“Jaw With John” – Aunt Is A Regular Sue Storm

In yesterday’s mail we received a birth announcement of a new great-nephew, addressed only to my husband.

Christmas cards, wedding announcements, birth announcements, thank-you cards — anything coming from his sister and her children all are addressed only to him.

The most mention I ever get is “and Family.” One wedding invitation actually came to “Uncle John and Family.” Our children are grown so presumably I’m the nameless “Family.”

I buy the presents and sign the cards and checks. There’s no animosity between us. I’ve known the kids since birth and they are all nice people. But each omission makes me feel, well, a bit unwanted.

I’m tempted to have only my husband sign the card that I bought before the announcement arrived. I want him to tell his sister that this makes me feel sad and left out. He doesn’t see it as an issue and thinks I should ignore it, but he also says that since it bothers me, I should tell her myself.

What’s your take? — The Invisible Aunt

Dear Invisible:

Listen to your husband here and talk directly to his sister. I know what it’s like to be slighted, albeit in a different manner.

It was Christmas, the family was opening presents and we had decided to open gifts from a certain friend all at the same time. All the gifts were neatly and elegantly wrapped and there was a note saying that the gifts were all from a recent trip to Africa … except for me. I got a calendar. I looked around and said, to myself, There was nothing in Africa that could be for me? Not one thing? I moved on and now it’s a pretty decent joke I can tell. Your situation is different but similar.

You know you need to bring this to the attention of your brother’s sister otherwise it will continue. Being passive aggressive with the notes and gifts won’t solve anything. Ask your sister-in-law “What’s up?” because unlike my calendar, your feelings won’t go away after January 1st.

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