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

Muddy Boots Mucking Up Church Service

DEAR MISS MANNERS: What is the proper protocol if one has politely declined an invitation, only to later find oneself able to attend due to the cancellation of the original obstacle? If it is a formal group gathering, for example, a dinner hosted at someone’s home, is there a polite way to inquire whether one may still attend after all?

GENTLE READER: Only indirectly. “We were so disappointed that Bucky’s award ceremony fell on the same evening as your party, but now it seems that it has been postponed. Of course we understand if we have been replaced, but would love to have you and Alistair over as soon as possible to hear all about the fun.”

(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.)