April 14, 2024
Aren't they implying she's lucky she found someone to marry her?

DEAR MISS MANNERS: My daughter became engaged, and I joined her for several visits to bridal salons to look at wedding dresses. At each salon, the woman assisting us introduced herself, then offered congratulations to my daughter on her engagement.

Related Articles

Advice |


Miss Manners: At what age should one start picking up the tab?

Advice |


Miss Manners: Am I out of line in asking people not to hide during video meetings?

Advice |


Miss Manners: I confronted the bride about the exclusion, and she got defensive

Advice |


Miss Manners: I was annoyed by the fuss over the cost of my dinner

Advice |


Miss Manners: They stormed off and forgot the cooler. Do I have to keep it for them?

I have always understood that one offers congratulations to a groom-to-be on his good fortune at being accepted by such a lovely lady. But saying “congratulations” to a lady implies that she is lucky to have found someone who would marry her.

I always say “best wishes” to the affianced lady, but somehow that does not seem sufficiently heartfelt these days. What is proper?

GENTLE READER: Proper-proper, as in a distinction only you and Miss Manners remember and follow? One that, if not followed, does no harm?

Yes, “best wishes” is proper. And the premise was exactly as you describe, which may explain why it has fallen out of use.

If you think “best wishes” is not enough, you could add “for your happiness.”

DEAR MISS MANNERS: My husband’s family lives in different areas of the country, and we see them a few times a year. He likes to invite them to a restaurant at our expense.

It is left up to me to find a nice restaurant and make the reservations. It could be a group as large as a dozen people. Why is it so difficult to get a response from them — a simple yes or no?

I feel terrible making a reservation for a dozen people and then, on the day of the dinner, having to change the number.

Any suggestions to make this go a little smoother and keep my blood pressure down?

GENTLE READER: It’s not just your husband’s family. Apparently it is nearly everybody. Miss Manners is deluged with complaints from hosts who cannot get firm commitments from their guests.

They hedge, or they don’t respond at all. They accept but do not attend, or decline but show up anyway — sometimes with guests of their own.

All they have to do is decide whether they want to attend, inform the host of their decision (with thanks) and then do it, unless there is a death in the family.

Why is that so hard?

It should be noted that when the event is at a restaurant, or catered, as a wedding may be, some people make the mistake of thinking a head count is not important. Of course it is. The hosts are likely to be charged for no-shows.

But beyond that, treating an offer of hospitality like that is insulting. Someone has expressed a desire to see you and is willing to go to some trouble to entertain you. Failure to treat that overture as important, whether or not you accept the invitation, is a clear statement that the host means nothing to you.

Please forgive this rant. You know what they should do; the problem is that they don’t. And we need to get your blood pressure down.

Can you stick your husband with this job? It’s his family. Or you could pick one of the relatives, possibly the most negligent one, and issue a deadline by which that person should give the restaurant a final count directly. If nobody shows up one year, it will be a lesson learned.

Please send your questions to Miss Manners at her website, www.missmanners.com; to her email, [email protected]; or through postal mail to Miss Manners, Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.

Related Articles

Advice |


Travel Troubleshooter: This Vacasa rental is disgusting. Can I get my money back?

Advice |


Ask Amy: She’s embarrassing her co-workers. How can I get her to stop?

Advice |


Harriette Cole: People say I’m clairvoyant, but in this case it didn’t help me

Advice |


Miss Manners: At what age should one start picking up the tab?

Advice |


Dear Abby: After this awkward encounter, my neighbor posted notes about me in the building

>