Holiday greetings get humbug response from offended aunt

Dear Abby
Modified: December 18, 2012 at 6:08 pm •  Published: December 20, 2012
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DEAR ABBY: I confess, I can be a procrastinator. Last year, my holiday cards sat on my desk, blank and unaddressed, until almost Easter, when it was far too late to send them. This year, I figured brevity was better than not getting them sent, so I had photo cards made and wrote short notes on each before mailing them.

Several of my relatives have now told me they felt “snubbed and offended” by my short notes. One aunt is particularly upset and said (via my mother) that my cards “clearly showed I don't care about people, and I should have written proper letters or sent nothing.”

Was I wrong to think “some” card was better than no card at all? Also, how should I appease the aunt who is not speaking to me over this?

Holiday Card Writer, Akron, Ohio

DEAR HOLIDAY CARD WRITER: I don't think you were wrong. As to appeasing your aunt, who appears to be one of those individuals who hang onto imagined slights and delivers her messages via other people, perhaps you should consider leaving her off your Christmas card list from now on for fear of offending her further. Some people are just not “pleasable,” and your aunt may be one of them.

DEAR ABBY: My 20-year-old son, “P.J.,” dresses in Army fatigues when he goes out. His clothes and boots — including name patches — make him look like a soldier. Because he seems so fascinated with the outfit, I asked him if he wants to consider joining the military. He said he's not interested, he just likes “the look.”

I'm embarrassed when we're out together. Friends have commented, “I didn't know P.J. enlisted.” My response is, “He's not in the military. He just likes to dress the part.” When strangers have approached him and thanked him for his service and for protecting our country, he actually says, “You're welcome!”

When I try to talk to him about it, he gets angry and tells me to mind my own business. I feel he's representing himself as someone he's not. He does have a job. He buys his military gear online and at military shops.

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