DEAR MISS MANNERS: When I held a fundraiser for a local elected official and neighbor six days ago, I told him my little house could accommodate no more than 50 people. He kept saying he wanted 100 people, and I kept telling him that was impossible.
Luckily, the weather cooperated and we were able to use my garden for the overflow and everyone seemed to have a good time. He was pleased with the sum raised (several thousand dollars).
I spent on food and drink approximately four times my usual political contribution, not to mention the stress of holding such a large event at my age (70) without hired help.
I haven't received any written acknowledgement. Said politician, 40 years old and single, is planning more fundraisers. (I mention that he is single because I can't help thinking that if he were married, his wife would make sure he did the right thing.)
To add insult to injury, he requested for a thank you note the address of a friend who didn't attend but sent a small contribution.
Is it ever appropriate to inform someone that a thank you note and/or a thank you gift are called for?
GENTLE READER: No, but there is a way to get a politician's attention: Call his office and ask to be taken off the mailing list because you are no longer sure about being a supporter.
But not quite yet, please. As strong a believer as Miss Manners is in prompt expressions of gratitude, she would give him more than six days. And not expect a present, as would be customary for the guest of honor at a social occasion.
Presumably you have reasons other than neighborliness to support this person. And even Miss Manners would not allow her vote to hang on one letter of thanks. But ignoring your instructions about the party, even though you were able to accommodate the larger number, is ominous. Public servants are supposed to be responsive to the wishes of others.
In any case, you can and should request a formal acknowledgment of the money you spent for your own accounting and tax purposes. Perhaps that will prompt the reply you deserve.
DEAR MISS MANNERS: In this day and age of over-the-top weddings, I am in a real quandary regarding invitations to mine.
I am old enough to have grandchildren and will be marrying again after several years of widowhood. I don't want anything resembling a traditional wedding. I just want a party, and since everyone is together and my friend the preacher is there, gee, lets have a wedding type of casual gathering. No formality whatsoever.
So how do my intended and I word invitations? "Susan and Joseph request the pleasure of your company...." is far more formal than what I am envisioning, but "Yo! It's a party" sounds too silly. The words must reflect the seriousness of the commitment but none of the formality that suggests a young woman's dream day.
GENTLE READER: Informal weddings can be charming, and Miss Manners is happy to see that you do not mistake informality for jokiness.
But neither should your invitations ape the formal style. A correct informal invitation is simply a short letter: "Joseph and I are being married on (date, time, place) and would love to have you attend...."