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Depression Screening to the Rescue

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Dear Annie: Six years ago, I tried to take my own life. I was a popular high school student, excelled at sports and had a girlfriend and a supportive family who were always there for me. People thought I had it all. What they didn't realize was that I was struggling with debilitating depression.

One night, when things seemed hopeless and I felt my life was too much for me to handle, I decided to jump out of my ninth-story bedroom window. Luckily, I survived and am able to share my story in the hope that it will help others.

Why would I suffer from depression? As a male, statistics say I am far less likely to have depression than females. I also am African American — a group that traditionally has low depression and suicide rates. But statistics don't matter if you are the one who is suffering.

What I want everyone who reads this to know is that depression affects all walks of life. It doesn't matter your age, gender, economic status, race, color or creed. Depression does not discriminate. The good news is that help is available.

October 10 is National Depression Screening Day. I encourage anyone who may be struggling to visit HelpYourselfHelpOthers.org and take an online depression screening. The screenings are free, easy and anonymous, and provide resources that allow people who may be depressed to take a first step toward healing.

While I still deal with depression, I am alive today because I got the help I needed. Sincerely — Jordan Burnham

Dear Jordan: Thank you for sharing your inspiring story and mentioning National Depression Screening Day. Depression can affect anyone, no matter their circumstance. A screening can be a helpful way for those struggling with depression to receive the help they need.

We encourage our readers to visit HelpYouselfHelpOthers.org. If you or someone you know is in suicidal crisis or emotional distress, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273- TALK (8255).

Dear Annie: My granddaughter is having a destination wedding in Hawaii, where she lives and works. I live on the East Coast, and so do all of the other family members. Going to Hawaii would mean a long, expensive trip, plus the cost of a hotel and meals. What is the protocol concerning gifts in lieu of attending this high-cost wedding? — Grandma's Not Going

Dear Grandma: Etiquette says the wedding gift should be the same regardless of your personal expenses. But we understand that people often give more or less depending on what it costs them to attend. We only ask that you keep in mind the fact that as the grandmother, any gift from you will have special significance.

Dear Annie: I wanted to thank you for printing my letter years ago. I asked what to do about my two sisters who were not speaking to each other, yet one secretly sent Christmas presents to me to give to the other. I signed it, "Tired of Being in the Middle."

You told me to stop enabling them and instead offer to mediate. That was a relief. I was honest with both of them. They still don't want to meet, but now I don't have to lie about the presents. I am friendly with both and willing to keep each up to date on what the other is doing. I recently took a vacation with one sister and told the other about the adventures we had. I simply refuse to let this feud force me to choose sides. Thanks. — Not in the Middle Now

Annie's Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please email your questions to anniesmailbox@comcast.net, or write to: Annie's Mailbox, c/o Creators Syndicate, 737 3rd Street, Hermosa Beach, CA 90254. To find out more about Annie's Mailbox and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.

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Comments

79 Comments | Post Comment
LW2 - by definition, getting married where you live and work is not a "destination wedding". However, a trip to Hawaii from the east coast is expensive and long. Suggest Grannie give a gift with sentimental value, something like family jewelry or something else that's been in the family a long time. Or she could copy some family pictures and make a nice album of them. When I got married, one family of cousins decided that they would give me things that they had made themselves so I got a quilt, a handmade piece of pottery, a hand crocheted doily and some other things that didn't cost the givers a lot but mean a lot to me.
Comment: #1
Posted by: kai archie
Sun Oct 6, 2013 9:10 PM
* * * * PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT * * * *

LW3 refers to the second letter on 26 May 2009.
Comment: #2
Posted by: Miss Pasko
Sun Oct 6, 2013 10:38 PM
Re LW2
The Annies missed her signature and query about 'gifts in lieu of attending'. She wants to know if she (and perhaps others) should give a gift AT ALL. To which my answer is ~ only if you want to. I agree with Kai Archie, the Annies should have corrected her regarding the label of destination wedding.
Comment: #3
Posted by: Miss Pasko
Sun Oct 6, 2013 10:49 PM
Re: LW2 – I presume you think a “destination wedding” is one that is not held in your home town. Both kai archie and Miss Pasko have clarified the term.

I don't know how close you are to your granddaughter. What I do know is that every time I dust in our front room, I look at my family portrait from my own wedding.

My father's head company transferred him (obviously the whole immediate family) two provinces over when I was nine. We took occasional trips back, but things were never the same.

I am so fortunate to be able to say EVERYBODY took a plane and attended my wedding. (My poor Grandmother who lost her husband (my Grandpa) only six-month's prior came as well). My point is that I don't have a memory of who gave what. I have the photo of my whole family being present on the most important day of my life. It was rather overwhelming, and I get to relive that feeing every time I dust.

If money is a problem bunk up with other people attending; talk to family members about how important it is to be present – I am pretty sure you will receive help.

Believe me, your presence is so much more important than a gift. It is because of you that they exist. Pretty powerful, right?
Comment: #4
Posted by: Jenna
Sun Oct 6, 2013 11:46 PM
Wait - no, I need to add Of Course I attended my Grandpa's funeral. It works both ways..
Comment: #5
Posted by: Jenna
Sun Oct 6, 2013 11:48 PM
LW1: Good for you! I've been there, though I never tried to take my life I understood why people did. That understanding scared the hell out of me and I sought help and made some radical decisions that changed life for the better. It takes a lot of courage to get help even if its "forced" or "urged" upon you. I'm glad you survived and are helping others!

LW2: As others have said, if she lives and works in Hawaii, its not really a destination wedding. I live abroad and I come home for weddings about once a year and it means more to folks that I'm there than a gift. I actually told my friends that I'm willing to come, but I could give them a very nice present for less than the cost of a ticket and that it was their choice. You know what they chose: they wanted me there. So, I bring along a small, thoughtful present and attend the wedding. Pictures are worth 1000 words, ya know.
Comment: #6
Posted by: AgLee16
Mon Oct 7, 2013 1:24 AM
LW2 - A trip from the east coast to Hawaii would be very expensive, and possibly the long trip would be too much for the grandmother, depending upon what if any health issues she has. The Annies missed the boat, both on answering her question and on not correcting her on her misconception of what a "destination wedding" is. I agree with kai archie that something she's made herself would be more meaningful than the usual gifts, and could well be something the bride will treasure always to remind her of her grandmother. To answer the LW's question, she should send her regrets if the trip will be too much for her, either personally or financially, or both, send a gift that's within her means, and of course her best wishes to the bride and groom.
Comment: #7
Posted by: Kitty
Mon Oct 7, 2013 2:29 AM
Interesting perspective, Kitty (Re: LW2) -- For me – meaningful gifts (I received handkerchiefs from Ireland for the birth of my daughter – haven't a clue where they are now..) are the physical persona… but then, that's just me). I guess whatever suits the relative.. and how important the bride/groom are to them. It really just adds up to that.

Negating illnesses that prevents the person from attending the ceremony (sounds like for the LW that is it money), they should realize (used this expression too many times..) once they make their decision, they must OWN it, perhaps the grandkids won't want to go out of their way to assist them.. quid pro quo. (Now, don't go saying anything about dying, or death-bed – stretching way too far).

I detest that families use this, but there you have it.. (Love my family photo more than two decades ago, should say something).
Comment: #8
Posted by: Jenna
Mon Oct 7, 2013 2:58 AM
"how important they are to the bride/groom" should read.

In addition, I am sorry to say 12 people from that photo have passed, makes the photo that much more precious. How about using Kitty's excuse as to your absence from the photo - too long of a flight.. OWN your decision!
Comment: #9
Posted by: Jenna
Mon Oct 7, 2013 3:04 AM
Re: Jenna
You're right that it depends upon the person which they would prefer. If it were me, I wouldn't want to put a financial or physical hardship on anyone by expecting them to attend my wedding if they couldn't afford it or if it would possibly cause or exacerbate health issues. If that wouldn't be the case, then of course I'd rather have them there than I would a gift of any kind.
Comment: #10
Posted by: Kitty
Mon Oct 7, 2013 3:07 AM
Also, I don't consider handkerchiefs from Ireland as a baby gift in quite the same category as the type of gift suggested by kai archie in Post #1, especially the album of family photos. Even without health issues, a trip from the east coast to Hawaii can be much too exhausting for an elderly person. We don't know this grandmother's age - she could be quite young and up to that long a trip, but she could be in her 80's. Traveling at that age isn't easy even for someone in relatively good health.
Comment: #11
Posted by: Kitty
Mon Oct 7, 2013 3:28 AM
LW2:
As other posters have already said, the bride is not having a destination wedding. It is very difficult to organize a wedding far from where you live and work, so the bride is sensibly having the wedding there. That should not be the cause of resentment.
If the grandmother has the means to attend, that would be the best gift for the bride. Also, the grandmother is in a unique place to offer the bride inexpensive gifts that could be far more precious than anything with monetary value. I have seen with regret older members of my family pass away and with them so much family history has been lost. There are so many treasures that are lost this way. The grandmother could present the bride with a family photo album, a handwritten family tree going several generations back, a cookbook with her favorite recipes, or even a short story of her family's history, with stories of her own parents and grandparents. As a member of the younger generation I would deeply treasure such a gift and would pass it on to my children.
Comment: #12
Posted by: Emmie G
Mon Oct 7, 2013 3:31 AM
Re: Kitty (#11) -- *sigh* and I quote: I live on the East Coast, and so do all of the other family members. Going to Hawaii would mean a long, expensive trip, plus the cost of a hotel and meals. What is the protocol concerning gifts in lieu of attending this high-cost wedding?

Where are you coming up with the garbage you are spewing? Please re-read the letter before you come up with more *speculation* Sheesh..
Comment: #13
Posted by: Jenna
Mon Oct 7, 2013 3:57 AM
LW1 - Best of luck to you. I hope everyone who battles depression realizes that there is help out there.

LW2 - Everyone else here has already clarified "destination wedding." When it comes to gifts, never ever give more than you can. If you can only afford a modest gift, then give the couple that. Like others said, photos and perhaps family heirlooms are nice, too. But if you're wondering whether or not you should give a gift if you're not attending, the answer is that it's up to you. Personally...I would since she's your granddaughter.

LW3 - Ugh. My grandmother constantly tries to put people in the middle of her petty drama. Too bad for her, everybody refuses to. She has this one SIL she hates and then loves and then hates again and then loves again, lather, rinse, repeat. When she hates her, she'll call someone and say, "Call SIL and find out/ask her (whatever)," and we'll say, "No. If you wanna know so bad, you call her." Glad you put an end to that tug of war.
Comment: #14
Posted by: Michelle
Mon Oct 7, 2013 3:59 AM
Re: Jenna
Exactly which "garbage" are you talking about. The woman writing is a grandmother and says the trip is long and expensive, which is absolutely correct. I don't see why "speciulating" that she is possibly elderly and not financially able to make the trip - from her own words - is speculating. I'll assume you're having another one of your bad days and take your comments for what they're worth. I have no desire to get into another pointless argument with you, especially over things said in the letter by the LW herself.
Comment: #15
Posted by: Kitty
Mon Oct 7, 2013 4:03 AM
Kitty: You are also assuming that grandma means “80's”. I proudly made my MIL a grandma at the age of 39. I like you, but think you are way off course with the meaning of “family”.

To me family is everything. BTL knows that I have been sick, before that, I was the one that held the family dinners for all holidays. Just one month ago I was told that an engagement had occurred. Against hubby's better judgment I held an engagement dinner; after that (big smile) nieces and nephews came to my house without a call, and we set out a Sunday Dinner ritual.

If you are going to tell me that grandma is (through what information we had been given) more incapable than I of being able to do what family does, I feel sorry for how you would feel towards your family. That will never be me – I will keep on doing until God takes me – and THAT is a fact.

Sorry Kitty – you hit a nerve.
Comment: #16
Posted by: Jenna
Mon Oct 7, 2013 4:18 AM
Even without health issues, a trip from the east coast to Hawaii can be much too exhausting for an elderly person. We don't know this grandmother's age - she could be quite young and up to that long a trip, but she could be in her 80's. Traveling at that age isn't easy even for someone in relatively good health – your words, Kitty. And don't you go about “one of my bad days” - OWN your words.

Repetition – I like you (maybe not so much today), but generally. Please do not think so little of my statements that you feel saying to a child “I have no desire to get into another pointless argument with you” will close the conversation, as you are the elder, so I MUST listen to your drivel.


You put yourself into a hole and cannot intellectually get yourself out of it, so act like the “elder”, and I must respect your opinion.

Wow, yes I am sick, use that to your advantage. I do not see where I have attacked you without becoming personal – you crossed the line. If you don't know where that line is, again, I feel sorry for you.
Comment: #17
Posted by: Jenna
Mon Oct 7, 2013 4:33 AM
LW2, agree that if the bride is getting married in her home state, that is not a destination wedding. I've also never gotten this idea that if you have to spend a lot on travel expenses then the solution is tospend less on a gift--simply because I can't figure out how that is going to go anywhere near making up for the expense of a trip you can't afford. The most I would spend on a wedding gift, even for close family members, is $80-$200. I imagine a trip to Hawaii, complete with affair, complete with airfare, hotel, meals and other expenses is going to be about $2,000. So if the $2,000 is going to be a strain for you, how is the $40 to $100 you save by spending less on a wedding present going to do more than a drop in the bucket? It always seems to me that this tactic is more to punish the wedding couple for their choice of wedding or make a statement than to actually "save money".
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Here's the thing--you can see your granddaughter married in person or in video. If you can't afford the trip or it's too hard on you, don't go. Send whatever gift you would usually send and your best wishes. But don't expect a gift you spend $50 less on to make the whole event somehow affordable for you. A year from now, the wedding will only be a memory, but your credit card won't be.
Comment: #18
Posted by: Jane
Mon Oct 7, 2013 4:48 AM
Lol, "...complete with *airfare..." not "affair". I was not meaning to suggest what Grandma might be doing for entertainment in Hawaii. (Blush)
Comment: #19
Posted by: Jane
Mon Oct 7, 2013 4:55 AM
Lw2 -

If it will be financially difficult for you to go, then don't. Do you want to send a gift? I assume you do. Others have mentioned heirlooms - fine. But don't send jewelry or something. The gift is supposed to be for the couple. Otherwise, just send money or something off the registry. How much you spend is up to you, no amount is wrong or right.

Re: Jenna

Hittin the sauce a little early today, eh?
Comment: #20
Posted by: Zoe
Mon Oct 7, 2013 5:09 AM
Re: Jenna
One last comment from me on this issue, then I'm simply going to ignore any more of this -- if you actually READ my comment #11, you will note that I said that Grandma could be quite young OR she could be in her 80's. Also, since the LW expressed concern over the expense involved in the trip, if you value compulsory attendance at your functions over putting a financial hardship of your family, then I feel very sorry for you.
Comment: #21
Posted by: Kitty
Mon Oct 7, 2013 5:11 AM
Re: Zoe (#20) -- Ohh, boy, I wish. Can't touch the stuff. After I came off a medication hubby started calling me the “Energizer bunny” – who knew? Everything the docs say is going to happen turns out to be the exact opposite.. huh. After years, I have gotten used to it – expect the unexpected!

Yeah Kitty – let's call it a day. Mike H and Bobaloo experience (Noooooo). Sorry that I live in such a different world than most (apparently), how it happened, can't explain. After Jane's post, I realized that money to me is a life-line to many, and that is arrogant. It was a learned experience to me that you are incapable of acknowledging crossing the line – now we know..
Comment: #22
Posted by: Jenna
Mon Oct 7, 2013 5:29 AM
Writer #1. You claim to be an African American. Where in Africa were you born and when did you LEGALLY come to the U.S?. I, for one am tired of this hyphened crap. I was raised to consider every one equal. After 40 years of living and working in Los Angeles hearing people say that they are being oppressed due to the color of their skin on one hand and hearing my bosses say that we have to give someone special treatment due to being a person of color on the other hand got real old. Last time I checked we are ALL persons of color. I myself have skin colors ranging from fish belly white (my butt cheeks) to brown (arms) to purple (left foot, bad blood flow) My favorite author writes only fact based fiction about Africa and can trace his family back over 200 years in Africa. By the way his skin is white.
If he came to America would he be an African-American?
-
Comment: #23
Posted by: Bill
Mon Oct 7, 2013 5:43 AM
Re: Jenna
Good. No more arguing over this. However, I will say with regard to the "personal attack" you accuse me of - I had no idea you were ill, nor did I have any way of knowing that. I certainly hope you are better soon. By saying "one of your bad days", I was referring to your own words which you used the last time you became argumentative with me. You blamed it on "having a bad day". I was not making a reference to any illness of yours of which I was unaware. I'm sorry you took it to mean that, as it is something I would never dream of doing.
Comment: #24
Posted by: Kitty
Mon Oct 7, 2013 5:44 AM
It's all good : )
Comment: #25
Posted by: Jenna
Mon Oct 7, 2013 5:50 AM
Its not a destination wedding if she LIVEs and works there. It's a local wedding.
Comment: #26
Posted by: farrar sanchez
Mon Oct 7, 2013 5:51 AM
LW1: Thank you for reminding us that depression does not discriminate. Whether highly successful, dirt poor or anywhere in between, having it "all" (as you write) or missing virtually everything, etc., anyone can have depression.

Best of luck to you and hope things are well in the future.

LW2: I'd say simply give my regrets and send a gift that's thoughtful, and suggest perhaps meeting somewhere at some point in the future.
Comment: #27
Posted by: Bobaloo
Mon Oct 7, 2013 5:56 AM
LW1--Reading your letter is making me depressed!

LW2—Let me spell it out for you. Either send a gift along with your regrets (something I highly recommend you suggest to the entire family by the way) or attend the wedding and “gift” the lovely couple with a Pez dispenser and a card. Hopefully they'll get the hint that a wedding is supposed to be about family not a coronation of royals.

LW3—Why would one of your feuding sisters send Christmas gifts to the other through you but refuse to so much as meet her estranged sister with you as a mediator to talk things out? Sorry but your sisters seem like a couple of Whackadoodles. Tell each of them that you're sick of their childish antics, then take a break from their ridiculous feud and go on vacation by yourself.
Comment: #28
Posted by: Chris
Mon Oct 7, 2013 5:58 AM
LW1: A good reminder that it's not about statistics, it's really about individual people who may be suffering, and should always be able to get some resources and support.

LW2: I'm sorry, but if your granddaughter lives and works in Hawaii, she's not having a "destination wedding", she's simply having "a wedding". My husband's family lives in China; we held our wedding in the US, where we live and work, and it wasn't a "destination wedding". You have your terminology wrong, in part, I think, because you wish your granddaughter lived closer -- but this is the reality of the modern world, children grow up and often get jobs and establish lives far away from their original homestead. Honestly, it seems to me that you are simply unhappy your granddaughter isn't having her wedding back at her old homestead -- but it's likely many of her friends (and possibly her intended's family) are living in Hawaii. At the very least, it's probably much easier for her to plan the wedding she wants to be where she lives than trying to set it up thousands of miles away.

So send whatever gift you would like to in order to celebrate their happy day, but I really recommend you stop thinking of this as a "destination wedding", it's simply a wedding in your granddaughter's new home state that happens to be a very far trip for you to make. (And you'd still have to pay for the travel, hotel and meals if your granddaughter was getting married on the west coast or even in the middle of the country).

LW3, good, that's exactly the right way to go, and I'm glad it's paid off for you.
Comment: #29
Posted by: Mike H
Mon Oct 7, 2013 6:06 AM
@Chris, I do not see that LW's granddaughter holding her own wedding where she actually lives is the equivalent of "a coronation of royals".
Comment: #30
Posted by: Mike H
Mon Oct 7, 2013 6:13 AM
Re LW#1-----
What to say? Another PSA. Depression is bad, treating depression is good. I don't know that assigning a day to screening for depression will make people who might be depressed go and screen for depression (is there really anyone out there by now that doesn't know it can be screened for?), but who knows?
------------------------
Re LW#2--------
I expect the age of the LW doesn't factor in so much as her feeling about traveling long distances to stay in an expensive place to see someone get married. I know I'm in the minority, but I very much value two people that love each other getting married. A big wedding-------not so much. I'm one of those who are of the opinion that that money could be better spent on other things, but I know most people don't agree. (Please don't throw stuff at me.)
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My niece married in Hawaii. (Hers was a destination wedding, as she lived not 30 miles from her family, and his. But she wanted it nice, and was willing to spend a lot of money and risk having most of her family not attend. (Turned out the only people who went were her parents, and all of her husband's family, who tend to be a lot wealthier. I could not see that she was actually disappointed that they didn't, she really wanted the "I got married in Hawaii" experience more than the attendance of her family.)
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I'm not a grandma, though I'm in the 'correct age group' and then some, but even though I'm very capable of traveling, and could probably afford it (at the expense of other things I want more), I would stay home, send a nice present, and use what I saved to buy something that lasts. I can always look at photos of the wedding if I want, and seeing it in person would have no more meaning to me than the photos. Others, to whom it WOULD mean a lot to see, should go.
-------------
Re LW#3---------
Good for you. I wish I had had the courage to do that immediately after my parents' divorce 50 years ago when my mom started badmouthing my dad. She was actually right in the things she said, but I didn't want to hear them, I wanted to stay neutral. It took me years to speak up, way after they both had remarried and I now had the 'dad' I wish I'd had all along, and whom I actually consider my dad, and her feelings got hurt, but what a relief for me.
.
I'd advise everyone to say it NOW and get it over with, it'll save you years of having to listen to it.
Comment: #31
Posted by: jennylee
Mon Oct 7, 2013 6:23 AM
@ Mike H Re: #30

No? Then what do you call it when a couple from the East coast hosts their wedding on a tropical Island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean; that is a major tourist destination and has one of the highest costs of living in the United States and then expects all of their friends and family to spend a small fortune coming to them and bring a gift to boot? I call that selfish and lacking in consideration. It would have been far more practical for the couple to host their wedding back home where it would be far more accessible to family and friends while also being a lot more economical. But oh wait... that would require the couple to think about someone other than themselves and, god forbid, compromise what they envision for THEIR big special day.
Comment: #32
Posted by: Chris
Mon Oct 7, 2013 6:27 AM
LW2: The fuss over whether it's a destination wedding or not is a little ridiculous. If the entire family has to travel thousands of miles and pay for a hotel in order to be there, what's the practical difference?
Comment: #33
Posted by: LouisaFinnell
Mon Oct 7, 2013 6:30 AM
I had to laugh at Kitty's comment about the trip being too hard for the elderly grandmother. My MIL is over 80 and is leaving today for two weeks in Hawaii. She has also gone to Japan, Germany, Australia, the Philippines and probably a couple of other countries I am forgetting. She certainly proves that age is just a number.
Comment: #34
Posted by: GSDluv
Mon Oct 7, 2013 6:30 AM
Re: GSDluv #34
I agree that age does not necessarily have to be a limiting factor. But there are people that are 80 that have the desire, and the physical capability, and the funds, to travel all over the world---------and then there are people who have only some, or none, of those.
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I have the physical capability, but not necessarily the funds, so it's a good thing I also do not have the desire. Traveling might be fun. Spending my time and money on lots of other things that I value more would be MORE fun. Doesn't make one mindset better than the other, just different.
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I know that people, including myself, sometimes use the age factor, or the lack of funds, as an excuse for not doing something, because it's easier than saying "I just don't want to do it enough to spend the time and money". You say you don't want to, it ticks off people who can't see why you don't want to come see them get married more than anything else you might spend your time and money on. So you say "can't afford it" or 'my health/age won't permit it". Using excuses sometimes is easier than causing hard feelings and a rift in the family.
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I have to confess, sometimes it's nice when someone whose wedding I don't really want to attend anyway, gets married far away. Then I can use that excuse, whereas otherwise I'd have to go or risk someone getting hurt or angry. My niece's wedding was the last thing in the world I wanted to go to. Worked out perfectly, since she probably didn't care if I was there any more than I cared about seeing the extravaganza. (She was obsessed about her weight, wanted to weigh under 100 pounds on her wedding day, lost 12 pounds to get down to 95 lbs. She's 5'6".) Gives you sort of an idea of her values, they're not the same as mine. She now lives in a condo in California 1/2 block from the ocean, doesn't come home for any holidays------goes on cruises instead. I don't like condos or cruises, but I like family holidays. Needless to say, we haven't much in common. Never really did, probably.



Comment: #35
Posted by: jennylee
Mon Oct 7, 2013 6:51 AM
@Chris, where in the letter does it say the couple is from the east cost. The bride is but the groom may be from Hawaii or anywhere else in the world. If he is from Hawaii and they live there, where would you suggest they get married? Somewhere in the middle where they don't know anyone or have any resources for wedding planning?

The couple lives in Hawaii. Nowhere in the grandmother's letter does it say attendance is required or the bride will disown her. They are not being selfish unless they demand everyone come and/or send a present.
Comment: #36
Posted by: Mwxmwx
Mon Oct 7, 2013 7:29 AM
Re LW#2---------
OK, the terminology ('destination wedding') technically is incorrect. The net results of the decision is exactly the same as if it WERE a destination wedding, though. Lots of expense for those who want to attend. (Sometimes people with the bulk of their families living in one area opt to wed in that area, even though they live elsewhere. They assume the extra work to make it easier on the majority of the people they are going to invite, rather than on themselves. Obviously this couple doesn't want to.)
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So, in regard to her actual question: She asks "What is the protocol concerning gifts IN LIEU OF attending this high-cost wedding?" Everyone is interpreting this in different ways. I interpreted it as her asking is it OK just to send a gift in lieu of attending (since she obviously is not going, based on her signature).
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So, if she's wondering if it's considered OK to just send a gift rather than attending, of course it is, and the gift should be exactly what it would be if the wedding were six blocks from her home and she was attending with no attached extra expense. She's not attending presumably because she doesn't want to spend the requred money to go. If no extra expenses were involved in attending, I assume she'd attend AND give a present.
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So she needs to do the same, only without attending. Give whatever she would have given had there been NO extra expense involved in attending--------because there IS no extra expense, since she's NOT GOING. I don't get why she's even asking the question, other than she wants to let everyone know she doesn't approve of where the wedding is being held.
Comment: #37
Posted by: jennylee
Mon Oct 7, 2013 7:38 AM
Re: Mwxmwx #36
Actually, the LW doesn't specify which branches of the family live on the east coast------she just says"so do all of the other family members".
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Could be just the bride's family, or could be the bride's and the groom's. It's just speculating if we try to decide what she means, since she didn't clarify. (I know my husband's and my family all live in the same area. On the other hand, my brother's family lives close to me, and his wife's family lives 2 states away. That's why when they got married they split the difference and got married in the state in between the two (which also turned out to be a nice honeymoon spot).
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Bottom line, though, the bride now lives in Hawaii and that's where she wants the wedding to be. We don't know any other details.
Comment: #38
Posted by: jennylee
Mon Oct 7, 2013 7:47 AM
Re: GSDluv
You're absolutely rght! I know several people in their 80's (and even one man who's over 90) who wouldn't be bothered at all by a long trip, and I think it's wonderful that they aren't. Unfortunately, there are many others even younger than that who have health issues that make it difficult for them to travel. The owner of our law firm is over 80 and still comes to work and handles cases every day, but traveling is more difficult for him now due to some age-related issues. It just depends upon the individual, and we have no way of knowing the age of LW2 - she could be anywhere from her 40's to her 90's and be in perfect health. As I said in my post, traveling MAY be a problem for some people in their 80's. I didn't mean to imply that it would be a problem for everyone in that age group, and from what the LW said, she seems to be more concerned about the financial aspect of it than the difficulty of traveling.
Comment: #39
Posted by: Kitty
Mon Oct 7, 2013 7:47 AM
@Chris #32, Nowhere does it say where the groom's family lives so it's a huge stretch to say the "couple" is from the east coast. Perhaps they already live in Hawaii, too. The bride may have grown up on the East coast, but she is now living and working in Hawaii, so she is having the wedding in her home area. No doubt it is easier for her to plan a wedding where she lives instead of a few thousand miles away. It is not a "destination" wedding to the bride and groom since it is happening where they live. Nowhere in the letter does it say that bride demanded that anyone come to her wedding; she invited her grandmother, which is pretty common in most families.
Comment: #40
Posted by: kai archie
Mon Oct 7, 2013 7:50 AM
Re Bill (#23):


Bill, are you offended by ALL of the hyphens, or just some of them? Google "Irish-American." There are 16,000,000+ hits, including the Irish American Museum in DC, and the Irish American Unity Conference. "Italian-American?" 3,000,000 hits. They also have a museum and several heritage and "unity" organizations.


But I've never heard anyone complain about them. Or the St. Patrick's Day parades nearly every city sponsors. Or the Columbus Day parades, with Knights of Columbus participation and a focus on Italian heritage. Oktoberfest - I've never seen it picketed. I've never heard anyone say contemptuously to them, "How can you call yourself German when you've never been to Germany?"


Apparently some hyphens are more offensive than others.l
Comment: #41
Posted by: Carla
Mon Oct 7, 2013 8:14 AM
Re: Jenna #13
Even if the monetary aspect seems to be the main issue here, there is nothing far-fetched about suggesting that health concens can't be part of the equation as well, and certainly will be for a lot of others facing the same situation as the LW.

So for you to call what Kitty says "spew" (and to keep digging your heels about it) constitutes an unwarranted attack imho...but you seem to like that word a lot these days.

@Chris #32
"what do you call it when a couple from the East coast hosts their wedding on a tropical Island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean; that is a major tourist destination"
Chris, they actually LIVE there. Am I to understand that anyone who happens to live in a touristic area should just move out the minute they want to marry, or else they're being selfish?

Comment: #42
Posted by: Lise Brouillette
Mon Oct 7, 2013 8:15 AM
@Chris, the LW's granddaughter lives and works in Hawaii, and probably for some time -- she's from Hawaii now, not the east coast.

She's having the wedding where she lives. It's not a destination wedding, and you seem to think the bride needs to bend over backwards to accommodate her half of the family rather than actually have her wedding in her home state.

I think you have it backwards here. Just because it's Hawaii doesn't mean that real people don't have real jobs and real homes and real lives there. We wouldn't expect married couples in other states to forego having their wedding in their hometowns just because the rest of one side of the family lived in another state, so I don't think it's at all fair to use a different standard for people who live and work in Hawaii.

If she lived in Hawaii, and her family lived in the East Coast, and she decided to have her wedding at a resort in the Bahamas, or the French Riviera, then I'd probably agree with you. But there's nothing at all necessarily bridezilla-y about simply having your wedding where you live.
Comment: #43
Posted by: Mike H
Mon Oct 7, 2013 8:18 AM
LW1- My son and his wife had a destination wedding, but they did not tell anyone before, just went there and did it on their vacation. They didn't want to put everyone through the old 'can we afford this?' routine, but it was their romantic dream. I was delighted that they handled it that way, there was no drama. And they didn't send announcements to fish for gifts. They just phoned a few people, who passed the word. I have gone to out of state weddings, but my hubby loves to travel and we are retired. So a wedding is just a reason to go somewhere for us. But I know that for most people, it is just too expensive, and if a couple has children who are not invited to the reception, that is another problem. And these were not 'destination' weddings, they were local, but not where we live. I don't know why people discuss this so endlessly. If it is out of town and you can afford it, go. If you can't afford it, stay home. If you wish them well, send a gift. And in general, couples will not get angry if you cannot travel to their wedding. If they do, you don't need to please people like that.
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Bill, what is up with the weird rant about the term African-American? I presume that in the 70's you used the term 'black', right? So just go along with the current term, and relax, will ya? You are not going to convince an entire nation to stop using a term that you feel is imprecise.
Comment: #44
Posted by: Patty Bear
Mon Oct 7, 2013 8:25 AM
@jennylee, #37, "I don't get why she's even asking the question, other than she wants to let everyone know she doesn't approve of where the wedding is being held."

Yes -- that's pretty much exactly how I read it, too.
Comment: #45
Posted by: Mike H
Mon Oct 7, 2013 8:53 AM
@Patty Bear, I get this kind of thing all too often: "Why do you people insist on using these labels? Why do you refuse to just identify as an American?" OK, I get their point, but, as I mentioned in my prior post, no one seems to ask these questions of Americans of German, Scottish, English, Polish, or Irish extraction. I wonder if Bill boycotts St. Patrick's Day. BTW, one of the people who objected strenuously to my using the term "African American" was a member of Sons of Confederate Veterans. Apparently "Confederate-American" passes muster.
Comment: #46
Posted by: Carla
Mon Oct 7, 2013 8:56 AM
Jennylee, ettiquette is on your side. It is not necessary to give excuses about age or finances when declining an invitation. You just "regret that you are unable to accept the kind invitation...." Admittedly, with a granddaughter's wedding, the situation is different, but that's where some affectionate one on one communication would be useful.

Jenna, I have to say that beginning with #17, you really crossed a line. I re-read everything Kitty said and there is nothing even remotely harsh or objectionable about what she was saying. I assume it was because you're sick today, but this is a case where you should look at what you wrote, "OWN it" and apologize to her. My opinion only.

Carla, Sons of Confederate Veterans don't call themselves "Confederate-Americans." That doesn't even belong in the argument.
Comment: #47
Posted by: Maggie Lawrence
Mon Oct 7, 2013 9:19 AM
@Chris -- when I got married, I no longer lived in the same state as my parents and 98% of my extended family. Where I was living at the time was where my husband's parents and a small portion of his family lived. Since my parents were paying for the wedding, I decided that the right thing to do was to get married back in my hometown, rather than where I was living at the time. In my case, it was the right thing to do: my family is bigger than my husband's family, so getting married in my hometown meant it was more convenient and affordable for at least 75% of the attendees. But as the bride, it would have been a complete PITA had my mother not been totally up for dealing with most of the planning (and fortunately, I could trust that my mother's taste would closely align with my own). So, while it all worked out for me and was the right decision in my case, I am not going to give someone else a hard time for deciding to get married where she and her husband-to-be live, instead of traveling back to her hometown to get married.

Depending on who is paying for and planning the wedding, this couple choosing to get married where they live is not the self-indulgent act you make it out to be, IMHO.

@Louisa Finnell -- I agree that the net effect for the family is the same, but there is a practical difference for the bride and groom. For a destination wedding, EVERYONE has to travel to get there, including the bride and groom. That also means that EVERYONE has to find hotel accommodations of some sort, including the bride and groom. It also means that a lot of the planning either has to be done from afar, or whoever is planning the event has to travel ahead of the wedding in order to take care of some of the planning details. That is not the case here. For one thing, obviously neither the bride nor the groom will have to travel. And if they have friends and/or family living nearby, they might be willing to invite some of the wedding guests to stay at their homes, which would defray the cost for some of the guests somewhat, as well Moreover, it is likely that at least SOME of their prospective guests DO live in Hawaii -- perhaps not family (though it wouldn't surprise me if the groom's family lives there) -- depending on how long they have lived there, surely they have friends and co-workers they'll be inviting.

If the bride had moved to Iowa, we probably wouldn't even be having this conversation -- no one would have thought to have called it a "destination wedding" -- it would have been called what it is: a wedding that is being held where the bridal couple live, instead of in the bride's former hometown. Granted, it would cost a whole lot less and be a whole lot less distance to travel to Iowa than Hawaii.

@Annies -- please read these letters more carefully. She was asking if it was OK for her to just send a gift instead of attending the wedding. The answer to that question is always yes, even if the wedding was happening just two blocks from her house. No one is holding a gun to her head to force her to attend the wedding.
Comment: #48
Posted by: Lisa
Mon Oct 7, 2013 9:35 AM
@Maggie Lawrence, no, members of the SCV don't call themselves Confederate-Americans. But they justify celebrating their connection to another country (whether a legitimately independent one or not) as a matter of "heritage," while many of them object to my doing the same.
Comment: #49
Posted by: Carla
Mon Oct 7, 2013 9:40 AM
Carla, I still think your analogy is a bit far-fetched. The SCVs don't refer to themselves that way as a race, but as an organization when it's pertinent. And they are "Sons of...." as a group with some common goals, mostly, as I understand it, preserving battlefields and history. SCV is not a choice on a multiple choice list of "race".
Comment: #50
Posted by: Maggie Lawrence
Mon Oct 7, 2013 10:59 AM
@Carla, I got into a similar discussion with my mother a few years ago (she's shown occasional and disturbing signs of racism as she's gotten older), objecting to the hyphenating-Americans... and yet many members of her own family were members of the Polish American Club in their home-town, and we live in an area in which there are a lot of Italian-American and Irish-American organizations as well. (Heck, her aunts and uncles lived in a town in which the Catholic Mass was spoken in Polish right through the early 2000s... somehow that never seemed to be a problem for her!)



Comment: #51
Posted by: Mike H
Mon Oct 7, 2013 11:01 AM
@Bill, you're a douchebag.

Re: LW1: I love this logic. "Destination weddings are rude and extravagant! You should fly your entire wedding party to where *I* live so that I don't have to do anything special to attend." Because that wouldn't be a destination wedding for everyone else?

I think this is the same logic, on a higher order of magnitude, that my parents use when I invite them to my house for dinner (15 minutes away). "Oh, that's much too far. You should come here instead! Just bring all your ingredients!" Basically that any effort they have to put in is far worse than any effort I would have to put in.

Plane tickets don't get any cheaper if you're flying FROM Hawaii either, amazingly enough. If you can't afford to go to the wedding, send your regrets and a nice gift, if you want, and shut the hell up. The marrying couple aren't obligated to make everything convenient FOR YOU. They are being nice by inviting you to their event. Politely accept or politely decline. Too many people with zero manners who think that it's the height of rudeness when others don't cater to them.
Comment: #52
Posted by: lilypants
Mon Oct 7, 2013 11:24 AM
lilypants, I would go to your house ANYTIME for dinner, even if it meant buying a ticket to Hawaii. Your answers at #52 rock.
Comment: #53
Posted by: hedgehog
Mon Oct 7, 2013 11:32 AM
I have a friend who is African-American. He was born in South Africa and moved to the United States in 2000. But he is Caucasian, not black. There are many Caucasian who are also Africans.
Comment: #54
Posted by: locake
Mon Oct 7, 2013 12:10 PM
Maggie Lawrence #47
I agree completely with what you said to Jenna.
Kitty has never been harsh as long as I can remember.
Comment: #55
Posted by: Mary Ann
Mon Oct 7, 2013 12:12 PM
Re: locake #54
I will always call any race, ethnicity, etc. whatever they prefer to be called, I think it should be their choice. But really, 'African-American', which I see primarily for 'blacks', if you will, is misleading. As others have pointed out, if you're originally from Africa and came to America, you ARE African-American. Might be 'white', might be 'black'. Might be any mixture of the two, or of other 'races'. Using that term tells one nothing about the color of someone's skin, if that is somehow important to know.
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Back in the dark ages, when I was in school, I remember learning "Caucasoid, or Negroid, or Mongoloid". I don't remember any of the three as being considered derogatory, but that was then. (Or maybe I was just naive, I don't know.)
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Googling the subject just now, I see others have been added.
The most complete site I found says that Caucasoid refers to Europeans; Negroid refers to East African black; Mongoloid refers to Asian and American Indian; and the two newer ones are: Australoid (refers to Australian and oceanic); and Capoid, refers to So. African black. Had never heard of the last two, or of the revised definitions of the first three.
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Then apparently at some point it changed to being considered 'derogatory' to say Negroid or Mongoloid, although apparently Caucasoid was still OK.
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If you think about it, no one is really 'black', or 'white', or 'yellow', or 'red'. None of that is an accurate description of any of what are probably hundreds of thousands of variations in people's skin colors. Actually Caucasoid, Negroid, Mongoloid, etc. gives a much more accurate visual description.
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To anyone out there, just let me know what you want to be called, and I will do it. But 'African-American' is not exclusive to any one color of skin, it has to do with where you, or your ancestors, if you stretch the meaning, came from.
Comment: #56
Posted by: jennylee
Mon Oct 7, 2013 1:03 PM
@Mike H -- the whole debate on hyphenated ethnic identification today has me lovingly remembering Mel Brooks' "Blazing Saddles," and the line that ends with "But we won't take the Irish!"
Comment: #57
Posted by: Lisa
Mon Oct 7, 2013 1:11 PM
@jennylee -- stop making sense! When my grandmother was younger, the proper, polite term was negro or colored. But I was horrified to hear her call people negro or colored, which had been deemed derogatory and (at that point) the proper, polite term was black. By the time I graduated from college, black was no longer considered proper and polite, instead it was African American. The woman who does my nails has "black" skin -- theoretically, she would politely be called "African American" -- except that is not actually correct, since she is from St. Croix (born and raised there, moved here as an adult and is now an American citizen) and doesn't consider herself to be "African" at all. But she knows that when she's asked on government forms what her race is that what they are basically asking is "what color are you" so she checks off the African-American box, even though that isn't really accurate. I'm with you -- I am happy to call people what the wish to be called. But it drives me crazy that it just keeps changing, and one minute you're saying something you think is proper and polite and then you turn around and find out the term you were using has been replaced by a new one. I would just like to be able to describe a person without offending anyone.
Comment: #58
Posted by: Lisa
Mon Oct 7, 2013 1:27 PM
The trouble with "African American" is that it could define Teresa Heinz Kerry. She was born in Mozambique to parents who came from Portugal, and she's a naturalized U.S. citizen. It certainly doesn't mean she's black.
Comment: #59
Posted by: Kimiko
Mon Oct 7, 2013 1:36 PM
Re: Carla #41
"Apparently some hyphens are more offensive than others."
Well, yes. The ones you give as examples of comparison are all related to culture, whereas "African-American" is related to race. Much hotter button.

Re: Lisa #58
"But it drives me crazy that it just keeps changing, and one minute you're saying something you think is proper and polite and then you turn around and find out the term you were using has been replaced by a new one."
Therein lies the crux of the problem: it keeps changing because people keep wanting bo believe that the problem with prejudice lies in the words we use, not the way we think, and that if we change the words, we will change the thinking and everything ugly will disappear. Problem is, regardless of what term is used, anyone racist using it will turn it into an epiteth. Anyone with a pointy white hat can make "African-American" sound like th "n" word.

We've been going through the same yurunda with SAH moms - first they were housewives, then domestic engineers, then homemakers, the current fad seems to be SAHM. Doesn't make a difference - for people who think a SAHM is a lazy floozy, that will come across loud and clear no matter what they call her. A rose by any other name is still a rose and doesn't change, but neither does the opinion of the people talking to the rose!

Perhaps this is what Bill really is up in arms about, and he merely failed to express it well.

Comment: #60
Posted by: Lise Brouillette
Mon Oct 7, 2013 3:03 PM
First of all - thank you Mary Ann and Maggie for the kind words :)
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As far as the black/African American/whatever debate goes, what I'd personally like to see would be for everyone to get to the point where we don't define each other by color and just consider ourselves all Americans or Canadians or Brazilians, etc. The only time we should need to describe someone by the color of their skins would be to the police when we're trying to give them a description of the person who broke into our house -- as in, "He was white, with blonde hair and a tattoo on his nose", or "He was a dark-skinned black man with dredlocks and a scar on his chin".
Comment: #61
Posted by: Kitty
Mon Oct 7, 2013 3:07 PM
Y'know, when I first read the lead letter today, I didn't think anything of who wrote it, only that it was an individual – a man, as it were – who seemingly had "it all" except for one thing he didn't want ... depression. Race never entered into things. I guess what I've had reinforced to me now that a poster brought it up in his rant is that ... depression doesn't discriminate.

Young, old, short, tall, fat, thin, black, white, pretty, ugly, popular, hermit, rich, poor, have everything, have nothing, talented, untalented ... use whatever adjectives you will, depression doesn't discriminate. How the race card got played by a poster today, I don't know and I don't care.

As far as LW2 goes, I admit going back and reading the letter, I was a bit confused at how the LW worded her comments about where her granddaughter's (the bride-to-be) relatives live. But the fact that the bride lives in Hawaii – where, I imagine a lot of Hawaiians get married, and not because it's a great tourist destination but because they live there – was all that really mattered in the end, and she chose to get married close to her current home.

And Chris, I agree with several posters here: This is not necessarily a luxury wedding. I imagine there are plenty of "normal" weddings along with those that are actually "destination" weddings.

My advice on LW2 still stands – send a gift and your regrets, but do wish her well. I would encourage you to at least telephone or get on Skype or something (if you can afford to) and send your blessings.

And who knows ... maybe in the near future, after the honeymoon is over and they get some time off, perhaps your granddaughter and her husband will visit the East Coast and you can celebrate then; not saying hold your breath that it'll happen, but if it does, then it will truly be an occasion to celebrate.
Comment: #62
Posted by: Bobaloo
Mon Oct 7, 2013 5:26 PM
LW2- I'm a little late chiming in but me being from the East Coast and taking a vacation to Hawaii, I can tell you first hand that it is a very hard and expensive trip.... Even for people who are not old (and I will take into account that Grandma doesn't always mean elderly). That really doesn't matter as it's really not so important. What I can tell you from my experience is. We woke up at 3 am and drove almost an hour to the airport to arrive 2 hours before our flight. The flight was delayed an hour so arrived at LAX 13 hour after leaving home and had a two hour layover, flew another 5.5 hours to Hawaii and took another hour to disembark and catch shuttle. That's 21 hours if my Math is correct and this is to the tune of $1,800 for a week (not including meals, fun & misc.). Granted that was for five days but who in their right mind would stay any less time there when you spend so much time getting there. With that said, that was NOT the question the LW asked. She asked what was the protocol of giving a gift instead of attending the wedding and I say what others said. Give what you can afford.
@JENNA- I don't know why you have such problems you have with KITTY but this is NOT the first time you've gotten all bent out of shape targeting ONLY KITTY. Get over yourself already and sorry but the first thing that came to my mind the LAST time and THIS time was exactly what ZOE said and that you were drinking a little early. I'm sorry that you have been sick (though I have my doubts that you don't have the elbow disease... Elbow bends to get drink and to bring drink to mouth, I'll take you for your word). What kind of illness causes you to lash out at one particular person? How was Kitty supposed to know that you are/were sick? Kitty has never been harsh to anyone and I think she was quite the lady after your last outburst and even going out of her way to forgive your last attack. Please figure out what your problem is with her and keep it to yourself. Being sick does not give you the right to be a Royal Biatch!
Comment: #63
Posted by: JustBecause
Mon Oct 7, 2013 5:57 PM
re Bill #23 - Where did LW1 write the he felt oppressed? What does your opinion about the term African-American have to do with this letter or any other? As an American of African descent, in other words, African-American, I can assure you that your opinion has no influence whatsoever on how I refer to my own heritage.
Comment: #64
Posted by: sharnee
Mon Oct 7, 2013 6:21 PM
Re: Post #41 (Lise B) Honestly, I wasn't aware that I use the word “spew” often. Now, to me, it is going to stick out like a sore thumb, pretty sure the word is going to be deleted from my vocabulary ;)
For the rest: A nerve was struck, it was discussed, then let go. If that makes me a B*tch, ‘k. I'll OWN that. People have been called worse on the internet… so there is that! (Walter W. from “Breaking Bad”)

This “Elbow Disease” is manufactured – got enough on my plate as it is, don't need another one!
Comment: #65
Posted by: Jenna
Mon Oct 7, 2013 6:59 PM
Just a comment on what to call people- I had an aunt that had heard people refer to Mexicans with such contempt in their voice, she thought that perhaps it was a derogatory term. So she referred to a Mexican family we know by calling them Spanish, thinking it was more polite. I said no, auntie, they speak Spanish, but they are from Mexico, so that makes them Mexican. After I thought about it, I realized that she had previously heard people call @#%$&^* Mexicans so many times, she began to think the word Mexican was part of an insult. How sad is that?
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I think it is kind of odd that we have to keep up on the politically correct term to call each group, but I also know that words can hurt, and when people feel oppressed by a label, they have a need to change that label. They insist on choosing their own identifying name to be able to have pride in it, and dignity. So I try to keep up, and be aware of what people want to be called as a group. Someday, it may get very confusing, because I heard that half of the kids born in the U.S. are now mixed race. So, how will we know which half to choose to designate what someone is? Or will everyone be hyphenated? Or, better still, maybe we can just call everyone 'people' and be done with labeling.
Comment: #66
Posted by: Patty Bear
Mon Oct 7, 2013 7:43 PM
re PattyBear - How to know what to call people is a very simple problem with a simple solution. Refer to them as they refer to themselves. I know not a single person who has for instance a white parent and an African-American parent who would be offended if you called them by either description. They may correct you, but they usually aren't offended. I find it difficult to understand why people would have a such a hard time with the way others identify themselves. This seems like such a no-brainer to me. You can't go wrong by simply accepting a person's own self-description.

My ex-husband is from the continent of Africa. He was in his early 20's when he arrived in the US. He has been here for nearly 30 years. He does not consider himself an African-American. He considers himself to be African. We share the same ranges in skin tones, but our cultures are vastly different. The cultures of all the different regions on the continent of Africa are each vastly different from each other. Our children? We both agree that they are Americans of African descent, as am I. As that description is rarely seen on forms and applications, I select African-American or black.

My preference is African-American although the word black does not itself offend me. Neither is it an accurate description of me. I am brown, my shade is lighter than my husbands, darker than my best friend's. Additionally, in our society, the word black does so often have negative connotations, i.e., 'black sheep', 'black Monday', 'black plague', 'black-hearted', etc. Given the association this word has with negativity, it is less than desirable to me to associate that word with people.

However, above all else what I am called is so much less relevant to me than the spirit of intent with which those words are spoken. I find someone who expresses contempt for my choice to call myself African-American so much more offensive than I do someone innocently referring to me as a black woman.
Comment: #67
Posted by: sharnee
Tue Oct 8, 2013 7:07 AM
Re: Jenna #65
Yeah, well, you used it on me on the thread preceding this one, and rudely too. Other posters' opinions do not become "spew" because you disagree with them on a day when you're in a bad mood - whatever the reason.

Comment: #68
Posted by: Lise Brouillette
Tue Oct 8, 2013 7:51 AM
LW1 - thanks for writing - I fit the majority depression group - but it still is hard to explain to non-depressed people what it is like.
LW2 - Please consider sharing your recipes or cookbooks to the new bride -my grandmother wasn't able to attend my wedding and purchased end tables for us. I love them, but her recipe box is more precious to me now that she is gone than any gift she ever gave me.
Comment: #69
Posted by: Trutxn
Tue Oct 8, 2013 7:58 AM
@sharnee -- as I noted earlier, I will call someone by whatever term s/he prefers, as I believe that is the most polite and proper thing to do. But this isn't the "no-brainer" you suggest. Since very few people introduce themselves by saying something like, "Hi, I'm Lisa, and I'm a white woman," or "Hi, I'm Lisa, and I'm Caucasian," the odds are good that unless I know the person well, I may not actually know which term that person prefers. Sure, if we have a discussion in which race/ethnicity comes up, it's likely that the person will refer to his or her race/ethnicity, and then I will know which term that person uses. Otherwise, I don't really have any way of knowing that information.

But as you note -- as did Lise in a previous post -- it's usually pretty easy to tell when someone is trying to be respectful or not, regardless of which term that person chooses to use. And it's that intent that is far more important than the actual word, even though words do have power.
Comment: #70
Posted by: Lisa
Tue Oct 8, 2013 8:06 AM
@Lisa - " believe that is the most polite and proper thing to do. But this isn't the "no-brainer" you suggest. Since very few people introduce themselves by saying something like, "Hi, I'm Lisa, and I'm a white woman," or "Hi, I'm Lisa, and I'm Caucasian," the odds are good that unless I know the person well, I may not actually know which term that person prefers."

True, but why does it matter? It is a non-issue until the subject comes up. If you are the one who brings the subject up, you use the word with which you are most comfortable (as long as the word is socially acceptable), and if they person has a strong preference, they can take that opportunity to let you know. Most people are reasonable enough to understand when no offense was intended. I don't see where all the angst is coming from on this topic.

I find the debate puzzling; however, for the most part I am not offended. The only comments I found offensive were a few comments where people questioned our decision to call ourselves African-American. To me that is like telling a parent what to name their child. If it isn't your child or in this case, your race and/or culture, than you really don't have a say in what that person should be called.

Comment: #71
Posted by: sharnee
Tue Oct 8, 2013 8:27 AM
@sharnee, thanks for your insights on this, it's good to see you and have your perspective on the board again.
Comment: #72
Posted by: Mike H
Tue Oct 8, 2013 9:33 AM
Re: Lise B (#68) -- As I said I had no idea I use the “S” word *commonly*; but, I will have to agree with you in using that word, it probably was not in a positive context.

I guess people have a different prospective on interpreting a post as *rude*. I found your response to Chris' post #13 today terribly rude, but since I don't know where your thought process was when writing it, I wouldn't call you on it.

“Which wackadoodle tree did YOUR nut fall from? I'm wondering if you didn't produce this hateful post just to get people to rise to the occasion. There are times when you behave like a troll.” Actually, no, kind of rude..
Comment: #73
Posted by: Jenna
Tue Oct 8, 2013 2:49 PM
Re LW2: I didn't read all of the responses, so I may be preaching to the choir, but I was rather put off by LW2's attitude. "destination wedding", "gifts in lieu of attending this high-cost wedding"... it sounds like she thinks her granddaughter should be traveling to East Coast from Hawaii to make it convenient for LW2 to attend. Did LW2 consider that her granddaughter has a LIFE in Hawaii? She certainly has friends there, maybe her fiance's family is there, or on the West Coast.

It's fine for LW2 to tell her granddaughter that she can't attend, but she needs to lose the attitude and help the granddaughter celebrate, whether via a trip, a gift, or just a nice letter, rather than trying to punish her for being so rude as to get married where she lives.
Comment: #74
Posted by: dave
Tue Oct 8, 2013 5:11 PM
@JENNA- I'm pretty sure you are referring to tomorrow's thread when you mention the post that LISE posted to CHRIS #13 but in any case, I agree with you but not in that just LISE overreacted but so did many because by now they should realize that this is CHRIS' style and no harm is intended.
Comment: #75
Posted by: JustBecause
Tue Oct 8, 2013 5:25 PM
Re: Jenna #73
Not so much rude but accurately blunt. And certainly not more rude than HE was...

@JustBecause
Ys, it IS his style, and you'll notice I make reference to that. Even then, not everything is permitted. His condemnation was way over the top and vastly uncalled for.

Comment: #76
Posted by: Lise Brouillette
Wed Oct 9, 2013 7:35 AM
Re: Jenna. Not to be picky but even using your logic and assuming this is the first born Granddaugher the "Grandmother" would be in her or close to her 60's. If this family didn't all marry and/or procreate at young ages the Grandma could easily be in her 80's. My BF's dad is 86. BF was the last child and a late in life baby too, while I have a friend who is a Grandma 4 times over and she just turned 40. My mom is almost there and none of her Grandchildren are even thinking about marriage yet.
Comment: #77
Posted by: Peggy
Wed Oct 9, 2013 9:17 AM
LW1: It's not that unusual for bride and groom to be from different parts of the country, or even world, and get married somewhere that is a long trip for part of the family. I was on a trip when I met my husband, and we were married in his family's home town. We then had a reception in my home town when we came back. One of my sons married a girl he met in college, in our home area but a thousand miles away from hers. However, my family is from the same area as hers, so they were married in her home town and some of my relatives who couldn't have come if it were here were able to be there. They also had a reception in this area for friends and family here. Why not kill two birds with two stones, and include everybody??
Comment: #78
Posted by: partsmom
Thu Oct 10, 2013 1:04 AM
Sorry, the wedding question was LW2.
Comment: #79
Posted by: partsmom
Thu Oct 10, 2013 1:06 AM
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