My son claims that this is their wedding, and all we need to do is show up. He didn't even speak to me about the song for our mother/son dance. He picked it out already.
I was looking forward to making some candle centerpieces for their tables, and my future daughter-in-law seemed to be on the same page with me. All design decisions would be theirs, but since I'd had no other chance to do something personal for their wedding, and have been stuck at home with a disability, making the centerpieces meant a lot to me. Suddenly, I was told they had decided to streamline the wedding and didn't need the candles. I am very hurt.
Am I being selfish? Do I have a right to be selfish, or am I wrong? I feel like they are the ones who are being selfish, to not include their parents in any way.
While you should expect your son and his fiancee to be grateful for your financial generosity, Miss Manners does not see the connection between that and your question.
She suspects that all have been anesthetized by advertising campaigns (not just ones orchestrated by professionals, but less formal ones by friends and family) that acknowledge the pricelessness of love, friendship and family — and then go on to state a price.
Your financial generosity is lovely. It is always thoughtful of a son to seek his mother’s advice. The two are not related: You would, rightly, be highly offended if he quoted you a price for choosing the song for your dance.
Please suppress the idea that you have somehow been cheated, and tell your son that it would mean a lot to you if you could do something personal for the wedding. Such an appeal will not only be harder for your son to resist, it will be cheaper.
Dear Miss Manners: How do I address a sympathy card to a widow, whom I have never met, of a client?
Reaching out to the widow of someone you knew professionally is a thoughtful way to demonstrate respect for the dead, but it requires a handwritten letter, not a mere card, because there is much to say.
First, introduce yourself, explaining your connection to the deceased, and then express your condolences in the normal way. End with a brief anecdote or recollection about the deceased that shows him in a good light, and of which the widow may not have been aware. Miss Manners considers the extra time this will take to be well spent and trusts that you will as well.
New Miss Manners columns are posted Monday through Saturday on washingtonpost.com/advice. You can send questions to Miss Manners at her website, missmanners.com. You can also follow her @RealMissManners.
2020, by Judith Martin