Miss Manners: How Can I Claim My Status as a Grandmother?

Dear Miss Manners: My son and I were talking on the phone about our upcoming meeting at home. My 4-year-old granddaughter was chattering in the background. (She’s very, very verbal.) My son asked if she wanted to “say hello to Babs.”

I heard her reply clearly, “Who is Babes?” My son said, “She is my mother and she is your grandmother.”

To my surprise, I heard her say, “She’s not my grandmother. Bobby is my grandmother” (referring to our daughter-in-law’s mother).

My son let it stand, without rectifying it.

If one’s son allows such a statement to stand, is there any way for the grandparent to respond within the bounds of etiquette? Clearly, the so-called Nana’s advantage is at work here. Or maybe even tightly clamped. But how to deal with it is a real puzzle.

Gentle Reader: Have you considered asking to be called “Grandma”? This should fixate on your granddaughter’s mind, and incidentally should give you an edge over Bobby. Not that Miss Manners wants to encourage competition.

She gathers that for whatever reason, you haven’t spent enough time with your granddaughter to miss you. But as you’ll be visiting soon, you should be able to solve it.

And someone needs to explain family relationships and nomenclature to the child. Are you able to do this without being humiliated and comparing her relationship to another grandmother? Perhaps by telling adorable tales of your son’s childhood?

If not, it might be better to ask one of his parents to explain – you’re proud to be his grandmother while you’re sitting down.

Dear Miss Manners: If a couple goes to a fancy engagement party at a large venue, and one of them is the other’s guest (plus-one), should the guest bring their own gift?

So I am the mother of the groom. I’ve been dating a guy for over two years, and he accompanied me to the engagement party of my son and daughter-in-law. I gave him my card with a substantial monetary gift. I didn’t sign my date’s name, assuming he would bring his own card and gift.

I didn’t say anything because I don’t know what the protocol is.

helping out! We have more big family events coming up.

Gentle Reader: Is he well acquainted with this couple? If he wasn’t dating you, would he have invited him?

Miss Manners does not gather. It seems that he is only attending because he is part of the couple with the invitee. And couples usually give joint gifts.

But that doesn’t entitle you to bill for half of that substantial monetary gift. You are the mother of the groom, and that is an add-on.

So you neither had to put his name on the card, nor should you discredit him for his contribution, unless he was so shaken up.

Please send your questions to Miss Manners on her website at www.missmanners.com; to her email, Dearmissmanners@gmail.com; or via postal mail to Miss Manners, Andrews McMichael Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.

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