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

Dear Miss Man­ners: My best friend of sev­eral years and I are go­ing to dif­fer­ent colleges this fall, and will not see much of each other any­more. We want to keep in touch. I am close with her fam­ily; her par­ents are like an aunt and un­cle to me.

Two years ago, we had an op­tional band trip, which cost right around $800. I was not go­ing to go be­cause my fam­ily couldn’t af­ford it, and then I was told that some­one had paid the whole amount for me to go on the trip. I went and had a great time, es­pe­cially with my friend.

Af­ter think­ing about it, I re­al­ized that my friend’s par­ents were prob­a­bly be­hind the anony­mous gift, and my friend con­firmed it when I asked. Should I ac­knowl­edge their gen­eros­ity with a thank-you card?

It meant a lot to me that I got to go on that trip. And I feel that if I’m go­ing to send a card, I should do it be­fore I go to col­lege. But it also has been two years, and since I wasn’t sup­posed to know it was them, I never said any­thing about it.

I don’t want to make them un­com­fort­able, since it was anony­mous, but I also don’t want their gen­eros­ity to go un­rec­og­nized. What would you sug­gest?

Dear Gen­tle Reader: Cir­cum­stances have changed. Had you re­al­ized at the time that your friend’s par­ents were pay­ing your ex­penses, you would have been obliged to protest. That is why they kept it from you.

But there is no ques­tion of that now. You have much for which to thank them — not just the $800 — and Miss Man­ners is pleased to see that you are ea­ger to do so.

She trusts that you do not re­ally mean to send a card — some pre-printed thanks — but a heart­felt let­ter. The thrust of it should be that they have been, as you said, like an aunt and un­cle to you. You should men­tion your en­joy­ment of that trip as an ex­am­ple, adding that you were too naive at the time to re­al­ize that of course they were your bene­fac­tors.

Dear Miss Man­ners: My twin and I like to dress alike on Sun­days, on hol­i­days, when we go out of town, when we go on cruises, and at ban­quets. We are 65 years of age and very stylish. We were un­able to do this when we were rais­ing our chil­dren.

Ap­par­ently this an­noys some peo­ple. We have had folks make rude re­marks such as, “Are you still dress­ing alike?” I usu­ally say that I did not get the memo.

Why do peo­ple care? Is there a rule out there that says we can­not dress alike at a cer­tain age? We en­joy do­ing it and have sim­i­lar tastes.

Dear Gen­tle Reader: Why any­one should care is a good ques­tion, but so is why you should care what rude peo­ple say.

Miss Man­ners sug­gests a re­hearsed re­sponse. Look in­tently at each other’s out­fits as if see­ing them for the first time, and say in uni­son, “I like your dress.” Even the sil­li­est busy­body should un­der­stand that you dress to please your­selves. 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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