DEAR MISS MANNERS: My sister-in-law is getting married days before my husband and I will have our first child. She told me she wanted to throw a baby shower for me and even told me to save a date. My in-laws seem to be excited about us having a baby.
One of my dearest friends said that she wanted to help out with the shower and asked for my sister-in-law’s contact information. When I told my sister-in-law, she said that she did not want my friend’s help and that she and her mother planned a small family shower for me.
This led me to believe that it will be a shower just of my husband’s family, as my mother has passed away and my small family mostly lives out of town.
This really hurt me, and I am not sure how to react. I want my family and my friends to celebrate my baby with me, but they would not be welcome to a shower thrown by my in-laws. I cannot talk to my husband about this, as I feel this will put him between a rock and a hard place.
I know it’s immature for me to feel like I do, but now I do not want to go to my own shower. Should I just tell the in-laws to forget it and let my friends throw a shower for me instead? Should I grin and bear it, as this is my husband’s family and will be a part of our lives forever? After this, I really do not want to spend too much time with them. What advice can you offer to me?
GENTLE READER: That you were right that these people will be part of your lives forever. And again when you said your desire to boycott the shower was immature.
Showers are supposed to be given by friends and not family. You may make one polite attempt to inform your sister-in-law of this (“Oh dear, I don’t want to look as if the family is begging for gifts on my behalf”), as well as point out that she will have her own wedding to worry about.
But if both attempts fail, you must politely endure. Miss Manners is further willing to break a second rule on your behalf — that one should not have more than one shower — as long as you can assure her that the guest list will not be repeated.
No spoons allowed
DEAR MISS MANNERS: Is it proper to leave a spoon in a cup or glass while drinking coffee, tea or iced tea?
GENTLE READER: No. Watching the spoon attempting to bang on the drinker’s nose is unnerving, regardless of whether it succeeds.
One dinner is enough
DEAR MISS MANNERS: Over the years, we have given our family the equivalent of an entire meal to take home after Thanksgiving. This year we are not providing “take-out meals” in addition to hosting for two and a half days and the Thanksgiving Day dinner. We know the family will expect this. How do we address this?
GENTLE READER: By not overestimating their capacity, so that when they go begging, you can honestly say, “You ate it all.”
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.
© Universal Uclick 11/21