DEAR MISS MANNERS: I'd like to know what type of note I should include in my thank yous that I am sending out for my wedding. The problem is that I'm sending them out almost two years after our wedding day.
Financial setbacks are the main reason why we couldn't purchase the pictures that we were including in our thank-you notes. Now that we're able to buy them, I still want to send them. Should I include a note to explain the delay or should I just send them as is?
GENTLE READER: Two years is long enough for you to have recovered from the it's-all-about-us attitude that unfortunately overtakes so many bridal couples. Miss Manners would like you to consider this situation from the point of view of your generous wedding guests.
They would like to know that you received what they sent you, and that they succeeded in pleasing you. They would have like to know this immediately, which is when letters of thanks are due. And the matter of being ignored still rankles with them.
In contrast -- Miss Manners hates to break this to you -- they are not breathlessly awaiting your wedding pictures.
This was a dreadful excuse, and she does not recommend using it in your letters. (An even worse excuse would be that you have been busy. You may be sure that your benefactors did not go out and shop for you because time was hanging heavily on their hands. To be told that your busyness was so much more important that you could not find time, in two years, to thank them, will enrage them.)
Your only hope is to take the blame and throw yourself on their mercy, groveling as much as you decently can:
"I have been criminally remiss in thanking you for your great generosity, and can only hope that you will be kind enough to forgive me ..." along with an account of how much you have been enjoying using the particular present all this time.
DEAR MISS MANNERS: If one is dining at a restaurant with several friends, is it inappropriate to say, "Please excuse me, I need to use the restroom"?
My friend who is a teacher says it is and reprimanded me in front of our friends. If it is inappropriate, how does one excuse themselves from the dining table?
GENTLE READER: You are half way there. Whoops, Miss Manners doesn't mean that she is following you to the rest room -- only that half of your sentence -- "Please excuse me" -- was correct.
That is more than she can say for someone who delivers public reprimands.
"Please excuse me" is all one needs to say to leave the table. Your destination is not considered appetizing, and anyway, people can figure it out.
DEAR MISS MANNERS: Is it considered bad manners for a young boy to wear a ball cap inside a ?casual ?restaurant? These days I see lots of grown men doing ?precisely that.
GENTLE READER: Yes on both your points -- yes, it's rude, and yes, lots of grown men are doing that.