DEAR MISS MANNERS: A friend of mine is in the midst of planning his wedding and needs your help! His bride wants to require all 175 guests to wear either khaki or white.
My friend has suggested that maybe they could just require "neutral"-color attire instead, but he still feels that it's not appropriate to require any specific colors.
We feel that only a clear direction from you, if you are in agreement, of course, that it's not a good idea to mandate colors worn by wedding guests can persuade the bride to leave this request off of the invitation.
GENTLE READER: By all means, tell the bride that Miss Manners says to calm down, take a deep breath and get a grip on herself. Her wedding guests are not extras whom she has hired to fill out a show and can therefore costume as she chooses. All she can do is to inform them of the general style of the wedding (formal or informal) and hope for the best. And do, please, reassure her, that color-coordinated guests would add nothing to her wedding except, perhaps, a humorous challenge to her authority on the part of the rebellious among them.
DEAR MISS MANNERS: I hired a tree service to remove two large trees that were very close to my house. While these workers were competent in their jobs, I was a bit taken aback when one of them asked if I had something to drink. (I recall that when I was younger and my mother had work done to our property, the workers would ask if they could take a drink of water from our outside hose, but never asked her for something to drink.)
Is this request proper? Was I supposed to have offered them something to drink in the first place?
This is not the first time this has happened. Should I have told these gentlemen to drink from the hose? What should I tell them this if it happens in the future?
GENTLE READER: It would be kinder to ensure that this does not happen in the future by offering glasses of ice water (or cold soft drinks or juice) to people who are working hard for you in the heat. But if they should ask first, you should reply graciously, "Of course," and bring it to them in whatever glasses you normally use. Miss Manners will not comment on your mother's approach, except to say that it was once common but fortunately no longer is.
DEAR MISS MANNERS: What do you do when a friend invites you to dinner and then serves a frozen dinner? How do you tell her that this is not appropriate? Or is it OK? This seems like a major lack of social etiquette if you ask me. I didn't say anything at the time. I ate the dinner and thanked her for inviting me.
GENTLE READER: And now you feel remorseful because you failed to insult her?
Presuming that your friend defrosted the meal before serving it to you, Miss Manners does not acknowledge that you have cause for complaint. It is bad enough that people treat their friends houses like restaurants -- failing to show up, arriving late, bringing extra people -- without their reviewing the meals.