by Diane
(Mississauga, Ontario, Canada)

My sons girlfriend addressed a birthday card to me calling me by my first name, which I don’t feel comfortable with.

In addressing a birthday card to her, will it be appropriate to write from Mrs. Diane Z.

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Signing a Card
by: Ms P Etiquette

Dear Mrs. Diane,

It is your prerogative as to how you are addressed. Perhaps you should speak to your son and have him speak to his girlfriend so as not to embarrass her. At least acknowledge that she sent you a birthday card. It is difficult, today, to know how people wish to be addressed as the times have shifted to a more informal way of speaking.

Thank you for your questions,

Ms. Practical Etiquette

by: Anonymous

I always ask someone what they prefer to be called, David as opposed to Dave, etc...

My parents were extremely formal and preferred to be called by their surname as opposed to their given names by my friends and associates. It is a sign of respect and everyone, especially someone younger than the person they are introduced should address their elder or counterpart by their formal name until told otherwise. Just common sense and good manners.

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