DEAR MISS MANNERS: I did quite a bit of work for a group I belong to, and the organizers of the event wanted to thank me by taking me to lunch.
I don't like eating in restaurants and never have, and if someone is trying to thank me, that's the last thing they should do. I declined and explained why.
I was told by someone else that this was unkind of me. This has happened before, and I find myself at a loss as to what to do.
Should I accept a thank-you that is uncomfortable for me, or should I continue to explain that a nice note in the mail would be perfectly acceptable? A box of chocolates is always nice, too.
GENTLE READER: And if they gave you chocolates, how could they be assured that you wouldn't give them a lecture on why you don't like eating chocolates and never have? You don't have to accept the restaurant invitation. You may politely decline. But, Miss Manners begs of you, spare the group your reasoning -- or helpful suggestions of what they could give you instead.