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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Bear SIL’s baby shower with grace

Judith Martin And Jacobina Martin Universal Uclick

DEAR MISS MANNERS: My sister-in-law is getting married days before my husband and I will have our first child. She told me she wanted to throw a baby shower for me and even told me to save a date. My in-laws seem to be excited about us having a baby.

One of my dearest friends said that she wanted to help out with the shower and asked for her contact information. When I told my sister-in-law, she said that she did not want my friend’s help, and that she and her mother planned a small family shower for me.

This led me to believe that it will be a shower just of my husband’s family, as my mother has passed away and my small family mostly lives out of town.

This really hurt me, and I am not sure how to react. I want my family and my friends to celebrate my baby with me, but they would not be welcome to a shower thrown by my in-laws. I cannot talk to my husband about this, as I feel this will put him between a rock and a hard place.

I know it’s immature for me to feel like I do, but now I do not want to go to my own shower. Should I just tell the in-laws to forget it and let my friends throw a shower for me instead? Should I grin and bear it, as this is my husband’s family and will be a part of our lives forever? After this, I really do not want to spend too much time with them. What advice can you offer to me?

GENTLE READER: That you were right that these people will be part of your lives forever. And again when you said your desire to boycott the shower was immature.

Showers are supposed to be given by friends and not family. You may make one polite attempt to inform your sister-in-law of this (“Oh dear, I don’t want to look as if the family is begging for gifts on my behalf”), as well as point out that she will have her own wedding to worry about.

But if both attempts fail, you must politely endure. Miss Manners is further willing to break a second rule on your behalf – that one should not have more than one shower – as long as you can assure her that the guest list will not be repeated.

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