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Miss Manners: Graduates can celebrate without their parents’ friends

Dear Miss Manners: I keep receiving high school — and even college! — graduation invitations from the parents instead of the graduate. I always thought they should come from the graduate. What do you say?

That new graduates ought to be able to have their own parties with their classmates and friends without being shown off to the parental circle.

That declaration should antagonize a great many parents who will carry on about how proud they are of their offspring. As well they should be. Miss Manners would think it enough to tell their friends, rather than to summon them.

Dear Miss Manners: Before the pandemic, we socialized a great deal with neighbors, inviting them into our home for cocktails or meals. All of that stopped a year ago.

However, my spouse and I have now been vaccinated against the coronavirus, and I know that some neighbors have been, too. We would like to entertain again, limiting it to one or two other couples at most.

Of course, when one says "vaccinated," that can mean different things: One spouse has been vaccinated, one hasn't; one or both have just started the process; both spouses have been vaccinated and enough time has passed that it is as effective as it will be, etc.

Without causing hurt feelings, how does one go about inquiring whether a couple have finished the vaccination process? I am hesitant to issue a conditional invitation ("If you both have been, then you can come," etc.). Since these are not necessarily close friends, it's impossible to know their vaccination status ahead of time.

Will you please suggest how to proceed? I do not wish to add to the already plentiful supply of malice and hurt feelings that exist.

Indeed, such inquiries might make you seem like those youngsters who go around asking classmates what grades they got to show off their own.

Yet you do need to know. How fortunate, then, that it is charming simply to declare how eager you are to see your friends.

“We miss you, and hope to see you when it is safe,” you might write. “As soon as you are both finished with vaccinations, we would like to schedule a celebratory dinner.”

Miss Manners advises sending these to separate individuals or couples, rather than in a group message. It is more flattering and more practical for the small gatherings you seek.

Dear Miss Manners: I extolled the qualities of a restaurant to which I proposed bringing a onetime love interest. Her question was, "Who did you go there with?"

Similarly, I later related my excitement at being served a particular dish at another restaurant. Again her question was, "Who did you go with?"

Is this not completely unacceptable?

Certainly. She should have said “whom.” Miss Manners quite understands your dismay.

Oh, you mean that it was nosy of her to ask with whom you had dined. Well, yes. It would seem that the lady does not feel that your onetime interest was enough, but that you do. To discourage her, you might say, “and I suppose my next guest will be asking who you are.”

New Miss Manners columns are posted Monday through Saturday on You can send questions to Miss Manners at her website, You can also follow her @RealMissManners.

2021, by Judith Martin