DEAR MISS MANNERS: My friend and I hosted a meet-and-greet for three local politicians. We spent considerable time planning the event, asking friends and neighbors to attend, and buying some light refreshments and beverages. We had about 25 people attend, and we were extremely pleased with the outcome.
I had several people contact me afterwards, saying that they were glad they attended and appreciated getting to hear these politicians. I did not hear from any of the candidates with a thank-you. I am surprised and disappointed that none of them bothered to text, email or call either of us. Where is common courtesy these days?
GENTLE READER: And where is political expediency? Do these politicians really think they have no further need of enthusiastic voters willing to work on their behalf?
Miss Manners supposes that they could claim to be too busy to perform a simple courtesy. But small gestures, such as remembering people’s names, listening to their concerns, and certainly thanking them for their support, are a large part of effective campaigning. And the business of an elected official is to pay attention to his or her constituents. So busyness would not be a wise excuse.
DEAR MISS MANNERS: A friend invited me on a trip to see her second home. This involved her buying my airfare and paying for meals, as she knew upfront that I did not have the financial means to pay for the trip. She said from the beginning not to worry; she would take care of everything.
A few months later, she is on this line about how ungrateful I am because I didn’t send her a thank-you note, I didn’t buy her a gift, and I didn’t even offer to pay her back.
I thanked her profusely, verbally, time and time again. I can’t afford the type of gift she expects. I did send her a written thank-you note, late though it was. Why offer to do something you know you can’t afford? Am I right to feel that I am debt-free to this woman, under these circumstances?
GENTLE READER: Don’t worry; she probably feels free of you.
Miss Manners agrees that your hostess should not have lectured you about how a polite guest behaves. But then, why didn’t you behave like a polite guest? Apparently you only wrote her a letter of thanks when she pointed out its absence. And you could have sent her an inexpensive, but thoughtful, present.
DEAR MISS MANNERS: My understanding is that my fiancee and I should send out thank-you notes as soon as possible after our wedding. However, some people have (very kindly) already sent us wedding presents.
My fiancee thinks we should send our thank-you notes now; I think we should wait until after the wedding, so we can talk not only about their gift, but also make references to having enjoyed seeing them at the wedding.
GENTLE READER: You are fortunate enough to be marrying a proper lady who knows what to do. Miss Manners congratulates you.
Please send your questions to Miss Manners at her website, www.missmanners.com.
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