Miss Manners: Should the bride and groom apologize for their quick divorce? – East Bay Times

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DEAR MISS MANNERS: My son married his live-in girlfriend of 10 years at a destination wedding at an expensive resort in the Dominican Republic with about 40 people, mostly from our family.

Then they came home and had a hotel reception, with dinner and dancing, for about 200 people. Everyone who went to the Dominican festivities also came to the reception and gave gifts or cash.

Two months later, the couple separated and are planning a divorce.

Should they be returning gifts? And should they apologize to guests — especially those who went to both wedding events?

Many of the reception guests were our friends, colleagues and relatives, and they didn’t know the couple well. My brother has “joked” that he wants his $3,000 for the trip back.

GENTLE READER: The requirement to return wedding presents is generally reserved for canceled weddings, not divorces, even though this timeline feels similar.

But those who willingly went to the destination wedding knew what they were getting themselves into — and presumably still enjoyed a vacation, even if it was somewhat forced upon them.

As for apologies, there is no need. Surely your brother and the other guests must realize that no one is suffering the irony and cost more than the couple — except perhaps you.

DEAR MISS MANNERS: I have two amazing girls who are 4 years old and 18 months old. For the most part, they are really good eaters for me when we’re at home or at restaurants.

But I have found that when we’re at Nana and Papa’s house, they are pickier eaters — to the point that I have to feed them a second supper when we get home.

Should I start bringing foods I know they’ll eat, just in case? I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings, but I also want my kids to eat well at other people’s houses. I am aware of the menu ahead of time, but it’s so hard to know when my kids are going to object to certain foods.

GENTLE READER: Which is why you should not encourage this.

Children’s tastes change all the time. Who is to say that they will not soon develop a taste for Nana’s kreplach or Papa’s liverwurst sandwiches?

If you have to feed them a few second suppers while they are young, Miss Manners suggests you do so. But as they get older, they may start to weigh the relative merits of trying something new versus being hungry.

Maybe they will never love organ meat, but the lesson to be polite and graciously accept what is being offered — or to politely decline — is far more important.

DEAR MISS MANNERS: Without sounding harsh or dictatorial, how do I gently tell a friend of mine to stop using “reply all”?

If I email, say, six people, my friend’s “reply all” message is either inconsequential or of zero interest to the others receiving my original message.

GENTLE READER: “I’m not sure that you were aware, but you replied all. Just didn’t want you to accidentally tell everyone any secrets that were only meant for me.”

Please send your questions to Miss Manners at her website, www.missmanners.com; to her email, [email protected]; or through postal mail to Miss Manners, Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.

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