DEAR MISS MANNERS: I enjoy collecting and using for entertaining various pieces of antique and estate sterling that often have gorgeous, decorative monograms that are unfortunately not consistent with my name's initials.
My usual response to the inquiry "Whose initials are these?" is "They are mine, now that I have purchased them." Should I not utilize this "pre-owned" silver among polite company or should I devise a more polite response?
GENTLE READER: Why should this little remark offend anyone? The Messrs. Gilbert and Sullivan did quite well with it in "Pirates of Penzance."
If you are not getting the laughs you must expect, Miss Manners begs you not to take it out on your honestly acquired silverware. What needs work, in that case, would be either your delivery or your guest list.