Originally created 08/08/99

Shower request is rude, tacky



Dear Carson: We have quite a situation with my sister-in-law, who is expecting her first baby.

She is coming into town from out of state and suggested we have a baby shower during her visit. If that wasn't presumptuous enough, she didn't find the arrangement of a "family shower" acceptable. She told my mother-in-law that she wants a separate shower and proceeded to give her a list of her old friends to invite. She also informed us that siblings and their spouses could go in together to purchase a stroller, with the brand and model specified.

We all think her behavior is appalling and tacky, including my mother-in-law, who would never say anything to her. This is not an isolated incident involving her, but rather another in a long list of rude behaviors.

What is the best way to address this? -- Sick of Tacky in Cincinnati

Dear Cincinnati: I suggest that you write her that you have discussed her requests among yourselves and have decided on the most appropriate course of action. Then choose from a list of options: The gift of a stroller, a family shower, a shower with friends or no shower at all.

Dear Carson: I recently lost a loved one and received numerous cards and flowers. I have written thank-you notes for all the flowers.

My question is, do I write thank-you notes for sympathy cards? -- Mourning Manners

Dear Mourning: It is never wrong to write a thank-you note, but it is unnecessary to write a thank-you note for a sympathy card.

Dear Carson: I'm to attend a very important work function for my husband, and there will be a lot of influential and well-known people there. The invitation lists the dress as "lounge suit."

What does this mean for us ladies? Please help. -- Dress Dilemma

Dear DD: You ask what the dress code "lounge suit" means for ladies, and I must confess that I don't know what it means for men either. We can, at least, eliminate "formal," in which case the invitation would read, "black tie."

My feeling is that someone who is socially naive wrote the invitation, but I assume it represents an attempt to convey a feeling of relaxed and upscale dress. A silk or linen pants suit of good quality should be appropriate.

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