Dear Miss Manners: A friend with whom I am not particularly close held a holiday party at his home. I was unaware of the party until last week, when he posted many photos of it online. It looked like a great party, and everyone seemed to be having a wonderful time. In his post accompanying the photos, he apologized for not inviting more people due to a lack of space, and asked anyone he had not seen in a while to please reach out to him.
I am not offended that I was not invited to the party because we are not close. But I wonder how other not-invited friends reacted to this post. Had I been a closer friend, I would have been hurt to be excluded.
I had a large birthday party last year, and it would never have occurred to me to post photos on social media because of my sensitivity to the feelings of those who were not invited. Was it bad manners to post photos that people who were not invited to the party would see?
It was. But as Miss Manners realizes that a strict ban on such posts would bring social media to a halt — and that someone might consider this a terrible thing — she will offer some guardrails to soften the impact.
Your friend's apology was a good start. Another would be to omit details. Better to let everyone think the event was spontaneous — no invitations were sent or required. This will never be entirely believable, but it helps if there are no photos of cakes — birthday, wedding or other.
Dear Miss Manners: When I dine out, I often order drinks that come with a wedge of citrus — e.g. iced tea with a slice of lemon. Although I enjoy the flavor of the citrus juice in my drink, I do not enjoy the taste of the rind and prefer to discard the spent citrus rather than drop it into my glass.
When paper napkins are available, I will just fold the rind into a napkin and then request another. But what is the most appropriate way to handle this in less casual settings? When the table features only cloth napkins, is there any polite place to put the citrus rind other than in my glass?
Hosts (or restaurateurs) who provide items requiring disposal, without also supplying a means of doing so, have only themselves to blame when they discover tea bags, shrimp carapaces or fruit seeds and rind wrapped in their linen napkins, staining the tablecloth or hidden in the flower arrangements.
Miss Manners does not, however, recommend such extreme measures to diners. Some items can be discarded on a dinner plate, but, failing that, a guest should request a better receptacle.
New Miss Manners columns are posted Monday through Saturday on washingtonpost.com/advice. You can send questions to Miss Manners at her website, missmanners.com. You can also follow her @RealMissManners.
© 2023 Judith Martin
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