a holiday card. Even more so to go to the trouble of getting us two. But really, Lance and I are at the point where we can share one card. Was there any reason you thought otherwise?”
Be prepared for an answer ranging anywhere from “I thought you would like the picture of the cats” to “Yes, get away from my son.”
Dear Miss Manners: I have been with my boyfriend for seven years. It seems that every time I bring up the goals in this relationship, and ask if he plans a future with me, he always has a reason why marriage is not a good idea and how everything needs to be just right in every way: religious and political views matched, family relationships and friendships accepted mutually, etc.
Everyone around us, including our families, constantly asks when the big day will be, and his response is always “soon.” At times, he has even told people we are already engaged.
When I ask, he says I have to be patient and it will happen one day. But it’s been seven years, and I have grown tired of hearing these “reasons.” I feel that “when you know, you know,” and the proposal should have happened already.
Am I being impatient or expecting this too soon?
Gentle reader: Seven years of this seems, to Miss Manners, to demonstrate greater patience on your part than your boyfriend has a right to expect. It is apparently long enough for him to have realized that there are no consequences when he gives evasive answers. Whether you decide in advance to leave, you might at least want to change this impression.
Dear Miss Manners: Iamso frustrated. My husband is very hard of hearing but refuses to wear his hearing aids. Therefore, he misses out on details of conversations, and if I raise my voice to repeat something for the third or fourth time, he will tell me not to yell.
He is constantly fighting with our son because he says our son screams at him. It is everyone else’s fault, not his. I have pretty much stopped conversing with him. Any suggestions other than divorce?
Gentle reader: While it is not Miss Manners’ belief that etiquette applies any less at home, family problems are less likely to benefit from the indirect solutions one often uses in company. Explain — in writing, if necessary — the impossible situation in which he is putting his family: He cannot hear you and you are admonished for speaking up. What would he suggest be done?