Dear L.A. Plume,
My son was married in early August. My dearest friend Loretta gave them some beautiful family sterling, and because it was a heavy bulky box, gave it to me to deliver when I visited them during their engagement. Although Loretta knows that the package was hand delivered, she has yet, after more than four months, to receive a thank you note. Nor have any of our other friends received one. Shouldn’t they have had at least an acknowledgment that their gifts were received?Embarrassed Edie
According to Emily Post, the bride has three months after the wedding to send thank you notes. Good manners dictate that the gift be acknowledged as soon as possible after it is received; certainly one shouldn’t wait until the last possible moment to send thank-you notes. If your daughter-in-law received so many gifts and had so little time, she should have sent a printed card saying “Miss _____ gratefully acknowledges the receipt of your kind gift, and looks forward to thanking you personally very soon.” (By the way, as you seem to know, traditionally the gift is given to the bride before the wedding, and the couple afterward.)
Dear Ms. Plume,
Every year I have a big Halloween party; every year the invitation is the same – I provide chili and a salad, guests bring food to share and whatever they want to drink. I spend days decorating, fixing up, cleaning up; building the bonfire, etc. and everyone is fine with this arrangement of participating. Everyone, that is, except Ginger and Ted. Every year they glide in late, and empty-handed. They mooch off other guests, or simply help themselves to drinks that belong to someone else. They are financially well able to afford whatever they want, but just don’t bother, and – by the way – they never reciprocate and entertain, either. I feel they are not only rude but disrespectful, but what can I do? I have asked Ginger to remember to bring something and have even touched base with her the day before the party; their excuse is always that they came from another party and didn’t have a chance to bring something.
You have a few choices, especially if they have done this to you more than once. My suggestion is that when they arrive, you whisk away the doormat in front of your door and lie down. Ask them to step on you or wipe their feet – that way you are all sure to know the nature of your relationship. Your other choice is to buy an extra bottle of something for them and just don’t worry about it – if they are friends otherwise, allow this shortcoming to go. There are always the occasional guests who are rude and disrespectful, but if we took them off our lists I wouldn’t have a column to write.