Miss Manners: Our daughter and her fiance want cash only and are threatening to sell or return any wedding gifts

DEAR MISS MANNERS: Our middle daughter has just sent out her wedding invitations. She is the first child of ours to get married, and she is planning (and paying for) a big wedding.

I think she has done a great job, except for one thing: She posted on the wedding website that she and her fiance will return or resell any wedding gifts they receive for cash. She had already announced that they prefer cash gifts.

I think she can do whatever she wants with the gifts after the thank-you notes go out, but this announcement makes her look bad. We suggested removing it from her website. She says she would rather let people know beforehand that any gifts will be sold to avoid hurt feelings if they find out later.

Do we keep pushing to change her mind, or drop it? Is my daughter right to avoid hurting people by posting her “threat” to resell gifts?

GENTLE READER: Your daughter’s logic seems to be that it is better to insult everyone now rather than hurt their feelings later.

In addition to its being illogical, Miss Manners agrees with you that it makes your daughter look dreadful. But as that argument hasn’t worked, perhaps you should point out that threatening people in this way is likely to leave guests wary of having anything to do with this wedding.

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DEAR MISS MANNERS: The doorway from my place of work to the parking garage is at the end of a long hallway. If you are walking down this hallway, there’s only one place you can be going -- a set of two doors with a gate where you scan a badge in between.


Possibly because I am an older woman with a limp, people often hold the door for me, even when I am still some distance from the door. I then have the option of continuing to walk at my usual leisurely pace while they stand there, which feels uncomfortable, or speeding up so that they do not have to wait as long, which is also uncomfortable. Or I could yell for them to please not hold the door, which feels impolite.

The door is not heavy, and I am perfectly able to open it myself. What do you suggest? Can I please also suggest to your readers that holding the door is not necessarily the polite thing to do if the person behind you will feel pressured to break into a trot?

GENTLE READER: Unless the person is auditioning to be a doorman (and perhaps even then), one holds the door open only for people who are nearby. But let’s not discourage people from being considerate of others.

And nearness is not measured solely in inches. Eight feet may be near for a young adult who sees that the person behind them is loaded down with packages -- while a parent, distracted in the rush to pick up a sick child from school, might reasonably consider that far.

Those who ignore such reasonable limitations may find they are spending a lot of time standing in corridors. If you want to release them from their good intentions, Miss Manners has no objection to a loud, “Thanks. Please don’t wait for me.”

Miss Manners | Judith Martin, Nicholas Ivor Martin and Jacobina Martin

Miss Manners, written by Judith Martin and her two perfect children, Nicholas Ivor Martin and Jacobina Marin, has chronicled the continuous rise and fall of American manners since 1978. Send your questions to