DEAR MISS MANNERS: A friend and their spouse are planning a five-day vacation to my city, and have invited me out for dinner one night. I live in a trendy town with a lot of unique restaurants, and they asked me for a recommendation and information about specific places.
I haven’t been to the spots they asked about, but suggested others that I like a lot. They didn’t take my recommendations, and instead chose one of the restaurants on their list. Neither their choice nor my rec is a famous place, and both are highly reviewed online.
I’m going to go and likely enjoy the food a lot, but their decision still confuses me. Obviously, they can go wherever they want, but I still feel a little insulted they would rely on travel websites over me, a person who has lived here for 15 years.
This is the second time this has happened with out-of-town visitors. Are they being rude? Am I out of touch? Is it somewhere in between?
GENTLE READER: As you were twice fooled, Miss Manners understands why you would be miffed -- and unlikely to want to be ignored if asked for restaurant recommendations in the future. If the next request comes with an accompanying list, you may say, “I don’t know the ones you suggested, but if those don’t work out, I am happy to make reservations at one of my favorite places.”
DEAR MISS MANNERS: My husband and I were invited to a wedding where I don’t know the couple as well as he does, but we RSVPed for both of us. But then my husband was promoted at work, and there is a required event on the day of the wedding.
We informed the couple as soon as we knew, and they were very gracious about it. I told the bride’s sister -- whom I know well and who is doing a lot of the planning -- that I wasn’t comfortable going alone since it is a three-hour drive, and I cannot drive after dark.
After that conversation, the bride found a man to take my husband’s reservation and said he would be willing to drive down with me.
That is not happening.
I know him, but not well. He isn’t married, but I think he has a girlfriend.
Would it be OK for me to just ask the couple if he can take both reservations?
I don’t want to be one of those people who disregards the purpose of an RSVP, but I cannot see how to make this work.
GENTLE READER: And yet this bride has done everything in her power to make things work on your behalf. Miss Manners is not insisting that you ride three hours with a near-stranger (however vetted he may be), but the bride has tried and failed to present a solution without also disrupting her table settings.
Now the problem is yours. You can either politely refuse the offer and hire a car instead (although Miss Manners warns you that the driver might also not be married or have a girlfriend), or do as you suggest and decline the invitation entirely. But then, Miss Manners warns, you should not soon expect another one.
(Please send your questions to Miss Manners at her website, www.missmanners.com; to her email, firstname.lastname@example.org; or through postal mail to Miss Manners, Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.)