Miss Manners: A friend’s wife wants us to pay for his birthday party

Dear Ms. Manners: A friend has a milestone birthday – he’s turning 40. His wife, much younger, organized an event at a local bar, invited a few people over and about 10 responded.

Then, two days before the event, she asked for money to cover the cost of reserving the space ($45 per person). Then she also told us that we are alone for what we order and drink.

I was a bit upset about this for two reasons: 1. She didn’t let us know the cost agreement before sending out the invite, so now I look bad stepping back and billing her as that’s a fixed price. 2. She organized this, so why am I on the hook and essentially paying for her party for her husband?

That event is now in the past. I went, had a good time and kept my mouth shut. But it made me think the woman is young when it comes to things like this.

Do you want me to say something to either of you? (Probably not, because nothing good will come of this, right?) Am I thinking wrong?

The only “Off” in your opinion is that this type of behavior is reserved for youth. Event producers disguised as friends and family have popped up everywhere, inventing ever more shameless ways to fund their celebrations and/or extort gifts from their unsuspecting investors.

The best (worst?) of them aren’t shamed or put off—and as you say, there’s generally no good in trying. As a result, Miss Manners fears that the only polite way to deal with this horrible and costly behavior is to skip the events or justifiably get angry afterwards.

Dear Ms. Manners: Is it rude if you leave your home for hours while you have guests? My husband and I have different opinions on this.

Let’s talk Overnight guests where the host has been running errands? Or dinner guests being shunned at the local bar?

In order for Miss Manners to make a proper decision, the length of stay of the guests and the reason for the departure of the host must be considered.

Well, the official reason. Wanting some time away can be the subtext as long as it’s never explicitly said.

Dear Ms. Manners: One of the biggest annoyances of my life is the habit of licking your fingers before trying to separate leaves or money, often before handing it to someone else. I mistakenly thought that this habit would die out in the age of Covid-19.

Is there anything I could suggest as an alternative, or should I just put up with it? I find that most of the time it only takes a split second of patience to get the job done without resorting to this tactic.

As a matter of fact. But tell this for anyone trying to open those pesky little bags of produce before the peaches start to rot.

Miss Manners suggests compassion: ‘It’s frustrating, isn’t it? It’s so hard to separate things without also spreading germs. I find rubbing the papers back and forth like a grasshopper helps pull the sheets apart. Should I try some fresh ones?”

New Miss Manners columns are published Monday through Saturday washingtonpost.com/advice. You can send questions to Miss Manners on her website, MissManners.com. You can also follow her @RealMissManners.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/advice/2022/07/08/miss-manners-pay-birthday-party/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=wp_lifestyle Miss Manners: A friend’s wife wants us to pay for his birthday party

Chris Estrada

Chris Estrada is a 24ssports U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Chris Estrada joined 24ssports in 2021 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing: chrisestrada@24ssports.com.

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