DEAR MISS MANNERS: I am a graduating high school senior who finds the process of sending out graduation announcements tacky.
Close family and friends should be the only people to receive such announcements and invitations, since they may actually be interested in attending, but in recent years, the custom has expanded to include neighbors, acquaintances and distant family members.
Sending announcements to so many people seems like a new way for greedy people to solicit money. Many of my peers have bragged about the money they plan to receive and have chosen to send out as many announcements as they can for that reason alone.
Am I right in finding this custom appalling? Is there any way I can gently inform my peers that they are being rude to feel so entitled?
GENTLE READER: The survival of the graduation announcement, at a time when just about every other announcement is made on social Internet sites, had already led Miss Manners to the conclusion that your classmates confirm.
She is pleased that you have the sense to realize that such announcements are at best unnecessary, and the manners to refrain from sending them. However, she does not advise your going around chastising the rest of the class. At least not until you are safely at a far-away college that none of them is planning to attend.
DEAR MISS MANNERS: Could you please explain the intended purpose of graduation announcements?
I am confused at receiving one from the daughter of a friend. We live in the same town and I see my friend rather frequently. I am certain that my friend and her daughter both know that I already know that she is graduating. Why should I receive an announcement for something that I knew already was going to occur? Even if I wanted to attend the ceremony, I wouldn't be able to, because one must have an invitation to attend and one was not enclosed. I happen to know that tickets to the graduation are nearly impossible to secure. I can't help but feel that it was a plea for a gift.
GENTLE READER: See above.
DEAR MISS MANNERS: I would like to know under what circumstances would it be acceptable to ask someone how much money they make or to tell someone how much money you make. This is an argument my wife and I have had recently.
GENTLE READER: So -- how much do you and she each make?
What -- you don't think it quite right for Miss Manners to ask? Even if she declares that she is curious?
Actually, she isn't. This is because she is not considering hiring either of you -- and even then you might not want to answer if you are hoping to negotiate for more.
Surely you are aware that there are two meanings when talking about a person's "worth" -- financial and as a human being -- and that shallow people conflate them. In a social situation, such a question is therefore rude because it is insulting to question someone's worth, and telling is rude because it constitutes bragging.