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Teach child one can’t be invited to all

DEAR MISS MANNERS: Is it rude to ask the parent of the child who had an overnight party why your son/daughter was not invited?

GENTLE READER: What response do you hope to obtain?

A weak excuse, such as, “Oh, we asked only his very closest friends.”

An honest excuse, such as, “The girls say she’s kind of a drag.”

Or just ruining whatever social life your child may hope to have?

Whether or not you would succeed in wrangling an invitation, you may be sure that the parent you call will talk it over with the child-host, who is not likely to resist letting the other guests know.

Do you really want to have to change schools and move to a different neighborhood to help your child live that down? Miss Manners believes it would be easier on you, as well as on your child, for you to treat it offhandedly, with the explanation that everyone can’t be invited to everything.

DEAR MISS MANNERS: What is the acceptable social response when an immediate family member of the deceased approaches you at a funeral and says, “Thank you for coming”?

Do you leave it simple and say, “You’re welcome,” or something a little more heartfelt like, “This is where I want to be, supporting you and your family”?

GENTLE READER: But if you make that heartfelt statement, they will have to thank you all over again, and you’ll be back with that awkward “You’re welcome.”

Supporting the bereaved is only part of the reason for attending a funeral. Paying respects to the person who died is the other part, and the family is thanking you for that. Miss Manners recommends that, having offered your condolences, you then reply with a statement of how highly you thought of that person.

Please send your questions to Miss Manners at her website,; to her email, dearmissmanners@; or through postal mail to Miss Manners, Universal Uclick, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.


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