Miss Manners: Should couples sign greeting cards for each other?

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Dear Miss Manners: What is the thinking these days on who in a couple signs a greeting card?

A few years ago, I had some surgery and missed a family gathering. My sister very nicely sent a “get well” card, signed by all four of the women at the get-together, on behalf of themselves and their husbands. In two of the couples, it is the husband I am related to.

I have to admit that I was a little shocked that everybody didn’t sign their own names in this day and age. Like, they were all sitting right there, together.

An aside: When I was married, my husband would never sign a card I was sending, but pitched a fit if I refused to sign a card he was sending. I was confused by that.

You will forgive Miss Manners if she pitches her own fit over the impersonal nature of greeting cards in the first place. Adding eight signatures to it feels even more insulting — as if a treaty is being signed, not a wish for a swift recovery.

The proper thing to do is to write the words out — and Miss Manners is sorry to tell you, but only one person can do that. However, you can add: “Tito adds his wish that you get better soon.”

Yes, one person in the couple is going to get off easy. So Miss Manners suggests that you take turns or trade doing this for another task.

Dear Miss Manners: My wife and I worked diligently to encourage good manners in our boys as they were growing up, and now that they are adults, we feel generally pleased with their progress — except for one new thing.

They have both begun to eat terribly fast, and not just when grabbing a midday sandwich while working remotely. Even in nice restaurants, we watch them tear into their meals, finishing as my wife and I are just starting. They aren’t messy, just fast.

We have mentioned this discreetly to both of them, explaining how their speed can leave others feeling uneasy, while depriving the table of welcome conversation. But they don’t seem to see it as a real problem, and always forget when we again share a meal.

Is there something good-natured, but still “impactful,” that my wife or I can say when this occurs? (Obviously only when it’s just the four of us; we wouldn’t embarrass them in front of other guests.)

Parents, even of adult children, are still entitled to express concern over health and manners. But the former may be easier for those children to … ahem … digest.

“Wow. You boys must be hungry, but I am worried that with your speedy eating, you might choke. Please try to slow down so that we can all enjoy the meal and conversation together.” If this is not effective, Miss Manners feels certain that eating like this in front of potential romantic partners may prove more so.

New Miss Manners columns are posted Monday through Saturday on washingtonpost.com/advice. You can send questions to Miss Manners at her website, missmanners.com. You can also follow her @RealMissManners.

©2022 by Judith Martin


Source: WP