DEAR MISS MANNERS: My daughters, ages 7 and 8, and I are sometimes invited to a dinner with a family who has boys, ages 9 and 10, or another family with boys aged 8 and 10. We always have a lovely dinner, but then once the adults start talking, the boys take out their iPads and basically ignore my daughters.
I've taught my daughters that when we eat at someone's house, we are there to socialize with them and that it's not appropriate to play on a mobile phone or tablet, as that would be rude. So on the occasions that we eat with these families, my girls end up in tears because they feel ignored and eventually get super bored.
It's not that I expect the boys to entertain them, and I could send the girls with their own tablet. Am I being a rude guest, and should I just tote along a tablet for my girls to play on?
GENTLE READER: Before you resort to such measures, Miss Manners suggests you start out lower on the tech pole by instructing your daughters to bring board games or art materials discreetly. When the boys inevitably take out their tablets, instruct the girls to start a game or a (non-messy) art project, encouraging the others to play with them.
If that fails, at least your daughters will have something to occupy them -- until they quickly learn that staying at the table, listening to grown-ups' conversations is often the best entertainment of all.
DEAR MISS MANNERS: I have come to learn that a few people did not receive their invitations to my wedding for one reason or another, and I only found out when I inquired about their RSVPs (I inquired after the posted RSVP date).
In most cases, the address was right, but they still did not get the invitation! I even double-checked the addresses myself, and my calligrapher checked that every address was correct and a legit postal address through the post office.
This got me thinking that when I send thank-you notes, how am I to be sure everyone got their notes? I do not have everyone's phone numbers and am wondering if I am supposed to follow up with the 170-plus people coming to my wedding regarding if they received my thank-you notes? I don't want anyone thinking I am ungrateful for their gift to us, and given the issue regarding some of the invitations, I am afraid they will not all get their thank-you notes. Any suggestions?
GENTLE READER: That your guests acquire better mail service. Or better excuses for not having responded.
Even with tangible evidence, it is not reasonable to expect that you check in with all recipients to make sure that they received your letters of thanks.
However, when you see each person next -- or at the reception if they sent the present early -- Miss Manners recommends that you make a point of thanking them again, adding, "I hope you got my letter. The post seems to be intercepting them." She does not allow this excuse, however, for those hoping to forgo writing them entirely. But nice try.
(Please send your questions to Miss Manners at her website, www.missmanners.com; to her email, email@example.com; or through postal mail to Miss Manners, Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.)