Antelope Valley Press (Sunday) - - Puzzles - By Ju­dith Martin, Ni­cholas Ivor Martin and Jacobina Martin

Dear Miss Man­ners: At my hus­band’s re­quest, I agreed to ask friends to make a con­tri­bu­tion, in his name, to a drama schol­ar­ship fund. Due to the amount raised in his name, he was given the op­por­tu­nity to act in a short one-act play, writ­ten by a well-known play­wright and star­ring a well-known ac­tor.

I’ve told him he should send thank-you notes (or emails) to each of the friends who con­trib­uted. He an­swered that say­ing “thank you” to them per­son­ally was enough. I know a note would be ap­pre­ci­ated, so I ended up writ­ing emails my­self. Do you think he should send thank-you notes?

Dear Gen­tle Reader: He’ll get back to these peo­ple, you may be sure. Just wait un­til the show he is in is sched­uled, and he goes after his bene­fac­tors to buy tick­ets.

Some may feel that he treated their con­tri­bu­tions in an off­hand man­ner. But even if not, Miss Man­ners would think that your hus­band would rel­ish the op­por­tu­nity to stoke their en­thu­si­asm with a let­ter of grat­i­tude.

Dear Miss Man­ners: When we in­vited our neigh­bors over for a cook­out, one neigh­bor took an ear of corn and spun it around on top of a stick of but­ter that was in the but­ter dish on the ta­ble. I have never seen any­thing like this in my life.

Even my kids were shocked. This can­not be ac­cept­able eti­quette, can it?

Dear Gen­tle Reader: To mess around in com­mu­nal dishes? No. Your chil­dren are right to be shocked.

Dear Miss Man­ners: Has the wed­ding in­vi­ta­tion to a sin­gle per­son with the head­ing “and guest” com­pletely gone by the way­side? This used to be in­cluded on the wed­ding in­vi­ta­tions I re­ceived; I no­tice in the re­cent past it has not.

I un­der­stand bridal cou­ples are try­ing to save, but this seems to be at the ex­pense of the guest’s com­fort. As a widow, of course I go to so­cial oc­ca­sions alone when I have to, but it’s much more fun if I can bring some­one.

I feel like it’s just an­other pun­ish­ment for not be­ing part of a (mar­ried) cou­ple. I’m alone, but not dead.

Dear Gen­tle Reader: It was never an eti­quette-sanc­tioned cus­tom to dep­u­tize wed­ding guests to in­vite their own guests. “And guest” is an inherently rude phrase, as it means that no at­tempt has been made to find out the per­son’s name.

Mar­ried and en­gaged part­ners were al­ways in­cluded, but per­haps, as so­ci­ety be­gan to rec­og­nize sta­ble cou­ples who were nei­ther, hosts gave up try­ing to fig­ure out who qual­i­fied. Or per­haps they yielded to pres­sure from peo­ple like you, who viewed wed­dings as op­por­tu­ni­ties for fun that would not be pro­vided by so­cial­iz­ing with the cou­ple’s friends and rel­a­tives.

It is not about pun­ish­ing you. Nor is it nec­es­sar­ily about money. It may be about not want­ing strangers at such a per­sonal oc­ca­sion.

Miss Man­ners urges you to re­gard your friends’ wed­dings as op­por­tu­ni­ties to meet the peo­ple they care about.

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

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