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

Why Can’t We Just Say ‘I’m Sorry’?

DEAR MISS MANNERS: I have friends who were supposed to be married soon, but due to COVID-19, they have had to postpone the wedding until the fall. Back in January, I ordered them a gift that is personalized with their names and original wedding date.

What is the appropriate thing to do with this gift? Should I still give it to them, or should I just toss it, since it can’t be returned? If I give it to them, should I do so now or wait until the fall? I just don’t want to commit a faux pas or upset them because they had to postpone their wedding.

GENTLE READER: As much as Miss Manners hates to see this thoughtful present go to waste, she is afraid that giving it to the couple might be an unfortunate reminder of what did not transpire -- or befuddling to their future children or archivists.

Perhaps the retailer will take pity and be able to design over the engraving or otherwise detract from it. If not, it might be more tactful to keep it, turn it the other way around and get the couple another present.

(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.)