DEAR MISS MANNERS: For about a decade, my partner and I have made homemade packages of treats for about a dozen households at holiday time. These have varied slightly over the years, but usually include nuts, candies and baked goods. Sometimes a cake, some brownies or cookies.
This year, I used a different flour that included the salt and baking powder, saving some time on measuring ingredients. I am the first to admit that this product worked fine for the cake, but made the cookies a little less tasty somehow. We mailed them all out anyway, as we thought the difference was negligible.
Apparently it wasn’t -- at least two recipients thought so, and let us know that the items weren’t up to our usual standards. Coincidentally, these are two of the households who have never sent us any kind of gift, not even a card, at any time of year.
I want to stop sending to these two next year, as I’ve been wanting to cut down lately anyway. My partner wants to ignore it and proceed as usual. Is it too vindictive to stop, or am I within my rights to do so?
GENTLE READER: As you cannot guarantee a better cookie next year (although Miss Manners has faith in you pulling it together), it would be thoughtful to spare these discerning recipients another subpar experience.
Rather than being vindictive, this can be your excuse if the cookies’ whereabouts are questioned. Of course, you may also take the high road. But if it results in getting reprimanded again, Miss Manners permits you to tell your partner you told them so.