Life Advice



My Daughter Wants Me To Give Her A Mother's Day Card

Judith Martin, Nicholas Ivor Martin and Jacobina Martin on

DEAR MISS MANNERS: I always sent a Mother's Day card to my dear mother, who has since passed away. I also acknowledged any close motherly relatives.

My three children are grown with children of their own. However, my one daughter seems to think that I should give her a card, whereas I think her own children should have that filial duty when they are old enough to understand. (I am also of the opinion that the greeting card industry encourages extra card-sending for its own benefit.)

GENTLE READER: It was Miss Manners' own dear mother who declared Mother's Day to be a mistaken notion. "It implies that there are 364 days on which children do not have to show their love and appreciation for their mothers," she would say.

Yet she also taught kindness, which makes it difficult to oppose the spread of Mother's Day beyond mothers and mother-figures. But yes: It seems ridiculous and self-centered for a child to demand such acknowledgment from her mother.

Perhaps you can find a gentle way to point out that your daughter is going in the wrong direction: "You're not my mother, dear; I'm yours."

DEAR MISS MANNERS: I work at a grocery where customers are constantly startling me or becoming angry at me. I have noticed that customers do not know how to make their presence known.


If they approach from out of my line of vision, many will tap my shoulder or grab my wrist, causing me to scream. Others come alongside me and begin talking. While I may hear them, I assume they are on their phone. It may take a few seconds for me to catch a couple of words that make me aware they need my help.

When I am on a ladder stocking upper shelves, customers knock into my ladder trying to squeeze a 19-inch cart through a 15-inch opening. Others prefer to reach under and around me to get to an item they want.

After I have screamed in surprise, I usually turn to them, smile and say, "Please let me know if am in your way. I will happily move."

Most of them say they did not want to bother me -- without realizing that scaring me is bothering me. A few try to blame me: "You shouldn't be doing that now."


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