DEAR MISS MANNERS: I am remarrying my ex-husband. My first ring was a family heirloom (his side), and I held onto it.
Now I have a second engagement ring. I would prefer to wear the first one. What is the proper protocol for this situation?
GENTLE READER: It would have been to tell your new husband of your preference before he purchased a second ring. Fortunately, you have two hands.
DEAR MISS MANNERS: How do I tell family not to bring anyone to our new home as if they were a tour guide?
How do I tell family not to post our information or photos on Facebook? We don’t Facebook!
How do I tell family not to bring a housewarming gift? Because the gift isn’t a gift; it attaches them to our house as if we now owe them.
I am preparing our change-of-address cards, and I want to include this for some of our family members. This was difficult for us with our previous home. We have moved farther away, and I don’t want unannounced overnight guests.
GENTLE READER: You have certainly piqued Miss Manners’ curiosity. Yours must be quite a major house, as visitors are regularly posting pictures of it to strangers.
Miss Manners is further at a loss as to what kind of housewarming present would tether its giver to the house. A very long retractable leash?
It would seem that an obvious answer to the problem of having unwanted guests (or their presents) would be not to send change-of-address cards to them. These cards are optional, and the information they contain is on a need-to-know basis.
However, if you do send the cards, there is no polite way to tell people that a housewarming gift is not a ticket of admission. To deflect unwanted guests, you could write inside, “We look forward to inviting you in the future.”
Miss Manners has a feeling, however, that the subtlety of this wording will be lost on the sort of visitors who invite themselves. In that case, she recommends the first solution: Do not tell them where you live.
DEAR MISS MANNERS: I have enjoyed a good reputation at work throughout my career. Now I am starting to become a bit well-known in my field.
Consequently, I occasionally meet colleagues who are new to me but who, when we are introduced, will say, “Oh, I’ve heard all about you,” in a somewhat gushing tone.
I usually just smile, say, “How nice,” and then ask the person something innocuous about their work or some other pleasantry, but it feels quite awkward to me. Is this an appropriate response?
GENTLE READER: But these people apparently did not say that they heard something nice about you. Miss Manners considers that this leaves you free to begin asking about them.
However, if you feel that is awkward, you can toss off a saucy, “Don’t believe everything you hear!”
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.
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