Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Gentle Reader's Double Posting

I'm an avid follower of the Miss Manners column in MSN.com. I make it a point to visit the site at around 3pm every Monday to get my weekly dose of advice from the grande dame of etiquette. Last year, I discovered Slate.com and its own etiquette advice column Dear Prudence and has been regularly checking the column ever since.

Two weeks ago, a Gentle Reader (what Miss Manners calls her letter-senders) asked for advice on whether to send a thank-you note for an offending wedding gift from her husband's relatives. Hubby's aunt and uncle gifted the newlyweds with a co-written book on marital infidelity along with a card inviting the newlyweds to attend and pay for one of their weekend seminars.

Last Friday, I came across exactly the same story in the Dear Prudence column.

Miss Manners and Prudence concur that Gentle Reader (or, in Dear Prudence's case, Insulted Bride) should still write her new aunt and uncle a thank-you note. Miss Manners suggests mentioning something along the lines of being sad for the other couples with troubled marriages, yet thankful for their own happiness. Prudence, more tongue-in-cheek, suggests mentioning that they hope that they don't ever have the occasion to use that wedding gift.

Aside from the varied treatments that the advice columnists have for the same scenario, what I found really amusing is that the bride wrote to at least two advice columnists about it! The bride was probably (1) looking for multiple viewpoints on the same issue; (2) in a hurry to solve her etiquette dilemma and decided to follow whichever columnist answers first; or (3) hoping that the offending aunt and uncle run across these columns and be chagrined about their faux pas.

Anyway, I'm looking forward to getting my etiquette advice fix again later this week. I hope I can again find a little gem just like Insulted Bride's dilemma.

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