DEAR MISS MANNERS: Early in the school year, we received a request from the advancement director of the parochial school where our son attends kindergarten, requesting the addresses of his grandparents. The initial correspondence suggested that the school was looking to "build relationships" and hoping to invite grandparents into the school for various activities with the students.
With the grandparents' permission, I provided the school with their addresses, and the grandparents subsequently received an invitation for a Grandparents Day event months ago. Now, long after that event, the grandparents report that they received a letter from the school requesting donations.
Does this qualify as "building relationships"? Isn't this more or less a tacky bait-and-hook scheme? Am I wrong to be offended?
When I request that the grandparents' contact information be removed from the school's database, should I explain why?
GENTLE READER: Unfortunately, Miss Manners has found that people are reluctant to define a relationship as anything but a financial transaction. (Look at how many people don't consider themselves married unless they spend thousands on an over-the-top wedding reception.)
By all means, let the school know why you are requesting that your parents' information be removed. They should be aware that when you provide contact information for specific events, those are not blanket invitations to ask for money:
"I'm afraid my parents were not expecting to be solicited for fundraising. If it is possible to keep them only on the grandparent social events list, then they are happy to remain there. But if there are not separate lists, kindly remove them, and I will let them know about any pertinent social events for the school."