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by Abigail Van Buren

'Thank You' Isn't in Daughter-in-Law's Vocabulary

DEAR ABBY: One of the things I taught my children was to write thank-you notes or, at least, verbally thank someone for a gift or nicety. My 30-year-old son calls to thank us when we send him gifts and when we provide meals or lodging when they stay with us. His soon-to-be fiancee, however, has never once uttered or written the word "thank you" for anything we have done for her. Perhaps she was raised by wolves.

I like the girl, but this really irritates me. How can I get the idea across to her without causing a rift? Should I talk to my son about it? I'm about at the point where I will no longer send her any gifts. Maybe I should send her your booklet about how to write letters. -- UNTHANKED IN FLORIDA

DEAR UNTHANKED: Your son's fiancee-to-be may not have been raised by wolves as much as brought up by parents who were possibly ignorant of the social graces. Because this bothers you to the degree it does, discuss your feelings with your son rather than confront her. And please, rethink your idea of sending her my Letters booklet because, under the circumstances, it would be mean-spirited and likely not well-received.

Read more in: Etiquette & Ethics | Family & Parenting