DEAR MISS MANNERS: I am 50 years old and have been living with a man for more than eight years (we are both divorced). I have always had a good relationship with his mother, with no issues.
Over the years, we have received holiday cards from his mother addressed to both of us (just our first names, which totally works) and signed “Love.” But this year, the envelope was addressed only to her son; enclosed was a “son”-specific card signed “Love,” and a second card to me with only her name noted.
I mentioned this to my partner and he said, “What is the big deal? You got a card.” I told him that it was hurtful.
Am I being too sensitive, or do you think there is something bothering his mother about me that she will not express and is telling me through this action?
GENTLE READER: Not knowing how this lady generally operates, Miss Manners could not say. It is her usual policy, however, to assume the best.
If you are anxious to find out her intention, you may do so delicately by saying, “It was so kind of you to think of me, as always, with a holiday card. Even more so to go to the trouble of getting us two. But really, Lance and I are at the point where we can share one card. Was there any reason you thought otherwise?”
Then be prepared for an answer ranging anywhere from “I thought you would like the picture of the cats” to “Yes, get away from my son.”