DEAR MISS MANNERS: I married my beautiful wife two years ago. We are both professionals in our early 30s in the business world. She is two years older than me. About a year ago, she had an accident and now has to use a cane -- something she will probably have to do for the rest of her life. My wife also dresses very modestly, which is an attribute that I love about her and I would never want her to change.
Whenever we are out in public or meet new clients, I’ve had people refer to her as my mother instead of my wife.
How do I respond to people when they make an assumption that my wife is my mother? Most people do not do it with any malicious intent, but it does lead to some awkward moments. I don’t want to cause further embarrassment to those people, or make my wife feel bad -- which she has on several occasions.
GENTLE READER: Look around as if the person is seeing someone that you do not, and say, “Oh, no, my mother couldn’t be here.” And then Miss Manners suggests that you pause and say as a separate thought, “Allow me to introduce my wife, Esmerelda.”