DEAR MISS MANNERS: My fiancé and I are slowly planning a wedding that will take place next year. We are very lucky to have large families and many friends.
We also have a beautiful house, full of heirloom silverware and crockery and everything we could possibly need or want. We find the marriage records corny and have no need or desire for cash gifts or a “honeymoon fund”.
Is there a way to express to our guests that we won’t be checking in for freebies and it won’t look like a cash grab? All we want is for the ones we love to come and enjoy our special day with us.
It seems that in this case it’s a lose-lose situation: with a gift list, you ask for gifts, but without it, it seems that you ask for money. We do not want to communicate either of these things to our guests.
GENTLE READER: Isn’t it sad that people now assume that brides and grooms should expect to take advantage of their guests in some way? And you’re probably right that any objection from you will raise suspicion that you want payments without having to launder your take in gifts.
Miss Manners is afraid your only response to inquiries is, “You know, we haven’t thought of that because we really aren’t concerned with getting anything.”
DEAR MISS MANNERS: My neighbor insists that when sending a card, it should be placed with the front facing the front of the envelope. Whenever she receives cards during the holidays or on her birthday, the first thing she does is say whether they were “properly positioned” or not.
I don’t know of such picayune dictates regarding the placement of cards in envelopes, and I have the impression that my neighbor is mean-spirited.
Could Miss Manners clarify this not-so-pressing issue that I’ve been dwelling on for far too long?
GENTLE READER: The mystery is why people who grossly criticize other people’s manners so often ignore the rules. Unsolicited instruction is not a sensitive issue, as it taints etiquette by portraying it as rudeness.
Aside from the greater transgression of putting people down in the act of wishing them well, your neighbor is just plain wrong. Since envelopes are opened from the back where the flap is, the contents should face that way.
DEAR MISS MANNERS: How should I react to a friend and church member who sent an email asking the company to sell my father’s house – just a month after he died?
The email didn’t ask about how I was doing or how the family was doing, although she brought us flowers two weeks ago.
GENTLE READER: So your friend has expressed his sympathy. Miss Manners hopes you’ve already thanked her for that. Yes? Because that’s the only reaction you owe him.
These days, “Someone wants to buy your house” emails are sent indiscriminately, even to people who aren’t homeowners. That your sympathetic friend has misjudged when you’ll be emotionally ready to face the issue of what to do with your dad’s house doesn’t seem so intrusive.
(Please send your questions to Miss Manners on her website, www.missmanners.com; to his email, [email protected]; or by mail to Miss Manners, Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.)
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