Name change..rude comment

Canada
June 6, 2007 7:36am CST
My sister decided not to change her last name last yr when she got married. She just had a baby girl in April and my Aunt who lives about 5 hrs away and is in her 70's sent my sister a card and cheque with for my sisters baby. The cheque was made to her husbands last name. My sister sent the cheque back and sent a very nice note thanking her but told her she never changed her name. It took about 3 weeks and she got a card back with a zellars gift certificate inside. All the card said was: This money is for Sierra(baby) underlined 3 times I don't agree with you not doing the name change Its crazy Only hope you know what you are doing What your child must think(My sister has a 9 yr old to) We thought you were kidding when you told us at your wedding. Well its your life. She didn't even sign the card We love our aunt and we think she is starting to loose her mind alittle, because she has said some pretty mean things lately. What I am asking is what would you write back to her. My sister want to thank her for the money and defend herself at the same time Thanks
9 people like this
19 responses
@Woodpigeon (3710)
• Ireland
6 Jun 07
That is a bit sad. I have an elderly aunt-in-law that also can't accept that I didn't change my name to her nephew's. Whenever she sends me anything in the mail she always makes a point of addressing it to Mrs. X XXXXX. It used to irritate me that she doesn't respect my choice and chooses to drag the subject out but I have decided sh is just an old lady and a product of hr era. While I see it as being someone's property, she pprobably considers it that I am refusing an honour. I would just send the thank you note and let it go. It sounds like your old auntie is looking for a fight.
@AmbiePam (50259)
• United States
6 Jun 07
It is hard to change someone's mind about things like this, when it has been ingrained in them throughout their life that it isn't right.
2 people like this
• Ireland
6 Jun 07
No kidding. She's bigger than me. Shoot, she's bigger than my husband. I'm not going to fight with her about it!
1 person likes this
@magica (3710)
• Bulgaria
6 Jun 07
Well...this sounds as struggle of pride and predjuces.Your sister must be delicate. Just thank you is enough.No need to continue this useless argument.
2 people like this
• Philippines
6 Jun 07
I think it's better to just say thanks and live it at that. Because going into a lengthy discussion would only zap your sister's energy, and might even lead to estrangement. She just have to be the open minded one. Your aunt came from a totally different era and during her time no woman would think of NOT USING her husband's name. It might hurt your sister's pride yes but this is one of those situations where it would be better to turn a deaf ear.
2 people like this
@teison2 (5924)
• Norway
6 Jun 07
I understand your sisters need to defend herself. In my experience it does not work well. I have a relative that writes things like this to the rest of us. If we politely answer she will get worse and worse. If she is able to do it I would advice her to just thank her for the gift and leave it at that. I agree that something might be going on with your aunt - if so it is just useless to write her how your sister feels. it may lead to a lot of hurt feelings and grief. It is extremely hard, I know.
@angelface23 (2498)
• United States
6 Jun 07
I would of taken the check the first time and just signed it over to my husband to get cashed. Then I would have written her telling her that I didn't change my last name. That way I wouldn't lose out on the money. It's your sister's life and if she chooses not to change her last name then who is your aunt to be mad at her for it.
• Canada
7 Jun 07
Can you do that though...because it didn't have her husbands name on it?
2 people like this
• United States
7 Jun 07
yeah he would just have to go to the bank with her so they can verify his identity.
1 person likes this
@ShawnDay (227)
6 Jun 07
This is just one example of what's to come when you have kids and different last names. Tell your sister to always carry the child's actual birth certificate stating she is the mother because schools, hospitals, the police, and anyone else you can think of will insist she prove the relationship. Nice name, btw.
1 person likes this
@vampoet (825)
• Singapore
6 Jun 07
I know many people who do not change their last name. I don't see why it should concern anyone else. As long as she and her husband are alright with it then I guess it is fine. Changing name is a man-made custom. Lightning will not strike you just because you refuse to change name.
1 person likes this
@AmbiePam (50259)
• United States
6 Jun 07
I would send a thank you card. A very brief one. I have some older relatives who have gotten to where they have little or no manners. I don't know if this is old age or a personality change. But seeing as though your sister didn't chnage her last name, I have no doubt she is above and beyond the pettiness of her aunt. Your sister has a back bone with class to boot.
• United States
6 Jun 07
Your aunt sounds like my mother. They say things that hurt and think it is just fine to say because they are elderly and "they" said it. I would politely thank her for the gift, tell it was appreciate and let it go at that. It will just cause hurt feelings if your sister tries to defend herself. In my opinion it just isn't worth the headache. I just let things like that slide, but that is just me.
• Canada
5 Sep 07
I'm getting married tomorrow (holy crap, I'm getting married tomorrow!!!! I think that's the first time I've seen it in writing) and I'm not changing my name. My name is L Christensen, and I am marrying W Bennett. I will remain L Christensen, and he will remain W Bennett. As for the Aunt, I'd write: Dear Aunt. Though my decision is not traditional, it is mine and mine alone. Yes, you meant well, but your comments on my decision were totally inappropriate. Just because we're not doing things your way does not mean we are not doing things the right way. We appreciate the money, and hope that in the future you will mind your own business regarding our decisions. Signed FIRST AND LAST NAME
• Canada
5 Sep 07
PS It didn't occur to me until I hit "send" but "Zellers?" You must be in Canada somewhere!! I'm also half Canadian, and have a place in Canada. I live between Canada and the USA. Right now I'm in Arizona.
@KissThis (3006)
• United States
7 Jun 07
I would probably send her a note that thanked her for the gift that she gave my child. I wouldn't even mention the comment she made to me about how she feels about my decision. Older people have a harder time accepting change. They are use to wives taking their husbands last name. Your Aunt should respect her Nieces decision just like your Niece should respect her Aunts opinion. I think that this would be something best discussed in person so that your sister could explain again why she didn't take her husbands last name and so your aunt could explain why it means so much to her for her niece to have her husbands last name.
@5000ml (1923)
• Belgium
7 Jun 07
I sometimes feel that some older people simply don't have a clue how much the world has changed from when they were young. My own grandmother said some very rude things to me just because she couldn't accept that I was a modern woman. I let her know I wasn't happy with her comments and stopped talking to her for a while. She understood that I was upset because of her, but she throught I was really angry at her, which I wasn't, but she apparently never stopped thinking that which makes me a little sad.
@DavidReedy (2411)
• United States
7 Jun 07
Should just leave it alone. Now I"ve got my own opinions, but for the sake of civility I'll leave them out of this, but understandably a person in their seventies is going to be set in their ways and on tradition. Might as well just ignore the rudeness, real and percieved.
@lafavorito (2966)
• Philippines
7 Jun 07
It's a woman's choice if she wants to change her name or not. Your aunt seemed to be really grouchy nowadays so I think you'll just have to let this one pass and thank her for the money. Maybe you can just say that 'we all have our own opinion regarding the name change and let's just respect each other's decision'. Your aunt might get hurt if your sister says something about the name change, old people are very sensitive. On the other hand, if your sister let this one pass without defending herself there will be no tension between them.
@amsharma (1861)
• United States
7 Jun 07
I would be upset too if I were your sister. Im not sure why your Aunt feels that it is her business what surname the baby has. Your sister is the babys mother and she has every right to give the baby whatever name she chooses. I would try having a serious talk with her and just let her know that what she is doing is bothering her. She needs to talk to her in person or on the phone though, not through mail. Things can easily be taken the wrong way when written. Good luck to her!
@tonixxx (358)
6 Jun 07
I would send a card with a nice verse and would write on the back. "We would like to thank you for the gift you sent for Sierra, we have split this between the two children, they appreciated it very much. My husband and i had discussed changing my surname as is expected by many but decided that it was our vows that were of importance and our love for each other. We also thought that it would cause less confusion for the TWO children. I would like to again thank you for your kind gesture and wish you well". Well something to that effect it appauls me that your Aunt has forgotten about the eldest child, i know i shouldn't but i will anyway, am i too presume that the children do not share a father? This ofcourse carries a bit of a stigma with the elderly and infirm, however they should be reminded that thingts were not as perfect as they like us to believe. And never the less the child can not be blamed, i don't think that the mother should either. Perhaps you should take the view that she should be humoured as she is obviously quite senior and old fashioned, my nanna is the same, they mean no harm but women do tend to get bitter and opinionated as they age. Congrats to your sister and she should do what ever makes her happy.
• Canada
6 Jun 07
I personally find that if people try to defend themselves, no matter how politely, the situation just gets worse and worse. If I was in your sisters shoes, I would just write back and thank her for the gift and leave it at that. Elderly people tend to think in terms of how things were when they were our age. As such, many things that are considered normal for us, are usually pretty shocking and disgusting to someone in their 70's. No amount of talking about it will change their mind. I understand that your sister wants to defend herself. But honestly, she doesn't have to. It IS her decision, and if certain family members can't live with that - oh well. It's their problem, not your sisters.
@Lindalinda (4112)
• Canada
6 Jun 07
Dear Shawna, Your siater should just send a nice thank you to your aunt and tell her what she plans to use the certificate from Zellers for.(for Sierra of course) It would be futile to defend herself. It seems some people get meaner with age. I noticed that with people whom I have known for more than 40 years. Lol I hope this will not happen to me. (I am 68)
• United States
6 Jun 07
At your aunts age no matter what your sister says to defend herself it will not matter. You have to remember that in the time that your aunt was growing up and became a women it was accepted that when a women got married she would take her husbands last name. Now for the age we live in the generation now doesn't think it is a big deal to keep the maiden name. This is not said in a out of the way way. It is a accepted practice now. It is up to the women if she desires to do so. Both of my sisters kept the maiden name. My mom could not understand why but it was my sisters choice. I would just send her a thank you card for the money and not try to defend yourself it will get you no where and possibly risk hurting her feelings. Remember she is living in memory in past times and this was not done then.