Dear Miss Manners: I share a name with a high-profile politician and recently attended a cocktail party for my husband's office. As I was being introduced to the wife of one of his colleagues, upon hearing my name, she wrinkled her nose and said, "Ugh! Oh nooooo, I haaaate that name. All I can think of when I hear that name is [politician]."
I stared in shock for a beat, then said, "Well, I guess we can't be friends. Darn." Then turned and walked away.
Other co-workers think this will eventually come back to bite my husband. He doesn't care a whit. What should I have said?
What you said was not the issue. It was rather how you likely said it, and the abrupt turn afterward, that may have future repercussions.
How lucky that you have a husband who found it charming. Miss Manners hopes that his loyalty — or disinterest, as the case may be — continues for any future career endeavors. She recommends, however, that neither of you consider politics.
Dear Miss Manners: My son and his future wife have decided to have their wedding and reception with "no children," other than his and her nieces and nephews. We are a very large family, so this is tough, although we are coming to accept it.
Now, for the shower I am planning for them, they have said they want "women only." Well, this cuts out all men and single male cousins. And some of the older women won't be able to come, as their husbands are their drivers. Some of the new moms aren't sure about attending, as who will watch the kids?
How much say does the bride-to-be have in the upcoming shower? It feels like my family is slowly being excluded. Or should I shut up and be happy that at least I'm invited to the wedding?
This bride would certainly have you think so. That she wants to exclude children is problematic, as the guests will see all those nieces and nephews and not necessarily check their bloodlines.
That she wants sole dictatorship over who comes to a shower that you are hosting (or, more likely, have been instructed to host) without practical consideration for her guests is equally officious. While not a tradition with which Miss Manners agrees, she supposes that the bride is presuming that “women only” is traditional for showers. But then, traditionally, showers are never given by family members — or ones to be.
You might politely point out the many inconveniences these exclusions pose for her guests. Or, if that has no effect, perhaps the notion of receiving fewer presents will.
Dear Miss Manners: In planning for my mother's 80th birthday celebration, I thought it would be nice for her husband, each of her children, her siblings and her best friend (of 75 years!) to wear corsages/boutonnieres.
Mother's, of course, would be a little more grand than the others. Would this all be appropriate?
Only if your mother approves. While a well-meaning gesture, pinning the key players with identifying foliage is redundant at best. Presumably, most of your guests — and with any luck, your mother — will know who they are. But if you and she would like it, Miss Manners will not stand in the way of anyone and her greenery.