Dear Miss Manners: Please tell me, what does "black tie" on a wedding invitation mean? My husband refuses to rent a tuxedo!
Gentle Reader: It means that as your husband is too fastidious to wear rented clothes, he is going to have to buy his own evening clothes.
Then Miss Manners is afraid it means that he cares more about his clothes than he does about the wishes of the people getting married. This, in turn, means that he should decline the invitation.
Two places at once
Dear Miss Manners: My family and I have been invited to two different occasions on the same day at the same time. One is for a close friend of my mom's and mine who is putting on a recital and reception. She personally told us we'd be invited.
The other is a wedding of our neighbor of 13 years. She is close to us, too, and we are invited to a private bridal shower.
Which should we attend? I don't think we should not go to either.
Gentle Reader: Neither does Miss Manners if she's kept up with the number of negatives. But as leaving either event early would be unspeakable, cloning is the only solution she can imagine. That is why we have the rule that you attend the event you accepted first, and express extreme regret, even heartbreak, at therefore being unable to accept another invitation for the same time.
Address your etiquette questions to Miss Manners, in care of The Buffalo News, P.O. Box 100, Buffalo, N.Y. 14240. The quill shortage prevents Miss Manners from answering questions except through this column.