DEAR MISS MANNERS: My fiance has a skull collection and has found a bride/groom skull set he would like to use as our wedding cake topper.
I am unopposed to this and see humor in it. My mother feels this is very inappropriate and might offend some guests. I would like to support my fiance and not allow my mother to intrude on our wedding planning, but I am unsure if indeed this is rude, and if I should take my mother’s advice.
GENTLE READER: Aside from the disturbing symbolism of a dead couple on a wedding cake, who wants to eat cake with bones in it?
Miss Manners is as appalled by this as she is by the idea that your mother shouldn’t have any say in “your” wedding. Your mother is correct in thinking that this will upset guests and will hardly be worth whatever humor you might find in it.
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Be assured that there will be many ways to support your prospective husband that you need not make public. Start applying them now.
Just holiday greetings, please
DEAR MISS MANNERS: Is it appropriate to mention in a Christmas note with a card that your husband left? Some people I will be sending cards to do not know and will wonder why just one signature.
GENTLE READER: Suppose you received a card saying, “Merry Christmas, my husband left me”? What would you reply?
Miss Manners would have thought that social media postings had eliminated the impulse to fold sad announcements into holiday greetings. Those to whom you are close can be told in a letter or telephone call.
The registry debate
DEAR MISS MANNERS: While gift registries may never be “proper,” they are a necessity in today’s world.
I had a relative who lives far away from me who neglected to have a bridal registry. She ended up having to make one at the last minute to alleviate the burden of her and her husband-to-be’s parents having to field many questions from attendees. They ended up having to start an informal list of what the folks who called in said they were bringing, because these attendees did not want their gift duplicated!
Additionally, it made it easier for me to attend. I was able to order the (large) gift in advance and have it wrapped and waiting on hold for me to pick it up when I got to my destination. All I needed to pack was my handwritten gift card.
It also makes it easier and more economical for the gift giver who is not able to attend. Most registries offer free shipping and free gift wrap. In today’s world, when often the events are far from even the hometowns of the recipients, gift registries are important.
GENTLE READER: Sorry, but you are not going to win this argument with Miss Manners, especially when the particular solution you describe (minus the registry) is actually more correct. Having a gift wrapped and sent in advance is the proper way to send wedding gifts and conveniently easier for both the long-distance traveler and the bride who doesn’t want to lug home gifts after her wedding.
Miss Manners hopes that she is not the first to inform you that most stores — actual and virtual — will ship their merchandise, no registry necessary. And if there are duplicate presents, the bride can always return them.
Now wasn’t that easy?
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 12/12