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

Potential Clients’ Smoky Smell Kills the Deal

DEAR MISS MANNERS: My fiance of 15 years has a son who recently got married, and asked his dad and mother to sit together in the church during the wedding ceremony. I was asked to sit two rows behind them, with the mother’s boyfriend.

I did not agree with this. However, what is proper?

GENTLE READER: A 15-year engagement is unusual enough to distinguish it from the boyfriend your future stepson’s mother just met. But its very unusualness may mistakenly have led the son to conclude that you and he are unlikely to have any future, legal relationship.

Miss Manners would have had no objection to your asking your fiance to intervene, as long as you had been prepared for a polite no -- possibly defended as a need to have the many ceremony participants immediately accessible.

(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.)