DEAR MISS MANNERS: My daughter will graduate in May. I have had discussions with her about the benefits of homeownership and thought it would be great to start a "my future home" account for her, and have her monetary graduation gifts directed there. She likes that idea.
I spoke with my financial adviser and found that we could very easily set up a trust for that purpose. The problem is getting the word out. I believe that it is perfectly acceptable to include the trust information in the graduation announcement. She thinks it's tacky and in poor taste and believes that I should call everyone and share the information personally.
If you agree with me, please let me know how I can tastefully word the insert; if not, what would you suggest as an alternative?
GENTLE READER: As an alternative, Miss Manners would suggest teaching your daughter that financial responsibility means paying your own bills, not begging from others, and that common sense says that no one, no matter how fond of your daughter, wants to buy her a house.
It is not only the magnitude of your nerve that makes it rude. Soliciting donations and presents has become so commonplace that people now believe trolling for money and goods is only tasteless when it seems especially greedy. You would get the prize for that, but those who make smaller demands are no less rude. Just less imaginative.
DEAR MISS MANNERS: My partner and I agree that with a quartered head of iceberg lettuce, one must use a knife, but I question a knife in use of a normal broken salad, especially with a whole cherry tomato and a salad plate. I was taught that a salad fork must be used to cut the salad, but he says that as a cherry tomato tends to scoot across the table when attempting to cut it with a salad fork, a knife should be used. Also, can a knife be used if the lettuce is not sufficiently torn?
GENTLE READER: Miss Manners recommends dropping whatever else you are doing to go hunt for salad knives. It will not be easy, but the small knife, also sometimes called a tea knife or a youth knife, is the only correct one to use.
You need them, because you are at an impasse. You are right that meat knives should never be used on salad, but your partner is right that one has to defend oneself against inconsiderate and lazy salad-makers.
DEAR MISS MANNERS: I was recently invited to a party by an acquaintance and responded to accept the invitation. A couple of days later, I received an invitation from a very good friend for an event on the same evening. I declined the invitation explaining that I had already accepted an invitation for the same evening. I felt badly afterwards for turning down an invitation from a good friend. Was this the proper response?
GENTLE READER: Yes, of course it was. You could hardly tell someone who was kind enough to invite you that you had a subsequent invitation from someone you like better. Miss Manners can understand that you may regret missing a good friend's party, but hopes you don't feel bad about doing the right thing.