Miss Manners

DEAR MISS MANNERS: I am a crafter, and have invested in a high-end embroidery/quilting machine which, over the years, I have used to make many gifts for friends and family. I was so looking forward to making a special, personalized gift for the bridal shower of a good friend and neighbor’s daughter.

When I received the shower invitation, I was disappointed to read that the party will be a “gift card shower.” Attendees are requested to get gift cards from the couple’s favorite stores (several were listed) or, if a gift is given, it should be mailed directly to the couple’s home (about 2,000 miles away).

Never mind the money-grabbing aspect of this request; I feel somewhat cheated. After spending time, money and effort on a more personalized, thoughtful gift, I like to see the recipient’s reaction. I should note that this shower is going to be at an exclusive (read: expensive) location.

I am still considering my options. I could just get the gift card and be done with it, or make the personalized gift and mail it. Or, I could make the personalized gift, bring it to the shower to be opened there, then let them figure out how to get it home.

None of these options are very satisfying to me. Would you have any input to this situation?

GENTLE READER: Yes. Save your present for the wedding and skip the shower.

Unless you are wildly eager to go -- or know that you won’t be invited to the main event -- it seems likely that no matter what you do, the reaction you receive will not be the one you seek. Yes, showers generally include the opening of silly, nominal gifts, but since your present is neither, Miss Manners is afraid that you will have to give up the notion of witnessing the couple open it in person.

See if you can make arrangements to deliver -- or have your friend deliver -- the personalized craft to the bride in person as a wedding present. And then decide if the expensive shower is still worth attending.

DEAR MISS MANNERS: What is the appropriate action to take when one receives a text message that obviously was meant to go to someone else? I’ve always deleted them as soon as I realize they’re not for me, but I’ve been told recently I should be replying with a “wrong number” message.

I must admit that part of the reason I simply delete them is that I don’t text often enough to warrant an unlimited-text plan, and would prefer not to use my limited messages for three or four rounds of “No, really, you’ve got the wrong number.” If replying is the correct action, is a single reply sufficient?

GENTLE READER: Yes. It is kind to let the stranger know that the message was not received by the correct person. But doing it more than once -- particularly at one’s own expense -- is certainly not necessary. And neither, Miss Manners warns, are graphic emojis for emphasis.

(Please send your questions to Miss Manners at her website, www.missmanners.com; to her email, dearmissmanners@gmail.com; or through postal mail to Miss Manners, Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.)

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