Dear Abby: My husband, “Pete,” and I are at a point in our lives where we’re ready to start a family. We have already started trying. We both have college degrees, jobs and own our home. I have talked with my OB and have started making myself “baby-ready.”
Friends and most of our family are happy we’re trying to start a family. The problem is my parents seem less than enthused.
One night last week, my mother, dad, Pete and I were enjoying some local entertainment and drinks together. Mom got a tad sloshed and told me she wishes my older brother and his wife had a child first, “no offense to me.” They have been trying for years and have gone to fertility clinics, but due to the cost, decided to stop trying until my sister-in-law earns her degree. I have talked to her about our plans, and she was happy for us.
Abby, I can’t stop thinking about what my mom said. I fear bringing it up with her because she may not remember she said anything. Is it wrong for me to hold onto this? Pete and I are financially and emotionally ready for a happy addition to our family. I know he’ll be a great dad. I wish my mother would realize this, too.
Dear “No Offense”: You are an adult and a married woman. You should not need anyone’s “enthusiasm” beyond yours and your husband’s to bring a child into this world.
You stated that your mother was “sloshed” when she made the remark. Alcohol-addled individuals often make inappropriate comments. Who knows what she meant when she said it? It may be she was thinking about the pain your brother and sister-in-law are experiencing because of their infertility issue.
Because her comment was hurtful, I think you should let her know so she can clarify — if she even remembers saying it. And if she doesn’t, suggest she cut back on her drinking because memory lapses can be a symptom of a drinking problem.
Dear Abby: My friend “Merle’s” daughter got engaged, and Merle threw an engagement party for her and the husband-to-be. The couple announced where they were registered in the Facebook invitation (which I thought was truly insensitive).
People arrived for the engagement party with gifts. I did not take one. I figured I’d wait until the wedding, which is a year away. I also thought, “What if they change their minds and don’t get married?”
Was I wrong not to take a gift? I guess I just don’t understand the current etiquette.
In South Carolina
Dear Stumped: You accepted the invitation, didn’t you? Because you did, you should have given the couple a gift. You did not have to take one to the party, but you should send something within a short time. (Suggestion: A nice picture frame to hold their engagement photo.)
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.