DEAR MISS MANNERS: My friend and I were pregnant with our first children at the same time. We both had baby showers.
I was raised to believe you got only one baby shower, ever, to help set you up. When she was pregnant with her second child, she had another shower even though she was having another girl. The girls would only be two years apart, and my friend had everything she needed for the second one already.
Now she is pregnant a third time, with another girl, and she’s having another shower! Her children are the only grandchildren on either side of her family, so she gets tons of stuff.
I understand celebrating every new life, but I feel she’s taking advantage. She’s getting rid of items to make room for new stuff.
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Am I wrong to feel irked? If she were in need, I would understand, but the overall vibe I get is that she’s being greedy and will return items to buy personal things.
When will it stop? At her fifth or 10th? What is my obligation? She is a good friend, but this is just one situation I feel very strongly about, and she doesn’t see a problem. I love her kids, but I don’t want to help furnish her wardrobe or home from my returned, unneeded baby gift.
GENTLE READER: You have no obligation, whatsoever. You do not need to attend any more showers. Simply tell your friend that you’re unavailable … to furnish her children’s future (but we’ll keep that part between ourselves).
You won’t be able to convince her politely that these showers are excessive, especially if others are so willing to oblige. Rest assured, however, that Miss Manners will continue the battle on your behalf.
Social media intrusion
DEAR MISS MANNERS: The morning after my husband’s death, I awoke to discover that “friends” had posted on his Facebook wall a photo of my husband and an obituary they had written themselves.
This was done without my permission, and, in fact, we had told these people not to post on Facebook a poem my husband wrote a few weeks before he died. During the seven years of his illness, we never posted about it on Facebook.
In the brief time the post was up, considerable damage was done: I was inundated with emails from people he barely knew, and longtime friends I had not yet contacted learned about his death from Facebook.
It caused me tremendous pain and embarrassment. This has also just happened to a friend of a friend whose husband died recently. I am hoping you will address this incredible invasion of privacy.
GENTLE READER: Unfortunately, it has become an added task for the bereaved to take down the deceased’s Facebook page quickly after the death. Its existence simply causes too much confusion and distress.
Miss Manners is not happy with memorial pages being erected in their stead, finding them equally impersonal and somewhat upsetting. However, she leaves this to the discretion of the immediate family — but only the immediate family.
Judith Martin writes the Miss Manners column with help from her son, Nicholas Ivor Martin, and her daughter, Jacobina Martin. Send your questions to Miss Manners at her website, MissManners.com; or through postal mail to Miss Manners, Universal Uclick, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.
© Universal Uclick 10/17