DEAR MISS MANNERS: I am a small-animal veterinarian. Often, when people hear of my career, they coo, “Oh, I wanted to be a vet too, but I’m just too tenderhearted.” Sometimes they’ll follow up with a horrified whisper: “All that euthanasia! How can you do it? Don’t you feel horrible?”
Miss M, this makes me feel like a monster.
I am proud to be able to offer animals a good death and end their suffering. When people call me to euthanize their pets, they are desperate. They’ve seen their best friend go downhill in a hurry. They are often emotional wrecks, and their gratitude for my service is clear and genuine.
Yes, I am morally comfortable assisting people to say goodbye, and helping their beloved pets over the edge into the great unknown, or rainbow bridge, or chance at reincarnation, or whatever awaits them. But I am wounded by comments like these.
Please don’t say I’m too sensitive. The hypothetical person I’m talking with has just said I succeeded in becoming a vet because I am insensitive.
Can you offer an appropriate response that I can whip out in a hurry? I don’t want to be insulting, but I do want folks to see how their insensitive remarks sting.
GENTLE READER: After thanking them for the insult, Miss Manners presumes.
“I can assure you it is never easy to euthanize. But the alternative is far crueler.”
DEAR MISS MANNERS: I’m unsure about the most respectful and polite way to refer to my late grandmother’s partner.
She and my grandmother had been together for about 20 years when my grandmother passed away. While they never married, even after the marriage equality act passed, they wore rings. I considered their relationship as serious and committed as any marriage.
I have only ever called her by her first name, which is consistent with how I refer to my grandfather’s wife, so calling her “my grandmother” sounds strange to me, and referring to her as “my step-grandmother” feels cold and detached.
I’ve been simply calling her “my grandmother’s partner,” but then for some reason I feel the need to clarify that my grandmother has since passed, possibly to give a little more context to our relationship.
She’s been a part of my family for most of my life, so she pops up in a lot of stories from my childhood and current vacations, and I want to be able to explain her role in my life without tripping over long explanations or dredging up the feelings of loss from my grandmother’s passing.
Because my grandfather is still alive, I don’t feel the same conundrum when referring to his wife — she’s simply called “my grandfather’s wife.”
Am I overcomplicating this?
GENTLE READER: Yes.
The word you are looking for is “late.” As in my “late grandmother’s partner.”
Miss Manners is aware that some listeners may confuse this for a business relationship, but then you can always follow up by saying “romantic partner.”
DEAR MISS MANNERS: Is slurping your hot coffee rude?
GENTLE READER: Yes. And very likely painful.
Please send your questions to Miss Manners at her website, www.missmanners.com; to her email, [email protected]; or through postal mail to Miss Manners, Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.
Soruce : https://www.mercurynews.com/2023/06/10/miss-manners-insulted-when-they-imply-im-a-monster/