DEAR MISS MANNERS: Perhaps you saw an article about a couple who had a modest wedding, where the bride is quoted as saying, "My attitude was, take Miss Manners and throw her out the window."
(I believe she was referring to the proverbial Miss Manners, and not your august personage.)
What distressed me about this was not that the bride was presented as an anomaly, because she clearly is, but that the couple's decisions were portrayed as almost freakishly anti-etiquette. Imagine -- planning your wedding in only three months! Establishing a budget and sticking to it! Paying for the event yourselves! No monogrammed bar napkins! Buying your attendants' dresses secondhand! Accepting a donated cake from a relative! No cash bar! Decorating the hall yourselves! Assuring your guests that you already had everything and no gifts were necessary!
In the words of the groom, "We believe in spending what you can afford. It's not about impressing people. Our thing was to have a nice party and celebrate our marriage." The only impropriety I noted was the bride's directing people to give her cash toward some living-room furniture or donate it to a charity if they couldn't bring themselves to skip giving a gift.
In fact, her wedding struck me as deeply proper, if propriety is defined as staging a modest wedding that pleases you and your guests, and does not place your friends and family in some sort of indentured servitude. Indeed, the whole affair sounded curiously old-fashioned.
GENTLE READER: Thank you for saving Miss Manners' life.
She did see the article. Fearing that her life's work of fighting vulgarity, greed and pretentiousness had come to naught, and that the powerful propaganda of the wedding industry had succeeded in conveying the belief that etiquette condemns consideration, modesty and prudence, Miss Manners was going to save the bride the trouble of tossing her out the window. She was going to jump.
DEAR MISS MANNERS: Upon learning that I had found a new job, a former boss sent me a congratulatory note that included the phrase, "We miss you here."
I would have welcomed this sentiment, except that she was the one who had terminated my prior employment. So far I've been a good sport about her power-play-disguised-as-layoffs. Must I continue to hold my tongue?
GENTLE READER: Have you considered the possibility that your former boss does miss you, regrets having let you go, and is paving the way for someday wooing you back?
Miss Manners can hardly think of a more satisfactory impression for a terminated employee to leave. "They'll miss me when I'm gone" is surely the fantasy of everyone who feels unfairly treated.
However, you can probably fix that, as well as any chance of your needing her recommendation or wanting to work there ever again. An unleashed stream of rudeness would be a comfortable reminder that she no longer has to deal with you.