Dear Miss Manners: My daughter is to be a bridesmaid for a bride who is buying everyone shapewear, which they are expected to wear, and her mother is buying everyone “a good bra.”
This seems to me to be a bit excessive, but as a woman in her seventh decade of life, perhaps I am just behind the times. How might one best handle this expectation?
Gentle Reader: If only Miss Manners could assume that members of the wedding party weren’t going to be checked, airport security-style, to see if they were wearing the issued undergarments, you would be right up with the times. Airports are now banishing these invasive X-rays. Unfortunately, bridal dictators do not inspire such confidence.
Still, if your daughter does not want to wear the underwear, she needn’t. If asked why not, she can simply say she tried it, it was uncomfortable, and she is happy to offer it back – only slightly used.
Make it relatable
Dear Miss Manners: Is there an acceptable way for a gentleman to introduce himself to a lady whose acquaintance he wishes to make, in a public place like a museum, store, bar or restaurant?
Gentle Reader: You mean other than by social media, hook-up apps and offensive one-liners?
Miss Manners commends you on your desire to forgo these regrettable practices and indeed prove yourself to be a gentleman.
As you seem to frequent interesting places, you could endeavor to strike up a conversation that relates to them – an opinion or a recommendation – and see where it leads. Just please be aware of social cues indicating absence of interest or of a mate. It occurs to Miss Manners that unwanted attention and lack of social graces are likely what have made the other methods so prevalent.
Don’t be a nag
Dear Miss Manners: I like “Best wishes” or “Best regards” to end business correspondence, but I’ve been toying with alternatives for friends and family.
Here they are: “Live healthy,” “Live free,” “Be safe,” etc.
Am I creating a trend perhaps not respectful of tradition (manners)?
Gentle Reader: When traditions need improving, Miss Manners will let you know.
There is nothing wrong with signing off with assurances of sincerity or good wishes or affectionate sentiments. Admonishing your correspondents to lead safe, healthy lives sounds remarkably like nagging.
This column was co-written by Judith Martin’s daughter, Jacobina Martin.