Spouse could han­dle name is­sue in more po­lit­i­cally cor­rect way

The Columbus Dispatch - - Front Page - Write to Miss Man­ners — who some­times re­sponds with help from daugh­ter Jacobina Martin or son Ni­cholas Ivor Martin — at www. miss­man­ners.com.

pol­i­tics.

Dear Miss Man­ners: My son and his fu­ture wife have de­cided to have their wed­ding and re­cep­tion with “no chil­dren,” other than his and her nieces and neph­ews. We are a very large fam­ily, so this is tough, al­though we are com­ing to ac­cept it.

Now, for the shower I am plan­ning for them, they have said they want “women only.” Well, this cuts out all men and sin­gle male cousins. And some of the older women won’t be able to come, as their hus­bands are their drivers. Some of the new moms aren’t sure about at­tend­ing, as who will watch the kids?

How much say does the bride-to-be have in the up­com­ing shower? It feels like my fam­ily is slowly be­ing ex­cluded. Or should I shut up and be happy that at least I’m in­vited to the wed­ding?

Gen­tle reader: This bride would cer­tainly have you think so. That she wants to ex­clude chil­dren is prob­lem­atic, as the guests will see all those nieces and neph­ews and not nec­es­sar­ily check their blood­lines.

That she wants sole dic­ta­tor­ship over who comes to a shower that you are host­ing (or, more likely, have been in­structed to host) with­out prac­ti­cal con­sid­er­a­tion for her guests is equally of­fi­cious. While not a tra­di­tion with which Miss Man­ners agrees, she sup­poses that the bride is pre­sum­ing that “women only” is tra­di­tional for show­ers. But then, tra­di­tion­ally, show­ers are never given by fam­ily mem­bers — or ones to be.

You might po­litely point out the many in­con­ve­niences these ex­clu­sions pose for her guests. Or, if that has no ef­fect, per­haps the no­tion of re­ceiv­ing fewer presents will.

Dear Miss Man­ners: In plan­ning for my mother’s 80th birth­day cel­e­bra­tion, I thought it would be nice for her hus­band, each of her chil­dren, her sib­lings and her best friend (of 75 years!) to wear cor­sages/bou­ton­nieres.

Mother’s, of course, would be a lit­tle more grand than the oth­ers. Would this all be ap­pro­pri­ate?

Gen­tle reader: Only if your mother approves. While a well-meant ges­ture, pin­ning the key play­ers with iden­ti­fy­ing fo­liage is re­dun­dant at best. Pre­sum­ably, most of your guests — and with any luck, your mother — will know who they are. But if you and she would like it, Miss Man­ners will not stand in the way of any­one and her green­ery.

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