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

Tipping in the Medical World

DEAR MISS MANNERS: I would like to know if it is appropriate to record how much money each of your guests give you at your wedding, like a financial ledger.

Personally, I find this extremely tacky. Too much focus is placed on the monetary value, as opposed to the personal value behind the giver’s sacrifice.

This turned into a major blowout with my in-laws, when I said that it shouldn’t matter: $50 might seem like 50 cents to some, and vice versa; therefore, the actual dollar figure should be inconsequential.

Their answer was twofold: First, you need to record the amount each guest gave you so that YOU know how much to give when invited to THEIR kids’ weddings. And second, that Aunt So-and-So “deserves to have you know and remember” that she gave so many thousands, even if Aunt Somebody Else gave considerably less.

Please let me know if my heart is right in thinking that this puts terrible emphasis on the shallowest feature of gift-giving.

GENTLE READERS: Are you really wondering if it is vulgar of your relatives to keep track of your guests’ donor levels so that you can dole out thanks proportionately and plan to retaliate against those with moderate contributions?

Miss Manners begs you to resist this mean and greedy way of treating people to whom you are supposedly close. But no doubt, explaining this to your in-laws would be a waste of time.

Read more in: Money | Marriage & Divorce | Etiquette & Ethics