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Is It So Wrong That We Don't Want To Host Anything?

Judith Martin, Nicholas Ivor Martin and Jacobina Martin on

DEAR MISS MANNERS: There are two things my spouse and I no longer want to do:

One is to invite people over for dinner. We would rather meet people at a restaurant, so that each person can order what they want.

Two, we no longer want guests to stay over at our place. This one is a bit harder, since we live in a popular destination city for vacations. I am not merely talking about not hosting acquaintances, but family and friends as well.

The truth is, we simply don't want anyone else in our small living space. How can we decline requests for accommodations? We love our family and friends and don't want to offend anyone, but our hosting days are over.

GENTLE READER: Telling Miss Manners that you intend, on principle, to be rude, and then asking her help in avoiding the consequences, would not be a winning strategy. However, you have not refused to reciprocate the generosity of your family and friends, but are merely refusing to do so in kind. So long as you reciprocate in some fashion that the parties consider comparable, she makes no objection to your apology that, much as you would like to, you simply are not able to put up the extended family when they are in town.

DEAR MISS MANNERS: A dear friend of mine is an older woman who is very wealthy, generous and politically active. She invited four women to a fundraising dinner for a political candidate at $250 per ticket. This was a big stretch for me, but I cared immensely about the cause and was thrilled at the chance to see this female politician speak in person.

However, it soon came out that the entire event was a scam, set up by a fraudster who took all the ticket money and had no connection to the politician. It was all over our local news. My friend refunded each of us our $250 for the tickets.

As I did follow this in the news, I know that the money was never recouped from the fraudster, so I believe my friend personally refunded us. I was so appreciative of this, and told her so.

 

However, it got me to thinking about what I would have done if it were me in that situation. If I had invited even one friend to an event like this, covering her $250 on top of my own ticket would be a real stretch. What would Miss Manners have advised?

GENTLE READER: Not to confuse friends with customers. Your friend may not have been under a legal obligation to reimburse you, but Miss Manners understands why she felt a moral obligation to make good.

If you are planning to follow her example -- of inviting friends to fundraisers, not of being targeted by hucksters -- put some distance between yourself and the financial transaction: I heard about this fundraiser. I am going, and thought you might be interested. Then let the friend make up her own mind -- and buy her own ticket.

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(Please send your questions to Miss Manners at her website, www.missmanners.com; to her email, dearmissmanners@gmail.com; or through postal mail to Miss Manners, Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.)

COPYRIGHT 2021 JUDITH MARTIN

DISTRIBUTED BY ANDREWS MCMEEL SYNDICATION

COPYRIGHT 2021 JUDITH MARTIN
 

 

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