Dear Annie: In the past five years, I have attended 14 weddings (several were expensive destination weddings), hosted seven baby showers, four bridal luncheons, six wedding showers and purchased 36 presents for various friends and relatives.
My son is gay. Thankfully, he and his wonderful partner of 11 years were finally able to legally marry last year. The exact number of gifts and cards they received from my family and friends? Six.
Even if you are homophobic, can you not celebrate another human being's joy at finding love and happiness? I did for their children. Why can't they do the same for mine? -- Ticked Off
Dear Ticked Off: You are assuming your son and his husband did not receive gifts or cards because people object to their same-sex union. That may be true in some cases, but we suspect the real reason is that people are forgetful and lazy. And if there was no invitation to a wedding, some folks feel no obligation to send anything to the newlyweds. This is not an excuse to be negligent, mind you, only an observation that their neglect has nothing to do with homophobia.
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You don't say whether your son had a wedding reception or any other festivities where guests were invited. So, if you want people to celebrate with you, we recommend hosting a party in honor of your son's recent marriage. You can then invite all of the people you were so happy for in years past, and let them express the same level of happiness for your son and his husband. We hope they will.
Dear Annie: I read your request that readers consider April 2 to be Reconciliation Day and use it to mend estrangements with friends and relatives.
I have a quote that is perfect for this. I've heard this quote ascribed to several sources, but one is the Buddha: "Holding on to anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die."
Along the same lines, Nelson Mandela said, "Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies." -- G.
Dear G.: Actually, that quote has been ascribed to dozens of people, and there is no evidence that credit belongs to anyone in particular. The quotation from the Buddha is supposedly about grasping a hot coal in order to harm another and you are the one who gets burned. But apparently, the Buddha didn't say that, either, although there is some proof that a similar phrase may have been used by Buddhaghosa, the 5th-century commentator.
We, in fact, printed a version of that same quote back in 2011 and mistakenly credited actress Carrie Fisher, who said she'd heard it from someone in AA. And she wasn't the only one. That quote or a variation of it has also been credited to Nelson Mandela, Allan Brandt, Malachy McCourt and Emmet Fox, and then repeated and credited to these same people by others.
It is, however, still a terrific quote and the point is a good one.
Annie's Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please email your questions to anniesmailboxcreators.com or write to Annie's Mailbox, c/o Creators Syndicate, 737 3rd Street, Hermosa Beach, CA 90254. You can also find Annie on Facebook at Facebook.com/AskAnnies.
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