DEAR MISS MANNERS: At a high school reunion that was also a 50th birthday party for everyone who graduated in my class, I enjoyed socializing, and one man was flirting with me quite a bit at the Sunday brunch. He later called and eventually asked me if I would like to have dinner with him.
After I said that I would, he explained that he was going out of town for the weekend, but he would call to make arrangements as soon as he returned. He has never called.
I do not consider myself to have behaved shamelessly in any way that I am aware of, but I feel embarrassed that I said I would like to go and he never called to set it up. I am worried about seeing him somewhere and feeling awkward.
Is there something I should do or say? This has happened to me before, and that is why I am concerned it is something I am doing. I do not like to chase men, but I am now feeling like I am running into or attracting cads.
GENTLE READER: In spite of all the chatter at reunion weekend, and all the class notes you've been sending in, Miss Manners now knows more about what you have been doing in the last 35 or so years than your classmates do.
You've been collecting evidence about what cads men are.
Well, some of them are. Some of them are not. Some of them are some of the time, and some of them improve. What you should have learned by now is that people are different, and if you generalize about them and assume the worst, you will make your life, and perhaps yourself, unhappy, not to mention unattractive.
Miss Manners begs you to drop that high school angst about whether it is you. All you know here is that your classmate was interested in having dinner with you when he met you and still interested a few days later. Then he failed to call. He may be one of those Cads Who Never Call, or he may be a nice man who fell down an out-of-town well.
You are grown-up now. Call him and ask pleasantly if he is now free to schedule dinner. If he chokes up an embarrassed no, then you are free to assume that he met someone better the next day. But you must promise Miss Manners not to hold this against the next prospect you meet.
DEAR MISS MANNERS: I always write a note of thanks to the hosts of a dinner party that typically includes a modest number of guests. Is it equally appropriate to write a thank you note for a large-scale party, where dinner is not served in a seated fashion? I usually do not, but I wonder if I am being remiss.
GENTLE READER: Miss Manners is hard pressed to think when it would not be appropriate to write a letter of thanks to one's host. Possibly a guest should refrain from expressing gratitude after having left with the host's forks or spouse. However, you are correct that such letters are mandated for dinner parties, but not for large, less formal gatherings.