Dear Savvy Auntie,

I’m a grown woman, so this is a little embarrassing. But I notice that when my parents come to New York to visit, they bring my older brother, who is married with two kids, a really nice gift. Usually, it’s something for the house like a gorgeous platter or cake plates. I’m single without kids, and if I get anything, it’s like a sticky pad with my name on it or something. It’s like my brother gets the ‘adult’ gifts, and I get a juvenile gift. I’m 35! I am also, by the way, a senior corporate executive with an apartment that I own. Why do my parents treat me like a child – I dare to say just because I’m single?

Grown Up Auntie

Dear Grown Up Auntie,

Unfortunately, your parents sound quite old-fashioned believing one is only an adult when one is married (particularly females). It was not so long ago that men of your age were considered bachelors and women were called old maids. Do consider what you may contribute to this situation, even if it is only a minor contribution. Do you in any way behave like a child? How do you represent yourself as an adult?  Minimize the former and maximize the latter. I suggest cooking a meal for them, offering to take them out for dinner and talking about your responsibilities at work. You could also speak directly to them saying…”When you buy my brother something substantial and me something insignificant, I feel offended and like you view me as a child”. It is not so much the material value of the gift as the message behind it. I want you to see me as an adult, since I live my life as an adult.

Here’s Hoping,
Natalie Robinson Garfield ,

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