DEAR MISS MANNERS: My 13-year-old daughter goes to an elite prep school and gets invited to lots of swanky parties (lately bar and bat mitzvahs).
Our neighbor, my daughter's best friend since toddlerhood, goes to the local public school and spends lots of time at our house. I like her very much; however, the problem is my daughter thinks it is OK to "get her invited" to parties, which means she asks the child hosting the party if she can bring a friend.
I say this is crass and completely unacceptable. She says all the kids do it and that I am being mean to her BFF. These are no backyard BBQs, but rather grand affairs along the lines of a wedding.
How can I explain to my sweet child that this behavior puts the host in an uncomfortable position and is expensive to boot?
GENTLE READER: Evidently, the potential feelings of the host have not made an impression on your daughter. You may have to wait years for that -- until her wedding guests announce that they will be accompanied by their own guests.
Meanwhile, Miss Manners suggests that you point out that she is putting her friend in an uncomfortable position. Will the friend not be embarrassed to attend a party to which she was not willingly invited, and where, presumably, she does not know the host or many of the guests? Perhaps the hosts will be welcoming, but what if their manners are not up to that?
If your daughter is concerned about including her oldest and closest friend in the circle of her new friends, then she should throw a party herself and invite everyone. Perhaps, then, they will get to know one another, and her neighborhood friend will be legitimately invited to those parties.