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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Miss Manners 11/2

By Judith Martin, Nicholas Ivor Martin and Jacobina Martin ANDREWS MCMEEL SYNDICATION

DEAR MISS MANNERS: My husband and I have hosted a Thanksgiving party for family (around 30 people) every year for the past 12 years, always on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. Although we still send out invitations for the event, everyone has come to expect the gathering.

Some of the younger relatives even travel from both coasts to our home in the Midwest. (I know: We are SO lucky!)

However, we have decided that we are not comfortable hosting the party this year, due to the pandemic. Should we send out announcements now that we don’t plan on hosting? Or maybe just call/text/email everyone? Or just not send the usual invitations six weeks prior to the holiday?

No one has inquired yet as to our plans, but I’m afraid they may just be assuming that we still intend to host.

GENTLE READER: Yes, you should let them know fast – by call, text or email.

There does exist a formal way of announcing this. But this is reserved for occasions such as canceled weddings, where there is a vain hope of not having to tell everybody why.

In the current situation, everyone would know why. Yet confirmation , in case there is some accommodation or alternative plan,would be welcome.

It would also be cheering to know that there is hope for the future, and a couple of Miss Manners’ acquaintance managed this in a charming way. Along with their regret at not being able to give their annual party this year, they sent an invitation for the party to take place in 2021.

DEAR MISS MANNERS: I began carrying a handkerchief years ago, at your urging. During this pandemic, I have found it very useful for wiping my eyes, opening doors and generally protecting me from unsanitary surfaces, along with the more obvious historical uses (aside from dropping them on the ground to attract gentlemen).

The more I use them, the more I wonder: What is the proper way to carry them? I rarely have a long sleeve to tuck it into, so it’s in my purse; is that OK? Do you have an opinion on cotton vs. linen? After using it, should I fold it carefully and tuck it away, or is it acceptable to roll it into a ball? Does color matter? How about size?

GENTLE READER: These days, even gentlemen would probably not be inclined to pick one up.

The other uses are valuable, provided you separate them, and don’t go from doorknob to eyes.. While you must crumple it after use, rather than refold it, you get to choose size, color, material and where to stash it.

Miss Manners is dismayed the handkerchief is in bad repute by those who fear it unsanitary, and tissues are in bad repute by those who fear their damage to the environment. They both have their uses. Handkerchiefs are prettier.

Send questions to Miss Manners at her website missmanners.com.

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