My husband and I realized final 12 months that we’re unable to have organic youngsters. I’m lastly getting to some extent the place I can bear to speak about it. But it appears as if everybody’s fast response to me is: “I’m so sorry! Whose fault is it?” I’m struggling to discover a well mannered technique to say it’s none of their enterprise whether or not I’ve unhealthy eggs or my husband has unhealthy sperm (or each). Can you assist?
One light clap-back coming proper up! (I’m sorry you want one.) But right here’s one other thought: You don’t owe your fertility data to anybody. So presumably, you’re speaking about it with folks as a result of it serves you. Maybe you’re confiding emotional challenges in each other or discussing coping mechanisms.
Rather than bringing a helpful speak to a screeching halt as a result of of one dumb query, how about redirecting it (“That’s not what I was talking about”) or brushing it off (“Oh, that doesn’t matter”) and returning to the precious half of the dialogue?
This is your name, of course. If the mere query of blame is sufficient to make you need to cease speaking, say: “Why do you ask?” Then watch them squirm as they notice there isn’t a reliable purpose (until, probably, they’re in the identical boat and need to discuss couple dynamics). I’d hate to see you sacrifice actual assist as a result of your folks aren’t good. Still, you’re the perfect particular person to resolve.
My brother gave my 24-year-old son a present certificates for a go well with at a males’s store. It didn’t specify an quantity; it simply mentioned “one suit.” The salesman had my son attempt on a number of and helped him decide one. After it was pinned for alteration, my son went to the register and was requested to signal a receipt. He noticed that the go well with value 4 occasions the quantity of the certificates! He was embarrassed, so he signed the receipt and left. Now he’s obtained a invoice for the rest. I can afford to pay it. But ought to I point out this to my brother or the shop proprietor? This appears like a con job to me.
Funny, this looks like a man-child downside to me. No hurt in sharing the story together with your brother or the shop proprietor. It could stop comparable mix-ups sooner or later. But save your power in your son. Twenty-four is just not 10!
Most folks get, I believe, that fits (and different items) vary in value. Unless they’ve a sugar mama — or daddy — who reliably picks up the slack, they would ask the amount of the certificate before they chose a suit. Even if they thought their uncle had given them free rein to pick any suit in the store, they would stop short when presented with a bill showing a jumbo shortfall.
I totally sympathize with your son’s embarrassment in that moment. It’s awful to be surprised at the register. But to just sign the bill and walk out? No! Part of being an adult is applying the brakes before transactions go off the rails. Next time, make sure he knows to say: “Whoa! Let’s find a suit in my price range, please.”
So Much for My Small Wedding
I’m an introvert and dislike big parties. I’m also getting married soon and having a small wedding (mostly to please my elderly grandmother). We were expecting 26 people, including a close friend who offered to make our wedding cake for free. The problem? I just received her R.S.V.P. She’s bringing her new boyfriend and his three kids (whom I’ve never met)! Maybe this is my fault? The invitation didn’t say “You and a guest …” But she knows how small the wedding is. It’s just a luncheon in a county park. This is really stressing me out. Help!
It sounds as if this free cake is costing an emotional fortune. No need to dwell on blame, though. True, you could have been clearer about who was invited. And your pal probably jumped to the wrong conclusion when she read “county park” and thought: “Oh, the kids will have fun.” It’s simply a misunderstanding. Let’s fix it.
Call your friend and say: “I’m sorry we weren’t clear that we are only inviting you and your boyfriend to the wedding. We really want to keep it tiny. Can you find a babysitter or leave the kids with their mother?” Worst case, pay for the sitter. Now, congratulations on your wedding! I hope your grandmother has fun.
Graduation Gift Etiquette
Can you please clarify if a gift is given to a beloved niece who is earning her master’s degree? We gave as generously as we could two years ago when she earned her undergraduate degree. But it’s a stretch for us this year with several relatives graduating.
You realize there’s no sacred book on gift giving, right? If you want to give and can afford to, terrific! Choose something between a Whitman’s Sampler and a Ferrari. But under the circumstances, a congratulatory letter (and maybe the offer of a celebratory dinner at your place) seems like plenty.
For help with your awkward situation, send a question to SocialQ@nytimes.com, to Philip Galanes on Facebook or @SocialQPhilip on Twitter.