1. Melissa

    I am dreading this Saturday! I am 27 and have been in a relationship for 8 years. My boyfriend is unemployed and became a teacher last year but is having a lot of trouble finding work. Well, on Saturday my young cousin is making her communion, so we have to go to the church and a party afterward at my aunt and uncle’s house. I am really anxious about it because my Grandfather and his wife will be there (my grandparents are divorced, he is remarried). They are known for saying stupid things and they have certainly commented in the past to my boyfriend about both the job situation and our not being married. I feel this is none of their business and for the 3 days a year that they see us, they know nothing else about us but to comment on these things. It ruins the day and makes puts me on the verge of tears. The last event we were all at my grandpa’s wife kept making comments to my boyfriend, things like “don’t forget what we talked about!”—she had told him he should propose to me. This is inappropriate and I just really don’t feel like putting up with it on Saturday. Any suggestions??!!

    • Graceandhonor

      “Grandpa, I see you maybe three times a year and I’d like to remember them as happy. Cut it out.” You are an adult and it is time they see and treat you as such.

    • Magadalena

      There is another etiquette sight that I frequent(ly lurk on) that offers a few catch phrases that tend to make the inappropriate people feel exactly what they are: inappropriate.

      “What an interesting assumption.”
      “Why would I want to do that?”
      “So kind of you to take an interest.”
      -Blank stare-
      -change subject as if the other one had not even been introduced-

      Use those as appropriate, repeat as often as necessary. You do not need to explain further or even defend yourself even though you may feel like you have to do so.

      I’m not sure it is appropriate to link a url to another site here, so I will refrain from doing so. I can always e-mail it to you if you wish.

  2. Michelle

    I used this one for 18 years (and yes, we did get married, but on our terms, not any one elses) – “You know what [insert name of meddling family member here]? We are the happiest people in a relationship that I know. I am very happy with the way things are right now, and when we feel like it is the right time to be married we will let you know.” Make sure you are smiling when you say it. Basically you are sending them the message that you are not begging for a ring from him, so they don’t need to either! As soon as my now MIL realized that I was actually happy, really really happy, she laid off the marriage thing. As for the job situation, a simple “Everyone knows how tough the job market is right now.” should be sufficient.

  3. Mary

    I have two post-wedding issues and I’m hoping that someone here has some good advice for me. We’ve been getting a lot of mail addressed to Mr. and Mrs, but I’m keeping my name. Is there a nice way to put out an APB that I’m not changing my name? I asked my friends and many of them have had trouble getting people — even relatives from their side! — to take them seriously and use their real name. It feels awkward to get mail that is not actually for me.

    The second is a little bit trickier. We sold out our registry a month before the wedding. We’re having make-up parties so our parents can introduce us to their friends who couldn’t come to the wedding and we’re getting a lot of presents that we don’t want. I’ve told our relatives to pass along that we sold out our registry and would rather not get more gifts, but there are definitely friends-of-realtives who “need” to get us something. It’s nice to get gifts, but I feel bad returning things and it’s also really become a chore lately. Is there a good way to handle this? My mom suggested registering for things that were easy to return for cash, but that seems really terrible to me. Even though our registry was small, it gave us everything that we needed and I just don’t have the heart to go out and pick out more stuff when my house is bursting with new, fun things.

    • Graceandhonor

      Send announcements that Joe Smith and Mary Jones now reside at 1234 Bluebird Lane. Then be prepared to get mail addressed to Mr. and Mrs. Smith anyway. Resolve to be gracious about it and worry about world peace instead.

      I have never heard of a registry sellout. I would suggest you just sit back and enjoy the ride. You may receive some unexpected delights. Return what you want, regift what you can, thank everyone equally and be grateful your every wish was granted.

    • Elizabeth

      I was married 4 years ago (my anniversary is tomorrow!) and I too decided to keep my name. If you want to be proactive, you could do something as G&H suggested. However, I would counsel patience. When you send out any kind of correspondence, especially holiday cards, the way that you write your return address and sign your cards will provide a yearly reminder of how you are to be called. I should warn you, though, that you will never get 100% compliance and more importantly you shouldn’t let it bother you. People do not generally try to pass judgment or insult you with the way they address a card or invitation to you (so says Miss Manners, anyway).

      The second problem is not really a problem, is it? It’s very nice that people want to give you gifts. You can keep the gifts, return them or donate them. Do whatever is easiest for you, but you should definitely accept any proffered gift graciously and with gratitude. If you think people will buy off of your registry, I can suggest registering for some nice bed linens – they will keep forever, even if you don’t use them right away, and they cost a pretty penny and are not something you’ll ever really desire to buy for yourself.

    • Alicia

      First, Be patient on the name. Keeping your name is not the default assumption so until people know better they are going to call you Mr and Mr. Simply address your return address and sign your thank you notes with the correct names.
      It is tacky to mention gifts in an invite because saying no gifts implies that a gift was otherwise expected and it is not expected but not uncommon for a post wedding party. In your case I suggest you add a bit to your registry a spare place setting or a few, some nice extra cloth napkins because I assure you you will lose some to red wine stains, ect. I am pretty sure this is not what you mean but I want you to think about this. I suggest that you think about how spoiled and mean you sound and how dismissive it implies saying ” we do not even want your paulty gift because we are so overwhelmed with gifts sounds” It is rather insulting to the gift giver and does make you sound. So think about what you might like and register for it. Anything else write the thank you notes and then do not feel guilty returning it. There is nothing wrong with returning something as long as you wrote the thank you note first. If you truly need nothing what would you spend the cash on. Register for that. I know for a friends wedding last year I gave them board games they had registered for.

    • Mary

      Thank you all for your great advice! I really have to remember that I won’t be a newly-wed for very long and both issues will pretty much go away on their own. Even though it feels like I’ve been dealing with these same few issues for a while, it’s only been a few months. The older generation who haven’t caught on that I’m still using my name probably won’t catch on, but like Elizabeth said, they aren’t saying that I should become Mrs. Mary, only that many people do.

      As for the registry, I guess the real problem is that I feel a lot of guilt and pressure from all sides on this one. We’ve been really good about sending out thank you notes within the week, so as far as any of the gifters know, we love every one of the things that they’ve bought and will treasure them forever. Despite what my relatives have said to me, it’s no one else’s business if we’re returning a gift, especially if it comes from someone who will never drop by our home for a visit.

      Thank you all for being levelheaded and honest. Both of these are ultimately good problems to have — people like that we’re married and are just happy for us. Could be worse!

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