Dear Miss Manners: Someone I know who just got married six months ago has caught her husband cheating and is now filing for divorce. The question is: Do they need to return the wedding gifts?
She now declares that this only holds if thanks for those presents have been sent.
Dear Miss Manners: My husband and I have formed a "pod" with three other couples who are good friends. We enjoy having dinner parties and gatherings with the other couples. We get along wonderfully, and everyone lives within about 30 minutes of one another.
We all take turns hosting dinners or backyard barbecues. The type of event is up to the couple hosting. We have great meals, wine and conversation.
The problem is the wife in one of the couples. It doesn't matter who is hosting the event, or if it is a formal, elegant dinner party or a casual backyard patio meal. This one person will invariably ask what will be served.
If she were to ask me what I planned to make, and I said "fish," she might say, "Oh, I haven't had pork chops for a long time." Sometimes, she will say, without even asking about the menu, that she would really like Chicken Cordon Bleu — or whatever it might be that would please her palate that day! Keep in mind, she has no allergies nor issues with gluten, nor is she lactose-intolerant.
I was brought up that when you are invited to someone's house for a meal, you eat what is prepared. Unless, of course there are allergies, etc.
We would like to get it across to her that we don't appreciate this. As I said, we are all good friends, so we don't want to cause a rift.
Then stop answering impertinent questions as if it were proper for her to ask them.
To inquiries about what you plan to make, Miss Manners suggests “a surprise,” even if the surprise is takeout pizza. To her suggestions, respond, “That sounds wonderful. We’ll look forward to eating that when it’s your turn to host.”
And if you need a general admonishment, “You must miss restaurants, where you can order what you want. I’m afraid none of us can manage that, but I hope you find it worthwhile to enjoy our company anyway.”
New Miss Manners columns are posted Monday through Saturday on washingtonpost.com/advice. You can send questions to Miss Manners at her website, missmanners.com. You can also follow her @RealMissManners.
2021, by Judith Martin