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Dear Miss Manners: My husband and I just got married a couple days ago. We are very into games, puzzles and dinosaurs, and our wedding centerpieces reflected that: We fashioned little baskets with Rubik’s Cubes, dice, notepads, cards and small puzzles, along with dinosaurs that I crocheted. We also had many, many board games.
The guests were very excited when we announced that they could take home the games and centerpieces. Everything got politely distributed, for the most part … except the dinosaurs. I made two per table, with each table seating up to eight people. I also had a secret stash in case there were more than two kids per table, so that each kid attending could get a dinosaur.
Each dinosaur took about five hours to make, so as much as I would have liked to, making one per guest wasn’t really an option. I had imagined that guests would just politely distribute the goodies at their own tables, as there were enough fun favors to go around.
Sadly, dinosaurs got nabbed from other tables, with a couple instances of grown-ups taking home dinosaurs that belonged to children. I have a list of people who have reported dino-nappings, and I am working diligently on replacements to send out quickly. I do want to make this right, and as I understand it, nobody is upset with me specifically.
The people who reported their dinosaurs missing were operating under the same assumption I was: that everyone would just divvy up what was at their table, or maybe politely barter with other tables. They, like me, did not foresee the ransacking that took place.
Was I a bad host for not making more dinosaurs? Or did I err in not being more explicit in my intentions?
And people accuse Miss Manners of writing her own questions.
Unfortunately, it is the less attractive side of human nature to hoard anything that is free, especially if it comes in limited — and adorable — editions. If the dinosaurs were intended only for the children, then perhaps their names could have been on them. Or you could have passed them out individually as the children left.
Dear Miss Manners: I recently lost a parent, and I’m grieving so much it hurts. I have a sibling who is married and has a successful career. I have not worked since March 2020 because of the pandemic and a severe disability.
After my parent died, a friend of theirs sent money to my sibling and spouse to plant roses in their yard in my parent’s memory. I don’t have a yard. Although the thought was nice, this kind of leaves me out since I do not live with or near my sibling. I’m sure I wasn’t intentionally left out, I just want to know how to handle this.
You may still acknowledge the gesture. Miss Manners suggests, “What a kind thought to have roses planted in Scott and Mara’s garden in my parent’s memory. I look forward to seeing them bloom when I am next able to visit them.”
You do not need to begrudgingly mention, Miss Manners assures you, that this may be a long, long time from now.
New Miss Manners columns are posted Monday through Saturday on washingtonpost.com/advice. You can send questions to Miss Manners at her website, missmanners.com. You can also follow her @RealMissManners.