Miss Manners: Engaged daughter wants re-do on proposal and ring

June 6, 2013

DEAR MISS MANNERS: My daughter recently became engaged to her boyfriend of seven years. He is a charming and quiet gentleman and devoted to my daughter.

My daughter is having second thoughts already. Some friends told her that his proposal was not elaborate enough, and that he should have let her choose her ring and not given her the stunning family ring that she now wears. (I admit to being very envious.)

She asked me what I thought about her giving back the ring and asking him to plan a more elaborate proposal and offering her a new ring. I was speechless.

I simply asked her what was more important — the style of the proposal and a new ring, or the sincere proposal offered by a man so devoted to her that he gave her a ring of great sentimental value to him.

Her friends have convinced her this is the way to go, and I worry that she is so overwhelmed by them that she will do this.

My very outgoing son, who believes in sharing much of his life on social media, told her about his very understated proposal to his now-wife. Others have shared details about proposals made and received to show that a staged production is not necessary.

Is there any other advice I should share with her before she does something I think she will regret?

GENTLE READER: Yes: Advise her to give that poor young gentleman back his family ring. Miss Manners is not recommending this as a way to allow your daughter to squeeze another ring out of him, along with some treacly drama of a proposal. Rather it is to spare him from a marriage made miserable by the influence of childish ideas from his wife’s scatterbrained friends.

The other advice is for you: You have a lot of parenting left to do. No matter what your daughter’s age is, she is too immature to be married. You may not be able to ground her, but you should strongly oppose any idea of marriage until you are able to instill some values in her.

DEAR MISS MANNERS: My wife and I watch TV together only on weekends. Last night we were watching a movie and the phone rang. My wife answered it. It was a friend of hers calling to say hi and chat. They stayed on the phone for half an hour.

When the call was done, my wife asked me if I was angry, and I said yes, I thought it was rude of her to interrupt our evening together to talk on the phone. She disagreed, saying I was inflexible, and that it is not always possible to ask a friend if she could call back the next day to talk. What do you think?

GENTLE READER: Frankly, that watching television together hardly seems like such a romantic activity as to be inviolate. If your wife were taking calls during dinner, or your weekend Scrabble game, Miss Manners would feel differently.

Visit Miss Manners at her Web site, www.missmanners.com, where you can send her your questions.

, by Judith Martin

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