How to take credit for giving the perfect gift
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.