DEAR MISS MANNERS: My great-nephew and his wife are having a baby. The following statement was put on their shower invitation: “Masks are not required or needed, but if you think it is necessary, wear one. We want to discourage anyone from talking about politics, and please keep your virus opinions to yourself. If you have trouble starting a conversation, ask us: We can suggest things to talk about.”
I was deeply offended. I am very political, but am mature enough to know when and when not to talk about it. My daughter was also offended. We feel we were singled out because we are the only Democrats in our family and their group of friends.
GENTLE READER: Being both very political, and mature enough not to talk about it at every occasion, is an unusual combination these days.
Miss Manners says this not because she doubts you, but to remind you how desperate modern hosts are to protect their guests from one another. She therefore urges you to take this bossy invitation (which she does not, for the record, condone) stoically -- assuming that everyone received similar instructions, and overlooking the rudeness of criticizing others’ anticipated manners.
However, as masks are optional, you may not want to accept anyway.