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Miss Manners: No need to name occasion to host party

DEAR MISS MANNERS: I will be moving far away soon, and I would like a way to show my friends how much I will miss them and how greatly I have appreciated having them in my life.

Would it be in poor taste for me to throw a going-away party for myself? Would there be a more appropriate way of naming such an event, since my goal is to celebrate the guests, even though I am the one leaving? I feel like it would be rude to hint to others that I want a party, but it does not seem quite polite to simply throw one myself.

GENTLE READER: One doesn’t have to name the occasion in order to host a party. That you wish to see your friends before you leave is reason enough.

Unfortunately, Miss Manners has found that in the current climate, making a party into an “event” makes people suspect that presents are somehow required. Simply invite your friends to a party, and if asked about the occasion, say, “I wanted to see everyone one more time before I moved.”

DEAR MISS MANNERS: For a few months, I received voice lessons from a lovely and talented tutor. However, I had to quit taking lessons because of scheduling conflicts.

Now, a year and a half later, I’m having some pangs of remorse. I really admired my tutor, but I never gave a reason for my failure to return.

I’m wondering, is it too late for me to write her a note, thanking her for what she taught me and explaining why I couldn’t come back? Or do you think that after so long, it is inconsequential?

GENTLE READER: It would be lovely to send a note apologizing for discontinuing the lessons, especially if the transaction was abrupt. Briefly explain that your schedule prevented you from continuing.

Miss Manners notes that this was a business transaction, so social etiquette is not strictly required. But it is certainly never remiss to be thankful and polite, especially if you want to regain this person’s trust in scheduling with you in the future.


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