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Miss Manners: Longtime fiancee excluded on invitation

Dear Miss Manners: I have been in a relationship with a wonderful man for more than 12 years now, engaged for most of that time. We live together, and throughout our entire relationship, have spent time with friends together.

There is one friend we've spent many weekends with — celebrated graduations, birthdays, had him over for meals, etc. He has now gotten engaged to a woman I have met once; my fiance has yet to meet her.

My fiance received an invitation to their wedding addressed to him "and guest." I am confused by this.

I understand that unmarried men typically get a plus-one to a wedding, but this is addressed right on the envelope. I feel like it completely negates a relationship that far predates the soon-to-be newlyweds' one.

I should mention that my fiance saw "and guest" immediately and did not like that my name was not there. Is it proper not to acknowledge someone on an invitation because they didn't take the trip down the aisle first? Am I being overly sensitive?

Using the salutation on an envelope to critique your living arrangements is, Miss Manners suspects, too subtle for your friend. And if it was done in deference to etiquette, it is simply wrong.

The proper rule is to treat recognized couples as a social unit. What constitutes recognition may not be as clear as it once was, but it should certainly include you and your fiance: You are engaged and you are socializing as a unit.

Whether a 12-year engagement outranks a one-month engagement is not a discussion Miss Manners is prepared to entertain.

Dear Miss Manners: I have been going to the same hairdresser for years, and asked her to cut my hair before my son's wedding.

She did a terrible job. One side was an inch shorter than the other. She was on pain medication, so I tried to be understanding.

It cost me a ton to find someone who would even attempt to repair it, and I came out looking like I was being recruited for a cult. Things are still uneven, just not as much.

My longtime hairdresser lives across the street. If I go out my door, I see her. I want to find someone else. What do I say?

In response to what? No one has said anything. If she says “hello,” say “hello” back with your warmest smile. If she asks if you need a haircut, thank her and respond that you do not. If she asks where you are going for haircuts these days, tell her.

Your embarrassment in being disloyal to a professional who does her job badly is inexplicable to Miss Manners. But she is confident it will diminish if the hairdresser pushes for further explanation. You may then decide whether to wade into an explanation that you were unhappy with the service, or keep repeating that you have found someone else.

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