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Sister miffed they dropped her ‘Dr.’

Mon., June 4, 2012

Dear Annie: My husband’s mother recently died, and his sister is very upset with him because he listed her in the death notice as “Miss Jane Doe” instead of “Dr. Jane Doe.” (His sister has a Ph.D.)

When my husband apologized, she stated that we always have been disrespectful of her title. Apparently, she is still upset that when she was in our bridal party, she was listed in the wedding program as “Miss Jane Doe.” I told her it never occurred to me that she would want to be listed any other way. After all, my brother, an attorney, didn’t have a J.D. after his name. She was also angry that our invitation to our daughter’s christening said “Miss Jane Doe.” I was taught that for social invitations, one doesn’t use professional titles. Am I wrong?

My husband feels that our apology should suffice, but Jane is still angry. I hate that there is friction between them when they are grieving the death of their mother. What else can we do? – Frustrated Sister-in-Law

Dear Frustrated: Generally, one doesn’t use professional titles for social events, but the overriding etiquette rule is not to offend. Your sister-in-law wants her title used at all times, so please use it. Her mistake was allowing this to continue without registering her resentment the first time, which didn’t permit you to correct it.

Dear Annie: “Ready To Settle Down” wants a commitment from her 55-year-old boyfriend who still lives on his parents’ property, uses her car, belittles her in bed, has a bad temper and hangs around with drinkers and dopers. She needs to follow my rules for dating. These guidelines make the picking and choosing a whole lot easier.

Trish’s Four Rules for Dating

1.) He/she must not have a criminal history. 2.) He/she must be employed. 3.) He/she must own his/her own car. 4.) He/she cannot live with his/her mother or sleep on his/her best friend’s couch. – Trish

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