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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Saturday, May 30, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Miss Manners: Include fiance’s old friends, despite their former rudeness

By Judith Martin, Nicholas Ivor Martin and Jacobina Martin Andrews McMeel Syndication

DEAR MISS MANNERS: I am engaged to a wonderful man, and we are in the midst of planning our wedding. Two years ago, after we had been together for a year and a half, my fiance’s good friends got married. I knew the couple and had gotten together with them on multiple occasions, but my then-boyfriend was not given a plus-one.

Shortly after invitations went out, they emailed him to let him know that I was specifically not invited (no regrets were included). He attended the entire four-day event, which caused some problems in our relationship (which have since been worked out). It appears that almost every other guest had a plus-one, and they said that there were no budget restrictions.

Since then, the friends and my fiance have drifted apart, and I have only seen them once or twice (when they were very friendly, if not a little awkward).

I understand that a plus-one is the couple’s decision, but I am concerned about how to act in planning our own wedding. My fiance is adamant that they be invited, and I have agreed, but I don’t necessarily want them to play a big role or be seated close to us. He feels that they have been good friends for a long time, and deserve the appropriate respect.

What is the etiquette protocol here? Our wedding is on the larger side.

GENTLE READER: Well, then, avoid them. It would be more polite than the great pains they took to avoid you.

Miss Manners is confused, as no doubt are you, by why this couple so clearly did not want you at their wedding. The subsequent drifting apart of the relationship seems to corroborate this. Apparently, your fiance just wants to honor the history of the relationship.

In the interest of marital harmony, Miss Manners suggests that you be the bigger person and give this couple whatever title and seating your fiance requests. After politely greeting them, you may interact minimally.

Or, confuse them by being overly effusive. Either way, make sure that your behavior cannot be faulted – and perhaps they will see in you what they have previously been missing.

DEAR MISS MANNERS: What do I say to someone (age 67) who has an interesting, but unsuccessful, way of nose-blowing?

Instead of using the thumbs to hold the tissue under the nostrils, they are out in the universe, ready to fly. Sometimes, the tissue is held over the face in a “namaste” position.

As a result, depending on the force used, the unsightly matter exiting the nostrils often lands on the upper chest hairs or shirt because the tissue is loosely covering the nose, doing NOTHING HELPFUL.

Unfortunately, my facial expression, and the words I chose, did not help fix the problem.

GENTLE READER: No doubt. Miss Manners suggests that you offer a handkerchief. They come in all sorts of helpful sizes. Large, for example. This sacrifice may help fix both problems: containing unsightly matter and maintaining a cordial relationship with this gentleman.

Please send your questions to Miss Manners at her website,

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