Neither of the couples knows the other. We have now received "save the date" announcements from both couples for the same date in August. Both weddings will be outdoors, and we'd definitely like to attend.
But one of the weddings will be in a town an hour southeast of us, and the other will be an hour and a half southwest. If we try to attend both, we'd be spending at least four hours on the road that day and would likely miss a good portion of each wedding.
We genuinely like both of the couples and would like to wish them well. Your suggestions on how we might handle this situation would be most appreciated.
There are many problems that Miss Manners can solve, but how to be in two places at once is not, alas, among them. Shortchanging both couples, by trying to please everyone, will create wear and tear on your friendships — as well as your car.
Better to choose one wedding and regretfully decline the other. How to do so without giving offense is a problem Miss Manners can solve: Accept the invitation that arrives first. Assuming that the invitations arrive within days of one another, she promises not to check the postmark if you secretly choose the one that you prefer — so long as you promise never to confess.
Dear Miss Manners: This happened a long time back, but still bothers me.
I used to work at an overseas office with five other people, including my supervisor. On a couple of occasions, our manager in the U.S. sent gifts to all the staff members, but somehow I was left out. When she visited us in person, she again brought gifts for everyone but me. Just like the rest of the staff, I had a good working relationship with her.
Each time this happened, my supervisor simply watched the whole thing with a sheepish smile, but never said anything to the manager. Would it have been out of place for my supervisor to have asked why I was left out?
Yes. Asking why you were left out assumes that the act was intentional.
Even if it was, this approach makes an accusation and demands a defense — hardly something you could expect your supervisor, who could not raise the issue in a nonconfrontational way, to do.
If, instead, you are asking Miss Manners what you should have done, her answer is: convinced your supervisor to tell the manager about the mistake, because she would be embarrassed if no one gave her the opportunity to correct it.
This might have motivated your supervisor to act — and in a way that would have solved the problem. Or it might have led to your discovering what was really going on — and who knew.
2021, by Judith Martin