DEAR MISS MANNERS: I was dating a gentleman for a short time. Four dates, and then I decided that I did not care to see him anymore. I met him through my work, and I see him briefly every morning, because he has a daily pick-up at my office.
One day, as he left the office, he handed me a beautiful piece of jewelry without any comment. I was taken off guard.
He has not asked me out or given me any indication that he wants to see me. The next day when I saw him, I asked him why he gave it to me, and he said he wanted me to have it.
I said that we were hardly talking to each other. He responded, “We are now.”
GENTLE READER: You mean that you kept the jewelry? Then you get to keep the gentleman who gave it to you.
That is the reasoning behind a rule that probably no one except Miss Manners remembers: that a lady does not accept jewelry from any gentleman, whether she likes him or not, if she is not related to him or engaged to become so.