Well, that’s a bit rude.

September 30th, 2012 · 67 comments

Emily in Texas remembers her parents being convinced she was most uncouth child ever born — they even sent her to etiquette school to clean up her act. Well, she got a rude reminder of those days when she found this birthday card in the back of her closet.

Dear Daughter, We wish you [a] very Happy 7th Birthday and hope you will make us proud of you by doing everything better [particularly] on your [manners]. from Mom & Dad

related: Happy Valentine’s Day from Mom

FILED UNDER: birthday · etiquette · Moms & Dads · spelling and grammar police · Texas


67 responses so far ↓

  • #1   Lauren

    If my English was that poor I wouldn’t be lecturing anyone about their manner.

    Sep 30, 2012 at 10:59 am   rating: 140  small thumbs up

    • #1.1   Jeff

      subjunctive here please!

      Oct 1, 2012 at 4:56 pm   rating: 5  small thumbs up

       
    • #1.2   raichu

      *were

      Oct 2, 2012 at 9:01 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

       
    • #1.3   Poltergeist

      No, Lauren was correct in her use of the word “was.”

      You’re obviously not ready to take on the responsibilities of being a Raichu. Please devolve into a Pikachu.

      Oct 3, 2012 at 12:18 pm   rating: 11  small thumbs up

       
    • #1.4   Wendy

      You can use “were” instead of “was” as well, seeing as Lauren was talking about a hypothetical situation.

      Oct 6, 2012 at 1:18 am   rating: 1  small thumbs up

       
     
  • #2   havingfitz

    Dear Mom and Dad:

    I’ve talked with the shoddy nursing home I plan to stick you in, and they’ve assured me that my manners are impeccable!

    Love
    Daughter

    Sep 30, 2012 at 11:06 am   rating: 175  small thumbs up

     
  • #3   HolierThanThou

    If this is real, I just died a little bit inside.

    Sep 30, 2012 at 11:38 am   rating: 64  small thumbs up

     
  • #4   Joey Jo Jo

    I find it hard to believe how impersonal this is. “Dear Daughter?” “From Mom & Dad?” People don’t write like that when directly addressing a specific person.

    Sep 30, 2012 at 11:43 am   rating: 28  small thumbs up

    • #4.1   Rebecca

      They might if they themselves are semi-literate people who have no manners.

      Sep 30, 2012 at 11:49 am   rating: 38  small thumbs up

       
    • #4.2   Poltereist

      “Sorry, but you are mistaken. My name isn’t really Emily. My name is Daughter. Emily is just what it says on my birth certificate.”

      “Love? What is ‘love’? We don’t ‘love’ Daughter, we ‘from’ Daughter.”

      Oct 1, 2012 at 12:15 am   rating: 20  small thumbs up

       
    • #4.3   H for Toy

      I’m sad to say I know several parents like this – thankfully, not my own. They have children either by mistake, or because it’s expected, and they spend that child’s life being more concerned about what people might think, than how their child’s character is developing. One mother I knew used to try to beat the “uncouth” out of her daughter, but always insisted everyone present a happy family face to the world. It does make for some screwed-up adults!

      Oct 1, 2012 at 8:26 am   rating: 35  small thumbs up

       
    • #4.4   Fireseeker

      My dad addresses me this way when he is slightly annoyed with me; perhaps her parents are implying the same thing?

      Oct 1, 2012 at 8:31 am   rating: 11  small thumbs up

       
    • #4.5   Juniper

      My mother addresses a lot of my cards this way. She’s a nice mom. It’s just her way of ‘formalizing’ her words … which are usually more of serious ‘love you’ nature.

      Oct 1, 2012 at 8:42 am   rating: 8  small thumbs up

       
     
  • #5   Merri

    Their English usage makes me think they’re from another country and a different culture.

    Sep 30, 2012 at 11:51 am   rating: 37  small thumbs up

    • #5.1   kermit

      I think this level of P.A. is universally considered to be douchey no matter the culture.

      Sep 30, 2012 at 1:17 pm   rating: 67  small thumbs up

       
     
  • #6   matylda

    hahaha, the handwriting isn’t very good either.

    Sep 30, 2012 at 12:16 pm   rating: 3  small thumbs up

     
  • #7   mouse

    I guess it takes one to know one!

    Sep 30, 2012 at 3:26 pm   rating: 2  small thumbs up

     
  • #8   meri

    This is like something straight out of that Tiger Mother book. Some people should not have children.

    Sep 30, 2012 at 3:58 pm   rating: 30  small thumbs up

    • #8.1   Jessi

      Most people shouldn’t.

      Oct 1, 2012 at 2:42 am   rating: 26  small thumbs up

       
    • #8.2   AP

      I was thinking that they sounded like they were immigrants from a very traditional culture.

      Oct 1, 2012 at 10:12 am   rating: 9  small thumbs up

       
    • #8.3   Wrench

      That was what I was thinking, too — probably immigrants, possibly Asian, either Chinese or Indian. (Shot in the dark, but stereotypes and all that…)

      Oct 1, 2012 at 2:23 pm   rating: 3  small thumbs up

       
    • #8.4   H for Toy

      The hyperlink on Emily’s name goes to a Twitter account, and one of the girls in the picture is Asian. It’s possible that her parents fall into that stereotype.

      Oct 1, 2012 at 7:46 pm   rating: 2  small thumbs up

       
    • #8.5   sunny

      nah…generally, i don’t think chinese parents send greeting cards to their kids. also they wouldn’t spend the $ to send them to etiquette school b/c life is strict enough at home.

      Oct 8, 2012 at 3:03 am   rating: 0  small thumbs up

       
     
  • #9   Anonymous

    This is sad.

    Sep 30, 2012 at 4:01 pm   rating: 22  small thumbs up

     
  • #10   Jami

    “Dear Mom & Dad,
    I’ll be sending you my therapy bills. I hope you do better at being human beings after paying them.
    Your Daughter”

    Emily, I just want to give you a big hug and your parents a big old smack upside their heads. I hope that’s alright with you.

    Sep 30, 2012 at 4:39 pm   rating: 82  small thumbs up

     
  • #11   missy13d69

    Wow. These parents obviously took classes on how to treat a child in order to make them fail at life. The fact that the poor girl was not to drunk to post this, proves that they failed. Thank goodness.

    Sep 30, 2012 at 7:54 pm   rating: 24  small thumbs up

     
  • #12   Alice

    Only seven? I would have cried.

    Sep 30, 2012 at 8:23 pm   rating: 41  small thumbs up

     
  • #13   Ace of Space

    Oh, make no mistake about it. This was strictly from Mom. She just dragged Dad into it for backup.

    Sep 30, 2012 at 10:20 pm   rating: 21  small thumbs up

     
  • #14   Poltereist

    I also like the implication that there are actually more things she needs to improve upon that went unmentioned. They obviously wanted her to think. Emily probably spent the bulk of her birthday going over every aspect of her behavior, personality, and appearance to figure out what else she’s been doing wrong.

    Oct 1, 2012 at 12:09 am   rating: 40  small thumbs up

     
  • #15   Who passed out the Haterade?

    Is anyone else sharply reminded of the Alanis Morrissette song Perfect?

    Oct 1, 2012 at 4:30 am   rating: 9  small thumbs up

     
  • #16   starspring

    I would have written:

    Dear Mom,

    School is great. I am becoming a prostitute. Have fun wiping the drool from Dad’s chin by yourself you cold-hearted bitch.

    p.s.- I won the lottery! suck it!

    Oct 1, 2012 at 5:02 am   rating: 14  small thumbs up

     
  • #17   Dane Zeller

    She found it in the back of her closet, huh? Maybe her parents put it there when some helpful adult told them to put the card where the sun don’t shine.

    Oct 1, 2012 at 7:56 am   rating: 7  small thumbs up

     
  • #18   rubydo51

    This just makes me so sad….I wonder how the relationship is between them now.

    Oct 1, 2012 at 9:58 am   rating: 14  small thumbs up

     
  • #19   Trish

    Dear Parents,
    I’m 7. If you don’t like my manners, maybe you should have taught them to me.
    Signed,
    Daughter.

    Oct 1, 2012 at 11:31 am   rating: 65  small thumbs up

    • #19.1   redheadwglasses

      Exactly this. If you have to send your child to “school” for etiquette, you’ve already failed as a parent.

      Oct 3, 2012 at 11:17 am   rating: 5  small thumbs up

       
     
  • #20   Tara

    Is anyone else surprised at the formality of the actual card? I don’t think I got a card that didn’t have a cartoon character or a cat on it until I was in college.

    Oct 1, 2012 at 12:04 pm   rating: 26  small thumbs up

    • #20.1   XJ

      Yes! That was the first thing that struck me too. Who gives a 7-year old a card like that? Like you, all my cards from my parents had cartoon animals on them, until I was well out of grade school.

      Oct 7, 2012 at 3:31 am   rating: 1  small thumbs up

       
     
  • #21   jenthehen

    this could have been written by my parents. if they hadn’t grounded me from my birthday, which was done on numerous occaisions. Emily and I should be best friends and start a support group.

    Oct 1, 2012 at 12:25 pm   rating: 29  small thumbs up

     
  • #22   Marky

    That is the saddest thing I’ve read in quite a while!

    Oct 1, 2012 at 12:27 pm   rating: 7  small thumbs up

     
  • #23   Rhea

    Dear Emily,

    I’m sorry your parents suck. Better luck next time.

    Oct 1, 2012 at 12:27 pm   rating: 19  small thumbs up

     
  • #24   RedDelicious

    Most cultures don’t understand the American way of coddling a child until they grow into completely inadequate adults.

    Oct 1, 2012 at 12:42 pm   rating: 15  small thumbs up

    • #24.1   kermit

      Even if the kid is a total wreck, it’s douchey to bring it up on their birthday card.

      There’s hundreds of other days of the year when you have the opportunity to bring up their inadequacies.

      Oct 1, 2012 at 12:52 pm   rating: 49  small thumbs up

       
    • #24.2   Poltergeist

      I didn’t realize addressing your child by their name, writing “love” instead of “from”, and not passive aggressively/rudely/hypocritically reminding a 7 year old on their birthday card that they need to improve their manners (as well as other things) were considered coddling.

      Oct 1, 2012 at 1:00 pm   rating: 54  small thumbs up

       
    • #24.3   ?

      I am from Finland and I do not understand how finding this card offensive is akin to coddling children. I do believe, however, that you an asshole if you think that this is the proper way to treat a child. I would hate to see your “culture.”

      Oct 1, 2012 at 1:16 pm   rating: 51  small thumbs up

       
    • #24.4   Rattus

      Daddy? Is that you?

      Oct 1, 2012 at 1:25 pm   rating: 23  small thumbs up

       
    • #24.5   pooham

       
    • #24.6   Alice

      Shhh! Don’t tell him your from Finland! The only people who disagree with RedDelicious are AMERICAN. He’s been everywhere and he can vouch for every country, you know.

      Oct 2, 2012 at 2:26 am   rating: 10  small thumbs up

       
    • #24.7   The Elf

      But on your birthday, Red Delicious? Your *birthday*? My parents were strict. But all punishments were temporarily suspended for my birthday.

      It’s not the message that is necessarily bad, but the timing and placement of it.

      Oct 2, 2012 at 6:10 am   rating: 7  small thumbs up

       
    • #24.8   Jamie

      “Inadequate” adults.

      Oct 2, 2012 at 10:18 am   rating: 0  small thumbs up

       
    • #24.9   Anony

      @Alice: *you’re

      Oct 2, 2012 at 7:13 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

       
    • #24.10   Alice

      You’re right, Anony. Sorry ’bout that. I’m not really cut out to combat American stereotypes.

      Oct 2, 2012 at 8:09 pm   rating: 3  small thumbs up

       
     
  • #25   Rachel

    Wow, I just want to give Emily a hug! Hopefully she has a nice life now with loving friends!!

    Oct 1, 2012 at 12:50 pm   rating: 9  small thumbs up

     
  • #26   Erin

    Dear Emily’s Parents:

    F you.

    Oct 1, 2012 at 2:00 pm   rating: 17  small thumbs up

     
  • #27   jaleo

    Five words: Emily’s parents are personality disordered.

    They view their daughter as an object and not a person. Welcome to our world. Kid of.

    Oct 1, 2012 at 2:55 pm   rating: 7  small thumbs up

     
  • #28   Lil'

    Everytime I read something like this it makes me even more grateful to have grown up in a home where my parents and grandparents enjoyed kids. We were taught to be respectful, but at the same time we were allowed to be kids. Poor Emily – this card was probably sticking out of the top of the self-help book they bought her that year…and didn’t even bother to wrap.

    Oct 1, 2012 at 3:38 pm   rating: 14  small thumbs up

     
  • #29   Trit

    I just wanted to say that “Dear Daughter” by itself is not offensive. My parents wrote me notes that started with “Dear Daughter” and they were not mean. I am first-generation Asian-American and my parents were just translating from their native language where it is normal to address family members by their relationship, ie “Hi cousin” or “Hello sister.”

    Oct 1, 2012 at 4:06 pm   rating: 22  small thumbs up

    • #29.1   piedlourde

      “Heeey, brother!”
      “Heeey, possible nephew!”
      “Heeey, father-uncle!”

      Oct 2, 2012 at 8:25 am   rating: 15  small thumbs up

       
     
  • #30   eeepah

    Seeing this card has had one positive outcome– parents like me will now, having seen it, be more stalwart in their desire to be better, more loving, more patient to their kids. I expect a lot out of my “Daughter,” but expecting her not to goof up and say uncouth stuff at the age of 7 from time to time is unrealistic. Saying uncouth stuff and being gently corrected is how you become… couth? (It’s doing the red squiggly thing that indicates couth isn’t a word.)

    Sounds like a case of “Hello, my name is Pot, and this is my ‘Daughter’ Kettle.”

    Oct 1, 2012 at 4:14 pm   rating: 13  small thumbs up

    • #30.1   H for Toy

      Pol Pot

      Oct 1, 2012 at 7:48 pm   rating: 7  small thumbs up

       
     
  • #31   JeffSaysICant

    Ah, what greater joy in the world than an instructive little birthday wish from Mom and Dad? It warms the cockles of my heart (and improves my manner, of course).

    Oct 2, 2012 at 8:17 am   rating: 6  small thumbs up

     
  • #32   Lark

    I actually got a card similar to this from my parents when I was little. We talked about it later after I’d grown up and they both said that it was one of the things they regretted hugely and realized was a big mistake – they’d been young parents from very strict homes and it…seemed like it would work in a ‘strict yet loving’ way at the time. It didn’t; it was incredibly hurtful and haunting, although I was too little to express how I felt. They said they could tell how bad it had made me feel but were uncertain of how to fix things. (As you can see, I have a pretty good and open relationship with my parents now.)

    Anyway – parents really do those things, but it can be poor parenting rather than cruelty.

    Oct 2, 2012 at 8:29 am   rating: 20  small thumbs up

    • #32.1   redheadwglasses

      I think having your parents admit things like this can make a huge difference in your understanding of them, and that they really were just trying their best.

      Oct 3, 2012 at 11:19 am   rating: 8  small thumbs up

       
     
  • #33   Brian

    When I hear ettiquite school (and words like “couth”) it makes me think of people who care more about appearance than reality. Manners are important (if only to avoid hurting others feelings), but that’s not what they teach at Ms. Manner’s academy.

    If you’re worried that your 7 year old is using the wrong fork on their salad…well go fork yourself.

    Oct 2, 2012 at 2:16 pm   rating: 12  small thumbs up

     
  • #34   agerman

    There is a German saying: Kinder erziehen ist zwecklos, sie machen den Eltern doch alles nach.

    Tries to translate:

    Educating children is futile, they just do like their parents.

    Oct 4, 2012 at 9:04 am   rating: 9  small thumbs up

     
  • #35   bloop

    Unpopular opinion, but…a lot of kids are complete sh*ts. The parents definitely sound unpleasant, but it’s very possible that little Emily was, in fact, a monstrous she-devil.

    Oct 5, 2012 at 1:28 am   rating: 5  small thumbs up

    • #35.1   Poltergeist

      The idea that some children behave terribly isn’t unpopular since it’s the truth, but regardless of Emily’s behavior, this was an extremely poor way to go about addressing the issue.

      Oct 5, 2012 at 12:37 pm   rating: 3  small thumbs up

       
    • #35.2   Alice

      Yeah, maybe she was, but this isn’t how you deal with it. Children can be horrible– but they’re also sensitive, especially when it comes to their parents. You’re young and naive, and you finally get a day where good things happen just for you, and your parents don’t even pretend to like you.

      If the kid was a monstrous she-devil, we know who she learned it from.

      Oct 5, 2012 at 1:12 pm   rating: 4  small thumbs up

       
     

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