One method suf­fices for fam­ily in­vi­ta­tions

South Florida Sun-Sentinel (Sunday) - - Puzzles - Ju­dith Martin Send ques­tions to Miss Manners at her web­site, miss­man­ners.com or email her at dearmiss­man­[email protected]

Dear Miss Manners: Our home is the gath­er­ing place for all cel­e­bra­tions on my hus­band’s side of the fam­ily. When­ever we is­sue an in­vi­ta­tion, we have four of his sib­lings to con­tact as well as var­i­ous adult nieces and neph­ews and his el­derly fa­ther and aunt.

Each of th­ese peo­ple seems to re­quire a dif­fer­ent method of com­mu­ni­ca­tion. Some text, some email, some re­quire phone calls, and one only re­sponds to in­vi­ta­tions on Face­book.

It’s way too com­pli­cated to is­sue a ca­sual potluck in­vite and to keep track of who re­sponds to what, so I use email only. Ev­ery­one (but the el­derly whom we call in re­spect to their needs) has email, but some don’t care to check it more than ev­ery cou­ple of weeks. If they miss out on our gath­er­ings or gen­eral fam­ily news, I main­tain I’m not at fault. But then I seem to get blamed when they do. What do you say?

Gen­tle Reader: That you need not ac­cept blame for un­opened emails. Miss Manners rec­om­mends that in­stead you try send­ing them all hand-writ­ten in­vi­ta­tions. Your fam­ily will like it even less — but you will have sat­is­fied the other­wise sar­cas­tic ques­tion, “Did you need a hand­writ­ten in­vi­ta­tion?”

Dear Miss Manners: A pro­posal went out to the club’s board mem­bers via email ask­ing for sug­ges­tions. I was the very first to an­swer. Not 30 min­utes later, one of the mem­bers an­swered with the same sug­ges­tions, tweak­ing the words around a bit but ba­si­cally mak­ing the ex­act same sug­ges­tions.

No one seemed to no­tice; in fact, their email re­sponses said, “Great ideas” to Jan­ice first, and then to me. She does this fre­quently, and I’m find­ing it ir­ri­tat­ing, at best. How can I call her out with­out look­ing petty?

Gen­tle Reader: “I am so glad that Jan­ice agrees about this.” The best an­ti­dote to some­one else’s pet­ti­ness, Miss Manners main­tains, is re­sist­ing it one­self.

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