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

‘Losers’ Party’ Goes From Bad to Worse

DEAR MISS MANNERS: I was nominated for an award, which I did not win -- and that’s fine!

Prior to the awards ceremony, all nominees were given an invitation to the “losers’ party” after the ceremony. The party was off-site and we (losing nominees and our plus-ones) were taken there in a series of buses.

I was on the second bus, and when we arrived, we found out that entry into the party venue had been cut off due to capacity concerns. Our bus driver refused to take us back to the original venue, and we were all left standing in the street on a chilly evening, wearing our nice clothes -- “we” being at least 50 people.

We were then told to stand and wait, because if other people left, an equal number could be let in. Initially we were told that only nominees could enter, without our plus-ones, though this was later changed.

At that point, I physically couldn’t stand any longer (I have bad joints, and I know I’m not the only one with physical issues who was there) and I didn’t want to compete with my fellows to gain entry. Some cabs had thankfully been called at that point, so I left.

I’m honestly not even that mad about missing the party itself, since I’m not really a party person, but I feel like it was unconscionably rude to give out more invitations than there was space and then abandon us in the street outside, to find our way home at just shy of midnight in a city where public transit basically shuts down at 11 on a Sunday.

I’ve been told (though do take this with the large grain of salt that hearsay deserves) that the party venue was nearly full before any of the “losers” the party was supposedly for had arrived, because we were still all at the awards ceremony.

No apology or explanation has been given by the party organizers, and that’s really all I want. The radio silence feels like an implication that I’m being the unreasonable one for being upset I wasn’t allowed into a party I was explicitly invited to. Am I in the right or wrong here?

GENTLE READER: Since even the contingency plan had a contingency, Miss Manners assures you that you were wise to leave. There are only so many defeats one must reasonably have to endure in a single evening.

DEAR MISS MANNERS: I realize that this is an indelicate subject, but it’s one that has been bothering me for a while. When a guest in someone’s house, is one expected to leave the toilet clean after use, or is it OK to leave splatter?

There is a cleaning brush nearby, so I feel there is no excuse for a dirty commode, except laziness. I also have this question when traveling with someone and sharing a bathroom. Am I being overly fastidious?

GENTLE READER: Not to the person who plans to use your bathroom next.

(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.)