March 31, 2014 in Features

Miss Manners: Baby news not command to buy gifts

Judith Martin Universal Uclick
 

DEAR MISS MANNERS: My sister eloped and quickly became pregnant. They had intended to announce the marriage to family with a spring visit and small celebration, but instead shared all the news after her first trimester of pregnancy.

She is very nontraditional and has never cared to have a wedding or be the center of attention. She waited for a long time before sharing her pregnancy with many people and has been reserved. Similarly, she does not want me to host a shower for her.

Regardless, many friends and family will want to celebrate her new happiness, and I do not doubt there will be many people who would like to send a gift to the baby due in May. The generosity of loved ones is clearly a help to first-time parents, who have many supplies to purchase.

What is a polite and not tacky way to share baby registry information when she feels certain she does not want a traditional shower? Should she do it after the birth with a baby announcement? Or could she share it now with an announcement of both the new marriage and expected arrival?

I realize some people are starting to share this type of information in “virtual” baby showers on social media, but that seems tacky to me. What is your opinion?

GENTLE READER: That you fail to understand what is traditional and what is tacky.

“Traditional” is leading a quietly dignified life, which is what your sister is trying to do. “Tacky” is prodding others, by whatever means, to do your shopping, which is what you are prodding her to do.

Your sister could have announced her marriage in the truly traditional way, and she can announce her child’s birth when the time comes. But Miss Manners hopes that she will have enough confidence in her own good taste to avoid attaching to this the notion that others can be “clearly a help” by purchasing supplies.

Please send your questions to Miss Manners to her email, dearmissmanners@gmail.com.


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