DEAR MISS MANNERS: I was attending the engagement party of a cousin's daughter, which was very nice. Over the course of what seemed like maybe 10 minutes, I became very ill. While trying to get to the bathroom, I, err, expelled the contents of my stomach all over the floor and the back of the mother of the groom-to-be, whom I do not know. She was in an expensive, light-colored suit. I had eaten tomato soup, so, well, I don't think she will be able to wear that suit again.
After my explosion, I apologized profusely to the woman who looked at me in horror. I also apologized to my cousin and asked for the woman's contact information, so that I might write a letter and offer to pay for dry cleaning.
My cousin says the woman is rich and snooty and can pay for her own dry cleaning, and is rather pleased over the fact that I did this, as she doesn't like the family.
What should I do? I will no doubt encounter this woman again at the wedding. My cousin is full of horror stories about her, but I have nothing against her and feel like I should do something.
GENTLE READER: Is your cousin's argument that because the woman is rich and snooty, that she is a deserving subject upon which to be vomited?
Miss Manners is not in the habit of punishing people for their questionable character. Yes, you should do something. Find the contact information with or without your cousin's help. Write a letter and offer to pay for dry cleaning, as was your original instinct. And tell your cousin to leave the etiquette advice to Miss Manners.