Author Topic: The free address-label freak-out  (Read 8666 times)

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realgonegal1

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The free address-label freak-out
« on: December 19, 2011, 12:07:30 PM »
BG - DH and I are separated, but trying very hard to work it out.  It's a slow process.  Consequently, I didn't send out our usual photo Christmas card that I usually do.  DH is living at his parents house, but has been spending more and more time at my house as we try and work through our issues.  Also, money is extremely tight right now...I haven't been this broke since I was a teenager living on my own for the first time and trying to make rent.

Cards are not an option this year, but I didn't want to skip my immediate family.  I did cards for my parents, my in-laws, my brother, my SIL (yes, the one who hasn't spoken to me in 18 months), and my Grandmother.  For my SIL and in-laws, I thought that sending them a card signed by my kids only would cut the awkwardness quotient down.  We picked out specific "from the kids" cards.  I enclosed pictures of the kids with Santa, and it was signed "love, DS and DD" in my handwriting (DS can write his name, but barely).  I slapped on freebie return address labels (the kind that come in junk mail, asking for donations), and sent them out.

MIL had a fit because the address label reads "Ms. Cindy Lastname".  Not Mrs.  Well, I didn't really pay attention to that.  I was really only concerned with the fact that they didn't cost me any money.  She says I am not serious about working things out with DH, I have already ordered my new "single woman" stationary", blah blah blah - as if I have time or money for such things.  Seriously, the woman needs a hobby that doesn't involve nit-picking my life.

So, is it incorrect etiquette-wise to use those labels if they are not completely correct?  This wasn't a wedding invitation, it was a greeting card.  I looked over my stash of labels, and they almost ALL say "Ms.".  I always paid all the bills and did all the charitable donations (something my in-laws don't really do), so all the labels have my name on them - not DH's.  At least they got my very long and frequently misspelled last name right.

Yvaine

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Re: The free address-label freak-out
« Reply #1 on: December 19, 2011, 12:10:33 PM »
Ms. can apply to either a single or a married woman (the whole point of it was to have a title that didn't depend on marital status, equivalent to the male Mr.). I think you're in the clear and that she's reacting out of emotion about the marital issues with her brother son. (misread the OP and thought the SIL was the fit thrower).
« Last Edit: December 19, 2011, 12:15:24 PM by Yvaine »

klm75

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Re: The free address-label freak-out
« Reply #2 on: December 19, 2011, 12:12:54 PM »
You're fine.  MIL is grasping at straws trying to make you the bad guy.  You might want to make that part of working things out is that she has to keep her opinions of your marriage to herself!

O'Dell

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Re: The free address-label freak-out
« Reply #3 on: December 19, 2011, 12:13:45 PM »
IMO, the labels *are* correct. Ms. is the default title for women regardless of marriage status, which is why the charities print up the labels with Ms. rather than try to guess Miss or Mrs.
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heartmug

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Re: The free address-label freak-out
« Reply #4 on: December 19, 2011, 12:20:19 PM »
You're fine.  MIL is grasping at straws trying to make you the bad guy.  You might want to make that part of working things out is that she has to keep her opinions of your marriage to herself!

Could not agree with this any more!!
The trouble is not that the world is full of fools, it's just that lightening isn't distributed right.  - Mark Twain

MyFamily

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Re: The free address-label freak-out
« Reply #5 on: December 19, 2011, 12:21:04 PM »
We had a set of labels that said Ms. DH's first name My maiden name - so if I used to be a Smith and my husband's name is Jon Jones, they said Ms. Jon Smith. 

The address was correct and I still get mail addressed to me by my maiden name, so we used them. 

Your MIL needs to remove herself from this equation of your marriage and I'd be more interested in your husband's response to her freak-out than the fact that she freaked out.  That would tell you a lot more about saving your marriage than what your return address labels say.


"The test of good manners is to be patient with bad ones" - Solomon ibn Gabirol

camlan

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Re: The free address-label freak-out
« Reply #6 on: December 19, 2011, 12:21:28 PM »
IMO, the labels *are* correct. Ms. is the default title for women regardless of marriage status, which is why the charities print up the labels with Ms. rather than try to guess Miss or Mrs.


Pod. Nothing incorrect about the labels.

Even if there were, as long as the last name and address is correct, so that the mail would be returned if there was a problem, you could still use them. They're free--why not use them?

MIL is just looking for something to pick on.
Nothing is impossible, the word itself says, “I’m possible!” –Audrey Hepburn


Judah

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Re: The free address-label freak-out
« Reply #7 on: December 19, 2011, 12:24:06 PM »
Your MIL needs to remove herself from this equation of your marriage and I'd be more interested in your husband's response to her freak-out than the fact that she freaked out.  That would tell you a lot more about saving your marriage than what your return address labels say.

This so much.  If your MIL wants your marriage to work out, she needs to butt out.  And DH needs to tell her to butt out.
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Oh Joy

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Re: The free address-label freak-out
« Reply #8 on: December 19, 2011, 02:52:26 PM »
Etiquette-wise, I don't feel it's inappropriate to use labels with your Ms. name on them.

But I don't think it was a considerate move.  You understood the delicate dynamics of this holiday and were thoughtful in sending a card signed 'from the kids.'  I don't think you would have sent them a card signed just by you, and am unsure why the return address (the first indicator of the sender) is different.  I would expect the return address in this situation - whether a label or hand-written - to to match as 'The Smiths' or the children's name.

But that's just one small bubble in a much bigger picture of family dynamics...every move and response is subject to interpretation.

Best wishes.

Arrynne

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Re: The free address-label freak-out
« Reply #9 on: December 19, 2011, 03:21:18 PM »
MIL is just trying to find a bone to pick.   "Ms" *is* the correct title.   I'm Ms. Arrynne HisLastName, but I'm Mrs. Bob HisLastName.

The Wild One, Forever

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Re: The free address-label freak-out
« Reply #10 on: December 19, 2011, 04:14:15 PM »
Etiquette-wise, I don't feel it's inappropriate to use labels with your Ms. name on them.

But I don't think it was a considerate move.  You understood the delicate dynamics of this holiday and were thoughtful in sending a card signed 'from the kids.'  I don't think you would have sent them a card signed just by you, and am unsure why the return address (the first indicator of the sender) is different.  I would expect the return address in this situation - whether a label or hand-written - to to match as 'The Smiths' or the children's name.

But that's just one small bubble in a much bigger picture of family dynamics...every move and response is subject to interpretation.

Best wishes.


I'm not seeing how simply sticking a return label with the correct address on it could be perceived as inconsiderate.  Cindy Lou is not required to walk on eggshells and weigh every little detail.  It sounds to me like MIL's own issue, entirely of her creation. 
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Nuala

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Re: The free address-label freak-out
« Reply #11 on: December 20, 2011, 10:04:14 AM »
How did you find out about the freak-out?

Did MIL confront you or was DH reporting?  If it was from DH, what did he hope to gain?  Does he suspect MIL is correct? Or is he just trying to stir up trouble?

You are correct that he needs to jump on these grenades before they explode all over you. 

penelope2017

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Re: The free address-label freak-out
« Reply #12 on: December 20, 2011, 10:48:24 AM »
How did you find out about the freak-out?

Did MIL confront you or was DH reporting?  If it was from DH, what did he hope to gain?  Does he suspect MIL is correct? Or is he just trying to stir up trouble?

You are correct that he needs to jump on these grenades before they explode all over you.

I think this is an important part of the story we need to know.


workerbee

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Re: The free address-label freak-out
« Reply #13 on: December 20, 2011, 10:52:57 AM »
Oh my gosh. I just want to say I'm sorry that you have to deal with this! I can't imagine how stressful my life would be if I had to consider whether people were making judgments about my address labels! I don't think you were rude at all, and MIL needs to get a hobby.

mabelle

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Re: The free address-label freak-out
« Reply #14 on: December 20, 2011, 10:55:50 AM »
Cindy Lou is not required to walk on eggshells and weigh every little detail.  It sounds to me like MIL's own issue, entirely of her creation.

POD and so-much-word...not to get all weird, but IMHO this level of controlling (the potential of MIL freaking out causes OP to walk on eggshells and double-check every little detail) is pretty toxic. Anything that encourages or gives credibility to the toxicity is to be rejected...

Good luck to the OP in your mending process.