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Taken Aback by Gift Requests

2) Refrain from naming minor present-giving events on their invitations, and only announcing adult birthdays, engagements and anniversaries when the guests are assembled.

3) Accept whatever they get graciously, and then quietly give what they can to charity.

Dear Miss Manners:

What is the appropriate response to impertinent comments from strangers regarding one's appearance, such as "You look tired" or "Why the long face?"?

As Miss Manners believes that impertinent strangers should be ignored, she doesn't understand why people keep asking her what to say to them.

Still less does she understand why she keeps thinking of things. In these cases, it would be, "Yes, it's very tiring to hear that," and "Because I don't happen to have a short face."

Feeling incorrect? E-mail your etiquette questions to Miss Manners (who is distraught that she cannot reply personally) at MissManners@unitedmedia.com or mail to United Media, 200 Madison Ave., New York, N.Y. 10016.

©2005, Judith Martin

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