Q: There must be a new trend in save-the-date cards for upcoming weddings. In the past few months I have received three such requests, but on all three cards, the couples failed to include their last names. There was a beautiful photo of the happy couple, and the words “Save the Date” for Mike and Haley, or Tiffany and Bob, and so on.
In all three cases, we have no idea who they are!
Granted, we have a large social network, as well as the adult friends of our children who may be getting married, but I feel it is so rude to send a save-the-date card for a large event and expect that everyone knows who they are. It causes me the extra work to have to search out who this happy couple is.
Is it me, or is it wrong of them to be so self-centered that they feel they are the only people on Earth planning a wedding and asking for well wishes, so that they don’t need to include their full names? And finally, how do I politely ask them to reveal their identities?
A: It is not unusual for those about to be married to think they are alone on the planet, and in very limited doses, for short periods of time, it can even be endearing.
But expecting a stranger to hold a date is both impolite and impractical. If the trouble you are put to involves checking the last name on the return address against the names of your friends’ children, Miss Manners wonders if it is not more trouble to point out the inconvenience.
But if not, leave open the possibility that the rudeness was caused by someone other than Tiffany or Bob. If there is a return address, you may respond: “My apologies, but the way the invitation arrived, we could not tell who had sent it. Could you please let me know whom I am addressing?”
If more work is required, you may find that you are not available when the invitation finally arrives.
Q: What container is the proper vessel with which to serve dry cereal at breakfast?
I know one should never serve food in its original container from the store, but I am at a loss when trying to deal with cereal, especially since it comes in so many sizes and shapes. Some types could easily be poured from a pitcher, while others could possibly be served on a platter with long fish tongs.
I am about to be hosting some breakfast gatherings for business associates and need guidance. My current plan is to simply not offer cereal, although this seems to be a regrettable situation, as I make a delicious homemade granola.
A: Did Miss Manners forget to decree that hosts should serve food in a way that gives diners a reasonable chance to transfer the food from the serving dish to their plate without half of it ending up on the table, the floor or themselves?
However, since most hosts will be responsible for any resulting cleanup, Miss Manners recommends a moderate nod to practicality after disposing of the plastic wrappers: a bowl and spoon for small items, a platter and serving utensil for more substantial items.
Judith Martin writes the Miss Manners column with help from her son, Nicholas Ivor Martin, and her daughter, Jacobina Martin. Send your questions to Miss Manners at her website, MissManners.com; or through postal mail to Miss Manners, Universal Uclick, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.