Is baby saddleache with a problematic name?
Dear Amy: My dear sister, Karen, passed away less than a year ago from surgery. His death was totally unexpected.
I have a large family and we have all been in mourning.
My daughter recently found out that she was pregnant and had a baby girl. She wants to call her Karen, after her beloved aunt.
Everyone in the family is honored by this gesture, but my daughter is worried about saddling a little girl with that name because of the current memes that “Karen” is a problematic, demanding, racist and out of touch privileged white woman. in many ways heinous.
My sister was the opposite of “Karen” in memes.
Our family would appreciate your advice.
Still in mourning
Dear mourning: I am very sorry for this shocking loss to your family.
Yes, if parents wish, they shouldn’t hesitate to name this child Karen. If they don’t want Karen as a first name, they could use it as a middle name.
The “Karen” meme appears to come from a long-standing routine of comedian Dane Cook: “The Friend Nobody Loves.”
Don’t know (or remember) who Dane Cook is? A few years ago he was selling Madison Square Garden. Now, not so much.
Memes appear, spontaneously springing from popular culture, then, almost as suddenly, memes transform into other meanings, then disappear again – something like Dane Cook’s career.
The true story of a beloved family member and your memories of her will last much longer, especially with a young person with her name.
I think that’s a great way to get the name back.
Dear Amy: My parents, in the late 1970s, did not plan to be vaccinated against COVID. While we’ve had respectful conversations on the matter, I don’t expect me to persuade them to change their minds.
They have no underlying health issues and still live independently, in their own homes, several hours away from us.
One of our children graduates in June. My husband and I are vaccinated, and our children (all eligible) will be vaccinated by then.
We invited my parents to join us. They are delighted, because we haven’t seen them for a year. They will stay with us and take part in our outdoor open house, along with several of my siblings (probably unvaccinated).
As a vaccine supporter, I am terrified of the risk my parents are taking.
They feel it is their choice. I respect this, but should it affect my planning for graduation events? Should this affect our future interactions?
Dear disappointed: I recognize that your parents are taking a risk by traveling, unvaccinated. Not only are they risking their own health, but if they contract the coronavirus, perhaps while traveling, they could pass it on to others without even knowing it. As you know, the vaccine protects people against the more serious forms of the disease caused by the virus.
If you insist that your parents be with you (after all, you invited them), planning outdoor group events seems safer for them and for other unvaccinated people they come into contact with.
Graduation and wedding season will bring a host of situations just like yours.
Each family should use their own judgment on what to do, following current CDCs and their local guidelines.
Yes, your parents have the right to refuse vaccination; however, their rights do not override yours.
I know of groups that have made vaccination a qualification to meet; you could have pressured your loved ones to get vaccinated if you had done the same.
In the short term, it would be safer for you and other vaccinated family members to travel to visit loved ones, rather than for them to visit you.
Dear Amy: You challenged “Adoring Mom”, when she described a recent reunion with her daughter, after a very long separation of several years. She said she didn’t know why the separation happened and you didn’t seem to believe her.
I believe you owe him – and the other parents of separated children – an apology!
Dear upset: I think it’s pretty common not to know the reasons for a separation, but what I took issue with in “Adoring Mom” was her reluctance to discuss the separation with her daughter, after they reconciled.
This mom was worried that talking about it (or being “boring”) would lead to further estrangement.
I saw this as the girl’s continued (and successful) effort to control her.
You can email Amy Dickinson at [email protected] or send a letter to Ask Amy, PO Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068. You can also follow her on Twitter @askingamy or Facebook.