DEAR MISS MANNERS: I am an adult woman, over 50 years of age, single and living alone in a home I’ve owned for many years. Once again, my mother called to tell me that “WE” got an invitation in the mail -- addressed to my mother, at her home, with my name listed below hers.
The senders could have called our mutual relatives for my address. They could have found it with a very quick online search. Or they could have simply texted me, as I know they have my cellphone number!
WHY, oh why, would someone treat a mature adult like a child in this way? (It is not a matter of frugality, which might be understandable.) This isn’t the first time this has happened to me, although it never happens to my siblings. Is it because they are married?
Is it because my mother is elderly and doesn’t drive and they are inviting me to chauffeur Mother to the event? If that’s the case, 1. Why are they assigning that duty to me and not one of my siblings? (In this case, they know my sister is attending.) And 2. Don’t I still deserve my own invitation?
It upsets me more than it should, because it continues to happen. It seems impossible to keep it from happening; one can only react when it does. I try hard not to, but sometimes I think, since the hostess doesn’t feel I’m worth an invitation/postage, then maybe the event isn’t worth my time and a gift isn’t worth my hard-earned money.
What should I do? Should I text the hostess and give her my address? That seems odd, as we don’t text often. I’m very tempted to send my RSVP to the hostess’ own parents’ address! I think that might get my point across. Please, Miss Manners, tell me I can!
GENTLE READER: With the object of showing her how mature you are?
As is sometimes the case, we have here two problems: the surface problem and the inner one, where you fret that it was prompted by an insulting evaluation of you.
Miss Manners would much prefer to deal with the surface issue: Ask your mother to answer for herself, adding that she doesn’t know if you will be attending, but here is your address.
Hosts do not issue invitations for the purpose of insulting prospective guests. When they do not bother to assemble a correct guest list -- resorting to such designations as “and family” or “and guest” -- they are being thoughtless.
That is bad enough. But if they were thoughtless enough not to ascertain your proper address, you may be sure that neither were they thinking about whether you are married or who is going to drive. Possibly they had your siblings’ addresses because they had once sent them wedding presents.