DEAR AMY: I work mostly with women.
Two women at work are pregnant and due at roughly the same time. For one co-worker, it’s her first child, while it is the other’s fourth baby. Both women have been with our company for about two years.
Another co-worker decided to post an open invitation in the break room for a baby shower for the woman who is having her first child. The other pregnant woman has said that it hurts her feelings to be ignored every time she goes into the break room.
Management says this is a personal choice. Someone said that etiquette permits this because it is this co-worker’s first child. Is this really true?
There is no law against being rude, but is it right for our management to allow a person to be excluded from this celebration? Please clarify. -- Unsure
DEAR UNSURE: Generally, women having fourth babies simply don’t need or want the amount of baby gear, etc., that first-time parents do. This is why gift showers usually are only given for women having their first baby.
Surely the woman having her fourth child has been to showers for other first-time pregnant women in her circle without the expectation that she will also receive gifts. Women who have other children often receive gifts for their babies after, not before, the baby is born.
This experienced mother is not being excluded from this celebration; presumably she is invited to the baby shower. She is simply not the guest of honor.
No rule of etiquette would sanction rudeness or overt exclusion, and I agree that it would be gracious and generous of your department to recognize that both women are about to have babies.
The guest of honor of the shower could easily fix this by asking the hostesses to make this shower a shared event, but it is not your department manager’s job to police politeness — certainly when an invitation is “open.”
DEAR AMY: I’m a 53-year-old woman. My boyfriend of more than four years recently broke up with me. We lived together, first in his home and then in mine.
I respect his decision to leave; what bothers me is the way he went about it. First, he purchased a home without my knowledge. He knew he was going to leave for at least two months before he told me (including over the Christmas holidays). I feel very betrayed and foolish. I’m pretty sure his whole family knew before I did.
I think he should have told me that he wanted out. He says he was afraid that I would throw him and his dogs out and he would have had nowhere to go. Of course, I never would have done this.
I think it was wrong for him to lie to me. He led me to believe that everything was fine and he even told me that he loved me. Am I wrong to feel betrayed? -- Let Down
DEAR DOWN: You are not necessarily wrong to feel betrayed. You feel the way you feel — and your guy was sneaky in his approach to this breakup.
However, it is the very nature of breakups that they tend not to go over well with the aggrieved party. That’s pretty much built into the whole breaking-up scenario.
You may think that you would prefer a sophisticated and sensitive sharing of feelings, but your guy gave you a gift: Thinking he’s a lowdown dirty dog may help you to recover quicker.
DEAR AMY: In your response to “Unsure” you said: “I have news for you. No one is as sexually attractive after 10 years of marriage as in those first hot and heady days of a relationship.”
Well, I have news for you. After 38 years of marriage my wife is more sexually attractive, to me, than ever. How can this be? We have a very strong emotional bond that continues to grow. I am happier than ever and thoroughly enjoy every moment that I have with her. -- Really Sure
DEAR SURE: I am happy to report that several husbands have taken issue with my statement. I stand corrected.
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