How to take credit for giv­ing the per­fect gift

The Kansas City Star - - Sports - BY JU­DITH MAR­TIN, NI­CHOLAS IVOR MAR­TIN AND JA­COBINA MAR­TIN www.miss­man­ners.com

DEAR MISS MAN­NERS: If a gift is given, is it ever ap­pro­pri­ate for the giver to tell the re­cip­i­ent that more time and ef­fort went into the gift than would pos­si­bly meet the eye? (“Be­lieve it or not, it took all day to find just the right one for you.”)

Since it is the thought that counts, the re­cip­i­ent might want to know the amount of thought (“That was so nice of you!”). On the other hand, such dis­clo­sures may come off like crass fish­ing for thanks.

Even if there is di­rect in­quiry (“How long did it take you to make it?”), is it per­mis­si­ble to re­spond di­rectly, or is de­flec­tion (“Oh, it was no trou­ble, re­ally”) pre­ferred? GEN­TLE READER: “Oh, I had so much fun find­ing/ order­ing/whit­tling this present for you. I do hope that you en­joy it.” If asked for more de­tail, Miss Man­ners will al­low you to in­dulge mod­estly. In­dulge, not lux­u­ri­ate.

DEAR MISS MAN­NERS: What does “el­e­gant shades of white” mean for wed­ding at­tire?

GEN­TLE READER: That the bride is the highly un­usual com­bi­na­tion of dic­ta­to­rial, yet will­ing to be up­staged.

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