Friend with dual per­sonas has host won­der­ing whom to in­vite

The Oklahoman (Sunday) - - SUNDAY LIFE -

DEAR MISS MANNERS: How do I ad­dress an in­vi­ta­tion to any in­di­vid­ual who has dual per­sonas? As we fre­quently host rather large so­cial events, I am al­ways striv­ing to set an ex­am­ple for proper pro­to­col.

We have sev­eral friends who are gen­der-fluid. One in par­tic­u­lar is very well-known in the local com­mu­nity, news me­dia and po­lit­i­cal arena as both a male and a fe­male, with dif­fer­ent names for each per­sona.

I would like to know how to ex­tend an in­vi­ta­tion to some­one in this sit­u­a­tion without dic­tat­ing which “ver­sion” of them I would like to ap­pear at our event.

I’m ba­si­cally ex­pect­ing the in­vi­tee to de­cide who to be and what to wear. Should we send two separate in­vi­ta­tions to the same ad­dress, each with the ap­pro­pri­ate name? Or one in­vi­ta­tion with both names (which looks like we are invit­ing a cou­ple)? Or sim­ply de­cide which per­sona we want to ap­pear at our event, and ad­dress the in­vi­ta­tion to only one?

I pre­fer to pass the buck, and of­fer the free­dom of self­de­ter­mi­na­tion to the in­vi­tee, but am un­sure how to do so.

GEN­TLE READER: Is­sue one in­vi­ta­tion and ad­dress it us­ing the con­junc­tion “or” between the two names. That way your guest is free to de­cide which per­sona will be at­tend­ing.

DEAR MISS MANNERS: My wife is to­tally dis­abled and re­quires 24-hour care. For­tu­nately, I have the means to pro­vide her with a team of care­givers who look af­ter her in our own home.

The em­ploy­ees are all young women, and I gen­er­ally al­low them to dress how­ever they choose.

One of them is par­tic­u­larly strik­ing in ap­pear­ance and very well-en­dowed. The con­cern is that she of­ten wears cloth­ing that is a lit­tle too re­veal­ing.

Although I’m old enough to be her grand­fa­ther, and to­tally loyal to my wife, some of her cloth­ing choices still make me un­com­fort­able.

How can I gen­tly ask her to dress more mod­estly without em­bar­rass­ing her or com­ing across as a dirty old man?

GEN­TLE READER: Of course, you are not sup­posed to no­tice her ap­pear­ance or what she is wear­ing.

But re­quir­ing proper dress is within the rea­son­able ju­ris­dic­tion of the em­ployer, es­pe­cially, Miss Manners would as­sume, in health care.

If there is a third-party em­ployer, like an agency or hospi­tal that might be bet­ter equipped to ad­dress the sit­u­a­tion, go there first. But if you are the di­rect em­ployer, you may say, “I won­der if it might be bet­ter for the team to wear care­giver at­tire. That way, we won’t worry about your ru­in­ing your dressy clothes with our mess.”

Please send your ques­tions to Miss Manners at her web­site, www.miss­man­; to her email, dearmiss­man­ners@gmail. com; or through postal mail to Miss Manners, An­drews McMeel Syn­di­ca­tion, 1130 Wal­nut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.)

Ju­dith Martin


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