Miss Manners is a syndicated column on how to be polite in the 2000’s. Today someone wrote in to ask advice on how to decline an invitation to a party. Formal party invitations were soon to be sent for a birthing room party to herald the coming of a first child. The reader wrote, “She (the party-giver) and I are on cordial terms but we’re not close, and quite frankly, even if we were, I would not want to be in the birthing room.”
She continued, “How do we (husband included in invite) decline gracefully without offending her or her parents, who are wild about the idea?
I like Miss Manners. Judith Martin’s choice to write in the third person gives her advice a queenly authority that I think is funny. Her opening response, “Of all the bright ideas about how to entertain, this is Miss Manners’ least favorite. As she keeps pointing out, a lady never entertains guests with her legs in the air.” After a rant or two, she goes on to offer the reader the excuse she needs, to paraphrase, “Jeez, love to — but parties like this make us both sick.”
I think I’ll forward the column to editors at M.S. Living.
“Hey — team, here’s a challenge. Let’s put our heads together to kick up the fun factor for birthing parties. Ok, a little old-fashioned brainstorming is in order. Throw it out.
Name games, right. Japanese globe lanterns. Yeah, colors silver, white and then let’s not do the obvious with that, people. Let’s think of something other than red. Yeah, bingo, I like that! Our new moss-green is so New! Beautiful.
Butlered appetizers — makes sense, most people will be standing and we can use those fab antique silver trays. Music — some thoughts? Yeah, you’re right a mix –with just about anything with “baby” in it. Whatta think? What? Ok — I got it. Mon Petite Chou Chou. Thaats’s nice. Way to go with thinking outside the old conference room, Harry. Hey and then, let’s do a CD as a guest Give-away for that extra punch. We can sneak M + dogs on the cover. How about monograms somewhere?… “