Thursday, May 11, 2006

Miss Manners as mental diversion


After a busy, exhausting day in the parish---answering questions from a parishioner on why the Church is so cruel not allowing IVF (in-vitro fertilization), a couple preparing for marriage wanting to know if they can compose their own vows, and a young couple with a baby inquiring if it is OK for the husband to receive communion at our Church even though he's Lutheran---it is sooo comforting to just turn to Miss Manners and read solid, clear-cut, practical advice!

I don't know....looking at past columns of hers I came across this gem. The question to her and her answer was just the mental diversion I needed.

Here it is:

Dear Miss Manners:

My daughter will graduate in May. I have had discussions with her about the benefits of homeownership and thought it would be great to start a "my future home" account for her, and have her monetary graduation gifts directed there. She likes that idea.

I spoke with my financial adviser and found that we could very easily set up a trust for that purpose. The problem is getting the word out. I believe that it is perfectly acceptable to include the trust information in the graduation announcement. She thinks it's tacky and in poor taste and believes that I should call everyone and share the information personally.

If you agree with me, please let me know how I can tastefully word the insert; if not, what would you suggest as an alternative?

And Miss Manners replies:

Dear Reader:

As an alternative, Miss Manners would suggest teaching your daughter that financial responsibility means paying your own bills, not begging from others, and that common sense says that no one, no matter how fond of your daughter, wants to buy her a house.

It is not only the magnitude of your nerve that makes it rude. Soliciting donations and presents has become so commonplace that people now believe trolling for money and goods is tasteless only when it seems especially greedy. You would get the prize for that, but those who make smaller demands are no less rude. Just less imaginative.

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