Miss Manners: the rude observation becomes irreverent in cocktail parties


Dear Miss Manners: I share a name with a high profile politician and recently I attended a cocktail party for my husband's office. As I was introduced to the wife of one of his colleagues, after hearing my name, she wrinkled her nose and said, "Ugh! Oh nooooo, I have this name, all I can think of when I feel that name is [politician]".

I stared in shock for a moment, then said, "Well, I guess we can not be friends, damn it." Then he turned and walked away.

Other colleagues think that eventually it will come back to bite my husband. He does not care a bit. What should I say?

What you said was not the problem. It was rather the way you probably said it, and the abrupt next turn, which could have future repercussions.

How lucky you have a husband who found it fascinating. Miss Manners hopes that her loyalty – or disinterest, as the case may be – will continue for any future career. However, he recommends that none of you consider politics.

Dear Miss Manners: My son and his future wife decided to celebrate their marriage and their reception with "no son", apart from his nephews and nephews. We are a very large family, so this is difficult, even if we are coming to accept it.

Now, for the shower I'm planning for them, they said they want "only women". Well, this cuts off all single male men and cousins. And some of the older women will not be able to come, as their husbands are their drivers. Some of the new moms are not sure to participate, as those who will watch the children?

How much do you say that the future bride has in the next shower? It seems that my family is slowly excluded. Or should I be quiet and be happy that at least I am invited to the wedding?

This bride would surely do it you thought so That you want to exclude children is problematic, because the guests will see all those nephews and will not necessarily control their bloodlines.

Whether you want the unique dictatorship on who comes to take a shower you're hosting (or, more likely, they've been educated to host) without a practical consideration for your guests it's equally office. Although it is not a tradition with which Miss Manners agrees, she assumes that the bride assumes that "only women" is traditional for showers. But then, traditionally, showers are never given by family members – or to be.

You could politely point out the many inconveniences these exclusions entail for your guests. Or, if it has no effect, perhaps the notion of receiving less presents will do so.

Dear Miss Manners: In planning the party for my mother's 80th birthday, I thought it would be nice for her husband, each of her children, her brothers and her best friend (75 years old!) To wear corsets / boutonnieres.

The mother, of course, would be a little bigger than the others. Would everything be appropriate?

Only if your mother approves. While a well-meaning gesture, blocking key players with identifying foliage is redundant to the fullest. Presumably, most of your guests – and with a bit of luck, your mother – will know who they are. But if she and she would like, Miss Manners will not hinder anyone and her green.

The new Miss Manners columns are published Monday through Saturday at washingtonpost.com/advice. You can send questions to Miss Manners on her website, missmanners.com.

2018, by Judith Martin


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