DEAR MISS MANNERS: A year ago, I was invited to my boyfriend's family member's bridal shower on an invitation sent to his mom at his house (I do not live there with them). I was never made aware of the invitation (my boyfriend forgot to tell me), and therefore did not attend.
I found out at the wedding that I was invited to the shower and had missed it. Now I have been invited to another member's shower in the same manner, but this time my boyfriend informed me of the occasion.
I'm glad I actually found out about the event this time around, but was a little upset by the way they have gone about inviting me. Is this appropriate? I feel like they must not care much to have me there if they can't even take the time to get my address and send me my own invitation.
GENTLE READER: This is a version of what Miss Manners thinks of as the Appendage Invitation. That horrid designation "and guest," which is stuck on otherwise formal invitations, is in the same category. It means "bring someone along if you feel like it, and we don't much care who it is."
If you want to make a point of this, Miss Manners suggests taking it up with the gentleman in question. Leaving aside whether he actually delivers such invitations to you, you could ask him to request the family to invite you directly. Or you could just not attend these events, taking the gamble that he or they will miss you enough to figure out that they never quite invited you.
DEAR MISS MANNERS: My mother and I were wondering what a woman's role is in this day and age (feminine liberation) during the playing of the national anthem.
I am an active-duty soldier, so my role is clear. I salute. But as a civilian, my mother is confused. When she was growing up, it was proper for men to remove their hats and place them over their hearts. Women kept their hats on, and covered their hearts with their hand.
After attending several of my military functions, my mother has been berated by many people for not removing her headgear during the national anthem. She has been involved in many heated arguments about this topic, and we thought it would be best to write to you, because she isn't so sure that she is right anymore.
GENTLE READER: In rushing to defend your mother against those who are rude enough to berate her, Miss Manners was picturing a dear lady wearing a pretty afternoon dress with a flowered hat. Then it occurred to her that your mother, however dear, might have happened to be wearing a workout suit and a baseball cap.
It makes a difference. There is no change in the rule that a lady does not remove her ladylike hat. But the rule does not apply to unisex hats, as you know in regard to your uniform. Such hats must be removed during the national anthem and not worn indoors.
However, the rule against berating others applies to everyone and it is not subject to change.