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. -- "NO OFFENSE" IN OHIO
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. -- STUMPED 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.)
For everything you need to know about wedding planning, order "How to Have a Lovely Wedding." Send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $7 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby, Wedding Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)