1. Anne

    My out-of-town niece is getting married. I have hosted a party, attended a shower, sent a gift for a second shower, and received an invitation to a third shower. Is it appropriate to attend and/or give a gift for all functions? Thank you.

    • Daniel Post Senning

      It is nice of you to have thrown a party for your niece.
      While a wedding invitation carries the expectation that the invitee give a gift, you are not expected to give a gift for a shower that you do not attend just because you are invited.

  2. Jack

    I invited a close friend and his wife for dinner and, to my surprise, they showed up with a couple who had unexpectedly visited them for the weekend. I didn’t say anything when they arrived and scrambled to turn a dinner for four into a dinner for six — but after I asked the friend if he could please ask me, or at least warn me in advance, the next time he wants to bring guests. He told me I was being very rude. Was I wrong to say anything?

    • Daniel Post Senning

      It sounds like you handled the situation as best you could by doing the best you could in the moment, in this case turning dinner for four into dinner for six. It is totally reasonable that you would check in with your friend later to clarify your expectation about dinner plans when they have been invited over and those expectations were not met. This sort of checking in does require a certain amount of diplomacy, but the fact that you waited to raise the issue indicates that you were thinking about the best way to address it without causing embarrassment to your friends. It sounds like they might have been caught off guard by their guests and might need to have a similar talk.

  3. I had a similar situation last Thanksgiving. My son’s new girlfriend brought a fabulous looking pumpkin pie. I had planned something else for dessert but I felt the only appropriate thing to do was to offer both. I thought it was “sweet” of her to bring a pie and in the end, most took a small piece of both pies.

    If someone brings a bottle of wine, I have no obligation to open it. It could be totally wrong for what we are about to it plus, it keeps. I tend to treat the pie as if someone had brought chocolate. After dessert, with coffee, I always offer chocolates brought as a gift to all my guests to enjoy.

  4. Kathy Perry

    I have a dear friend who sends me jewelry as a gift. Sometime the jewelry set contains post earrings. I do not have pierced ears but I thank my friend for her thougtfulness. In the past she has asked me if I wear post or clip earrings and I always say clip but she must forget. I have been giving the earrings to my nieces. Do you have any advice for me?

    Thanks in advance,
    Kathy P

    • Daniel Post Senning

      You are on the right track. Continue to look for appropriate moments to clue your friend in to your preferred method for wearing earrings. If this happens often and you think it might become a problem that she never sees you wearing her gift you might mention it outright. Like you have already done, thank her for her thoughtfulness and her generosity and then remind her that you don’t have pierced ears. A little good humor can go a long way when you are pointing out the obvious.

      • I agree, a little good humour can go a long way when you are pointing out the obvious. “I love the earrings! You are so thoughtful and have such good taste. I wish I had the courage to get my ears pierced!”

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