Dear Manners: A relative and I are organizing a family get-together we don’t see much now that our grandparents and parents have passed away. We plan to invite 15 relatives, their spouses, children and grandchildren, with multiple activities planned over two or three days. Most of them will have to travel for the occasion.
There are two people we don’t want to join, but we must invite because excluding them from the invite list will require an explanation of the reasons. (These reasons include stealing tens of thousands of dollars, stealing family legacies, and making sexual remarks to pre-teens.)
How can we include them in the invite list but somehow prevent them from coming? We can send the invitations electronically, with the names of all relatives in Bcc, but eventually the deletion will be noticed.
I have thought about hinting at legal action for one of these relatives, but I have no such threat to the other.
Kind Reader: Issuing invitations and charges in the same mail reminds Miss Manners of the old practice of inviting your opponent to dinner so that you can assassinate him.
It made for a good story (for those who survived), but it was never good manners.
If these relatives commit such terrible acts, they should not be invited. If you don’t want to explain why they’re left out, say, “We have some serious differences that I don’t want to discuss.” Then pass the cookies.
Dear Manners: I live in a non-smoking apartment building. The policy states that violating residents are liable for a fee of $250 per case. Part of the reason I moved here is that I am a non-smoker.
The problem is the guy in the apartment below me, who smokes marijuana. In general I am a person who lives and let him live, but their smoke rises to my place through the vents.
I knocked on their door and explained the situation and asked them to take her out. They said they would. they did not.
I hate to act like Karen by reporting them to management and making them pay $250, but I also don’t want to live with that smoke. What is the most decent and reasonable way to deal with this?
Kind Reader: Being a good neighbor means not breaking the rules, as well as dealing reasonably with those who do. Whether it’s because it’s bad policy to antagonize people who know where you live, or from the recent fear of public shame if extenuating circumstances turn out to be, the caution is the same.
Miss Manners suggests letting another incident go unreported, and then discussing with the offender if there’s a way you can solve the problem together – without having to involve anyone else. If, in the end, you must appeal to management, include, along with your insistence that the behavior stop, an expression of sympathy for the offender.
(Please send your questions to Miss Manners at her website www.missmanners.com or to her email [email protected] or via postal mail to Miss Manners, Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.)
Copyright 2022 Judith Martin
Distributed by Andrews Supplement Inc.
1130 Walnut Street, Kansas City, MO 64106; 816-581-7500