DEAR MISS MANNERS: When I have visitors who stay the night, I always have fluffy fresh towels and lovely glass jars with feminine products clearly visible, discreetly placed on a shelf by the toilet so guests won't have to embarrass themselves by asking me for them or go hunting for them under the sink. I keep a jar of orange juice, water and coffee cups out in view. where they can clearly be used for guests. And to my great joy, my guests DO take me up on these gestures and partake in my hospitality.
However, I think they take more than they should. For instance, on one visit, my guests 2 two inches worth of a bottle of very expensive salon shampoo of mine. They used an entire tube of toothpaste in one weekend. I find some of my nicest and prettiest body wash down to the last drop after they leave.
So I kindly and tactfully told the girlfriends of these fellas that though I love them as visitors, I don't love having to buy shampoo every week, and would they please encourage the guys to bring their own toiletries on visits. I also took to removing all my shampoo and soap from the shower before they arrive. Is this OK? Am I being unkind in doing these things?
GENTLE READER: Unkind to your idea of yourself as being hospitable, as you have set yourself up to chastise your guests.
Miss Manners recommends small bottles and tubes.
DEAR MISS MANNERS: My fiance and I are planning to get married soon with invites sent out and responses received. We have a beautiful son together who has an important role in our wedding. We have previously invited several people, mainly friends, who, since learning that our son will be participating, have become disagreeable. They have previously professed to adore our son even though they don't agree with the manner in which he was conceived. They are now being so rude that we no longer want them to attend the wedding. They don't believe children under 18 should be in a wedding or even allowed to attend a wedding, especially one conceived outside of wedlock. They believed we should have married before our son was born.
Is there any way to politely uninvite them even though they have already sent in their response cards saying that they will be here? Since they have announced this view, we haven't spent much time with them, as our son is so important to us .
GENTLE READER: There may be extreme cases in which an invited guest has to be barred from the wedding, in which case the form is to say, "Considering how you feel, we don't think you would be happy attending."
But if this were said to all those holding opinions about the courtship and the ceremony, everyone would get married in isolation. Mind you, Miss Manners considers it dreadful to voice such opinions even, as often happens, when the couple seem to discuss their plans thoroughly enough to appear to invite comment. However, she would suggest letting this go. They are unlikely to critique the wedding while it is going on and may well revert afterwards to saying how adorable your son is.