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Ex still attached to wedding plans

Fri., March 11, 2011, midnight

DEAR MISS MANNERS – My ex and I parted ways last year, and he began seeing another woman shortly after. They are now engaged. While I wish him every happiness, I was surprised, to say the least, when I learned of some of their wedding plans.

While we were together, we had discussed possible wedding ideas, down to flowers, music and attire. After a recent chat with a mutual friend involved in the wedding, I learned that he has essentially applied one of our wedding plans to them! His attire was my idea, her dress is similar to my choice, she will walk down the aisle to our (former) song, and even her wedding bouquet is nearly identical, down to an unusual floral combination and ribbon inserts in my favorite color (a color she doesn’t even like!)

As my invitation has been rescinded (at her request), I am unsure how to proceed. Am I allowed to ask them to change some of the wedding details? Or should I let him and the situation go?

GENTLE READER – He is going anyway. What possible satisfaction could you have from hanging onto the bouquet design?

Don’t tell Miss Manners that you planned to use it in case you marry someone else; you have already made it clear that you consider the plans to be symbolic of your broken romance.

Her guess is that the bridegroom was asked for wedding ideas and came up with these, ignoring or forgetting that he had developed them with you. Do you really want to show him that you have more emotional attachment to your joint plans, now canceled, than he does?

But as you do feel that, Miss Manners would think that you would take satisfaction from knowing that the bride is wearing a color she dislikes under the impression that it is her bridegroom’s favorite, when it is really yours.

DEAR MISS MANNERS – I have been playing in a weekly mahjong game (similar to cards) for several years. Of the six regular players, three of them repeatedly take cell phone calls from their teenage children during the game. None of these calls could be considered even close to an emergency and are of a trivial nature (e.g. their latest test score, they need more contact lenses, etc).

The offending players make all of us hold up play and listen to discussions lasting one or two minutes. One woman takes at least three phone calls an afternoon. The game only lasts for three hours.

I have tried modeling the correct etiquette when I have received an occasional call by quickly telling the caller that I was busy at the moment but would call them back later. I have tried to make a joke about how I’ve trained my family to not disturb the sacred time of mahjong. Nobody seems to get the hint. Is there anything I can say that will encourage my friends to keep their cell phone conversations to a minimum?

GENTLE READER – As a player of games, and a member of a group that meets regularly, you know about rules. Miss Manners suggests that you pick a time when you have not been so interrupted to make the general proposal that outside distractions, whether online shopping or telephone calls, not be allowed during the game.

If you would like a copy of Miss Manners’ newsletters, “On Cellular Phone Courtesy,” “The Etiquette of Proper Eating” or “Proper Wedding Planning,” please send a self-addressed, stamped No. 10 envelope and $2 (per newsletter) to Newsletter, PO Box 167, Wicliffe, OH 44092-0167. Please state which newsletter(s) you wish to receive.


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