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Miss Manners: ‘Maybe’ isn’t acceptable as an RSVP

Dear Miss Manners: I am horrified and disgusted that electronic invitations have changed the nature of offering hospitality. It is particularly distasteful to view a guest list and the responses from each, whether responding Yes, No or Maybe.

Since when is Maybe a legitimate RSVP?

I refuse to respond through one of those buttons. Therefore, my response does not show on the website, causing my name to stand out as one who has not answered.

Silly and embarrassing, isn’t it? Your thoughts, please, on this outrageous application as a tool for invitations.

Gentle Reader: Electronic invitations would be fine for very informal events, if only they did not encourage rudeness.

The ones you describe do. “Maybe” is not an acceptable answer. Nor should there be any way for the guests to scrutinize the guest list or the other responses.

So Miss Manners assures you that you need not be embarrassed by responding individually. However, if you would like to emphasize your point and make it easier for the host to tally numbers, you could reply Yes or No as appropriate, and write in the comments, “Please find a written response in the mail.”

Bride-to-be over the top

Dear Miss Manners: Why are brides so full of themselves these days?

Perhaps because this particular bride, whom I met only once when she was a child, was named after a jewelry store and believes she is the Hope diamond?

I received an eight-page “Save the Date” booklet from the soon-to-be bride and groom, bragging about their international travels, fine dining, careers and overall passionate love for each other. The couple will be married in a private ceremony at an exotic locale, with receptions for the adoring masses to follow five months later.

This announcement was preceded by a shower invitation requesting gift cards. How do you suggest I respond to this correspondence? I do not plan to attend either event, as I live out of state.

Gentle Reader: How one responds to beggars generally depends on whether they seem truly in need, and whether they impress you as people who would benefit from your help.

Neither seems to be the case here. Never having heard of a destitute case that involves enjoying fine dining, I understand why this fundraising campaign does not touch your heart.

You need only respond to the shower invitation with a note offering your regret at not being able to attend, as well as your best wishes.

This column was co-written by Judith Martin’s daughter, Jacobina Martin.