DEAR MISS MANNERS: A friend recently sent me a link to a Web site with information about her niece and her intended who are getting married six months from now.
The backfield was crimson. The print and wedding-theme logos were white. There was a grid of nine boxes to click, pulling up different windows listing dates, events, accommodations, attendants, guest book and bridal registries for which the engaged couple had signed up.
There was a box marked "photo album," which, if clicked, pulled up a slide show of family photos. There was a box "about us" which, if clicked, pulled up a photo of the couple and prose about who they are and how they met.
I thought the Web site looked so high tech as to seem like a promo for an upcoming theatrical release. I thought it vulgar -- perhaps a bad joke. And it could be somewhat exclusionary in light of possible older family members who are not computer and Internet savvy.
I asked a couple of friends if they had ever seen such a wedding announcement Web site; only one had.
Is this a new trend? Is the romance gone from weddings in the name of slick merchandizing of the couple hoping to take in a truckload of gifts? Does one assume there will be a prenuptual agreement, too? It is all so show-biz. I'd enjoy knowing what you think about it.
GENTLE READER: In the years immediately preceding the wedding Web site (which is now common, although your circle has been fortunate enough to miss it), invitations sent by mail were so stuffed with directions, hotel choices and sightseeing opportunities that the marriage seemed like merely one choice of amusements among many.
For that reason, Miss Manners would consider the Web site a useful improvement. But that is only until she looks at what is stuffed into it.
The unlimited space on the Internet seems to have turned everyone into the person no one wants to sit next to on the airplane. And beyond the widespread general desire to pour out their lives and thoughts to all and sundry, lovers are notoriously susceptible to believing that they are the center of the universe and the envy of all.
Of course, they are influenced by show business. Do you think the couple has spent that long engagement gazing at each other? They have been working on the set, the costumes, the make-up, the props and the extras (that's you, the wedding guests).
So they not only create the promo but include a sort of illustrated fan magazine story about themselves.
True, it is not in the best of taste. But kindhearted people are inclined to indulge them in this on the grounds that they are not, at this moment of their lives, in their right minds.
And it is useful to have the map and the hotel list, and easy to make printouts for the computer-less.
DEAR MISS MANNERS: At my mother's house, I was just hanging out and having a drink, which I was slurping. When my mother realized I was slurping, she said it was rude to slurp -- but we did not have any company. I know it is rude to slurp in public, but is it rude to slurp in private?
GENTLE READER: No, but you were not in private. You were in the company of your mother.