Dear Miss Manners:

I gave my son and his girlfriend a baby shower, because I didn't figure that I or any of my friends or relatives would be invited to the mother-to-be's shower. I wanted to get everyone together to celebrate the baby's arrival, and my son needed necessary items for the baby.

I sent out 16 invitations and received only four RSVPs. People who weren't sent an invitation showed up an hour early, carrying a puppy. The mother-to-be's mother didn't RSVP, but brought two people with her. It's hard to plan for food and drink that way, but luckily, I made enough.

I had planned that the gifts from this shower would go home with my son, since he and his girlfriend aren't married, they don't live together, and the girlfriend is at his home every day. That way they'd have things for the baby at his home.

Well, as soon as the party was over, the mother-to-be's mother left with every gift loaded into the trunk of her car!

These were my friends, people I had worked with, who knew me when I was pregnant with the father-to-be. I was in shock! They didn't even offer my son a ride home.

My son's girlfriend had commented that they needed duplicates of everything because of the separate living arrangements, and I figured that it was understood that these gifts would go to my son--at least some of them.

When I took him home, I asked him how many of the gifts would make it to his house, and he seemed to think everything except the stuffed animals. Hmph! Remains to be seen!

Now the mother-to-be's mother is giving her daughter a shower, and she's planning to invite me. Would it be inappropriate to back my truck up to their door and load the gifts into it at the end of the party?

I have manners, but do I have to use them?

Are you saving them for the baby's birth? They will certainly be pristine, as Miss Manners gathers you have not yet used them.

She regrets to tell you that this entire event was misconceived. Showers should never be given by relatives of the guests of honor for the very reason that it would be ugly for them to seem to be soliciting presents for their relatives. Skipping over that nicety, you complain of being thwarted from that intent, but you forget that the baby--the usual beneficiary of baby presents--will be your relative.

In the meantime, Miss Manners begs you to consider that two rude grandmothers are not better for a child than one. Perhaps the parents can be trusted to fight over its little necessities without your setting them an example.

She hates to imagine what will happen when any two of you want to hold the baby at the same time.

Feeling incorrect? Address your etiquette questions (in black or blue-black ink on white writing paper) to Miss Manners, in care of this newspaper.