Q. Having watched a delightful old movie with Loretta Young and Ronald Coleman, we were stumped by the young people asking why Miss Young wore almost-shoulder-length white gloves when in evening dress. Those of my age saw nothing odd in it, but the young people were truly curious as to the reason for such attire. Certainly it was not for modesty, for the dresses worn were extremely low cut.
We do not mean to imply that your age is such that you would have worn such gloves, but that you probably will know the reason, if anyone does.
A. Miss Manners is hurt that you think she would not have worn such gloves. You never know when you will insult people do you?
The reason for the gloves is immodesty, a principle that young people, brought up to run about half-naked, do not understand. The idea is, the lower the dress, the higher the gloves. Miss Young very properly did not want to put on an extremely low-cut dress, only to have people stare at her bare elbows.
Q. If a young man or woman is planning a large wedding and one of the wedding couple has divorced parents, is it appropriate for one of the divorced parents to attend the wedding and-or rehearsal dinner with his or her current boyfriend or girlfriend? How is this handled? Many mutual friends, as well as out-of-town relatives from both divorced parents will be present. This has become a sensitive, inflammatory issue.
A. Miss Manners doesn't doubt it one bit.
There are two rules to be applied here, and Miss Manners suggests putting in a bit of one and a bit of the other until a smooth mixture is achieved.
One is that parents are obliged to put aside their conflicts with each other and present a civilized front at their children's weddings; the other is that one is obliged to invite the spouses and fiances of all of one's wedding guests, but not their boyfriends or girlfriends.
Thus, if no one minds, the friends of the divorced parents may certainly be invited. Their fiances and spouses should be invited, whether anyone likes it or not, although compromising this point is preferable to letting skirmishes break out during the festivities.
If it occurs to any parent to declare an engagement for the purpose of securing an invitation and breaking the engagement after the wedding -- well, you didn't get the idea from Miss Manners.
Q. Help! After 10 years of perfectly blissful marriage, my husband and I are on the verge of a tedious, time-consuming divorce. My question is: When using crystal salt and pepper shakers at each place setting, should they be completely full? I say definitely not, half or two-thirds full is plenty. It looks much better and anyone who needs more seasoning than that, I don't want in my home, anyway. Please don't let us go through a dreadful separation. I just know he would want custody of the Picasso. The children are split on the question, but they are his kids, anyway, from a previous interlude.
A. Miss Manners prefers salt cellars to shakers. They keep families together.
Anyway, she sides with the children.