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Miss Manners by Judith Martin, Nicholas Ivor Martin and Jacobina Martin

Computer Workers in Coffee Shops Are Here to Stay

DEAR MISS MANNERS: In a few months, my family will be relocating from a very large home in the Midwest to what we anticipate will be a much smaller home in a busy East Coast city.

My husband and I are both in our 40s, and our daughter is in elementary school. Over the years, we have acquired many nice things, including furniture, toys, books, household items, etc., which we realize we cannot take with us.

I wonder if I might have an "indoor downsizing party" with my friends, during which they could come over and select items. My thought was not to price items, but rather to allow them to contribute what they felt was appropriate. I thought it would be a fun way to help us tackle the downsizing, but I am concerned it may appear tacky. What are your thoughts?

GENTLE READER: That this is unfortunately the worst of all possible combinations.

It is neither a yard sale with price tags nor a generous donation of items for which you no longer have use. Miss Manners feels certain that what your friends will likely feel is "appropriate" is to know what kind of party they are attending. And not to have to put a value on their friends' belongings.

(Please send your questions to Miss Manners at her website, www.missmanners.com; to her email, dearmissmanners@gmail.com; or through postal mail to Miss Manners, Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.)

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