DEAR MISS MANNERS: I am an average 14-year-old girl who has a problem. My mom won't let me wear thong underwear, and it is the kind I want to wear. My friends make fun of me for not wearing that type. I was wondering if you could help me convince my mom and tell her it is all right to wear them.
GENTLE READER: Of all the advice columnists in the world, you chose Miss Manners as the most likely one to support the cause of thong underwear? And you wonder why your mother questions your judgment?
DEAR MISS MANNERS: Two important figures in my life have been absent from my very important events. The first being my wedding and the second being my baby shower.
These are lifelong friends of my mother, one of them my baptized godmother. When I married my husband, over a year ago, I moved about an hour away from my hometown due to his occupation as a police officer. Both of our families live an hour away in different cities. As a compromise, we had the ceremony and reception in our new city.
We thought some might be opposed to the drive, but to our great joy, almost everyone came to celebrate with us -- minus my godmother and other family friend. Their excuse was it was too far for us to expect them to drive, and they were going out to a pub that night.
Now I am pregnant, and we are having an open-house baby shower for women and men, again in our new city. Again, the pair has said they will not drive that far, and I have had "too many events going on to expect them to come to every little one."
I know I am hormonal, but I have cried over this many times. These women were strong figures in my life before I met my husband. My mother has battled lifelong illness, and her friends were often motherly figures to me when I needed them. My feelings have been sincerely hurt by their absence.
Should I just forget them and move on? Or should I confront it? I have considered writing letters to them, telling them how I feel, but have no idea how to even start.
GENTLE READER: The pub excuse was crude, and Miss Manners can understand why you are hurt. But she also has a glimmer of understanding about what is likely to be bothering them.
Having been strong mother figures to you, they may feel that your wish to trot them out only for special events is an empty formality. Before you were married, did you ask them, as treasured friends, to meet your husband-to-be? Do you keep in touch with them and show ongoing concern about their welfare?
If you want to maintain a relationship, you must treat them as more than part of the party crowd. Miss Manners suggests starting by personally announcing the birth of your baby with the plea that you want your family to know them. If they do not want to drive, promise that when you are able, you would like to bring your husband and child to pay calls on them -- in their city and, if necessary, in their pub.