Gentle Reader: From your description, your mother’s reaction to the proposed celebration is unpleasant and unsympathetic, but, given her past behavior, unsurprising.
What, if anything, can be done? Miss Manners fears that you cannot force someone to be a guest of honor. But you can, privately, remind her that hers are not the only feelings to be considered. You can say that you know how unassuming she is, but that you and your sisters and the grandchildren would enjoy the celebration, and you know it would mean a lot to your father.
If she still refuses, you will have to find alternatives that do not require her consent, such as calling with chatty good wishes on the day, and sending flowers.
Dear Miss Manners: I’ve been notified of a friend’s engagement. Others have stated that a gift is in order, some having already sent one. Is this something new?
I thought that simply offering congratulations was sufficient for an engagement. As it is, I intend to send a present to the bridal shower and then another for the wedding. She’ll also be having a baby shower before she walks down the aisle, and I will be shopping for that event, too.
How many gifts do I need to be giving here?