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Miss Manners: Not acknowledging generosity may lead to its demise

Dear Miss Manners: I have been having a discussion with my sister-in-law, who stated that it is not correct anymore to say thank you, either in writing or verbally, for receiving a gift, and I should not expect it. The gifts in question are given from us via my sister-in-law to her daughter and their family.

I say yes, she says no, and to stop expecting this simple courtesy. Please let me know.

Gentle Reader: When gratitude is no longer required in response to generosity, Miss Manners will be sure to let you know. But you might warn your sister-in-law and her family that this could happen only with the simultaneous death of generosity.

Rein it in

Dear Miss Manners: I have been seeing a gorgeous woman for about two weeks. I have arranged to have a single red rose in a bud vase and chocolates delivered to her for her birthday.

I know she will call or text me to say thank you. Without wanting to sound too clingy or silly, how should I acknowledge her thank you? We both agree to be patient and allow our relationship to grow. So???????

Gentle Reader: Thanks do not require acknowledgment by the giver.

Miss Manners realizes this is not what you want to hear, since you are hoping to be invited to share the chocolates, presumably before they melt. If you cannot rein in your emotions to this extent, she would settle for you reining in your punctuation.

Cyber invites come and go

Dear Miss Manners: In recent years, as people use the telephone increasingly less, I find that most of my plans with friends are made via email, text message and even social media wall posts.

I would not have a problem with this if these so-called friends actually kept our engagements. In this last week alone, I have found myself cyber- (and text-) stalking three friends to confirm plans we have made. And more often than not, these attempts are not responded to – even when the other person extended the invitation.

I find myself spending a lot of weekends alone when the Monday before I might have had two or three social plans. Is it me, is it my “friends” or is it the new tech- and self-obsessed American culture?

Gentle Reader: While the sanctity of an invitation proffered and accepted has been under attack for some time, the advent of the text and email invitation accelerated the process.

Miss Manners would like to believe that handwritten invitations would solve your problem, but you may need to change not only the method of delivery, but also the correspondents.