DEAR MISS MANNERS: If someone asks you out for a glass of champagne, and you accept, is it OK to say something like, "And if we're hungry afterwards, we can go out for some dinner"? Or is this totally tacky? Be honest.
GENTLE READER: All right: It is. Miss Manners is always honest, but you have challenged her to be blunt as well. You have also challenged your drinks host to feed you. This not only belittles his invitation but denies you the graciousness of asking him out to dinner if, after the champagne, you cannot bear to part with him.
DEAR MISS MANNERS: My wonderful fiance and I live in the Midwest. Our families are on opposite coasts. As we plan our wedding, location has become an issue.
If we marry where we live, everyone will have to travel. We are leaning toward marrying where my family is from because it is much cheaper than both where we live and where his family is from.
When we mentioned this to his family, his mother cited you, saying that destination weddings are tacky and a way to make guests pay for the couple's vacation. She suggested that we have a courthouse ceremony where we live and then have two receptions on either coast.
I was hoping that our wedding would be a chance for both of our families to come together and celebrate. I do not want anyone to be put out because of travel, but I feel that two receptions would look like we are trying to get as many gifts as possible, which is not the case.
My parents have said we should do whatever makes us happy, since we are paying for our wedding. What is the best way to handle this location problem without offending anyone?
GENTLE READER: Yes, everyone should be happy, including the two of you, but then why don't they all live in one place?
Miss Manners sees that you are doing the best you can to accommodate everyone, but still, you must choose a place. The traditional one is the bride's family's home, which seems to be the best compromise. Please tell your mother that that would not make it a "destination wedding," which is defined by being chosen merely for its vacation attractions.
DEAR MISS MANNERS: My ex-husband is extremely picky (and controlling). He criticizes my daughter for putting ketchup on her plate and dipping her hamburger in to the ketchup. Is this impolite?
I started to research the matter and found many websites with opinions on blogs and such, but he didn't accept it and said to look up Miss Manners for her opinion.
GENTLE READER: Miss Manners' opinion is that someone has to control a young lady who dips her hamburger into her ketchup, rather than spreading the ketchup from her plate on the hamburger with a knife. And that both you and she are fortunate to have her father to do it.