Miss Manners: No gifts are required for an inanimate object’s birthday

Judith Martin

DEAR MISS MANNERS: I am planning a 100th birthday party for my late grandmother’s recently reconditioned piano. The guests will be other classical musicians and singers.

Judith Martin

As usual, when we all get together and there’s a piano nearby, some people like to play or sing. I’ll engage a pianist, too. (No tip jar!) As hostess, I’ll refrain from singing unless we all get silly and, as a group, sing “Happy Birthday to Miss Wellington-Cable!”

Now I know one should never encourage or discourage gifts in an invitation for a person.

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But as this type of party is (hopefully) unique, I think many people may wonder whether to bring a gift for an inanimate object.

I’m leaning towards keeping to the usual “no gift mention at all” rule. However someone tells me I need to make an exception “because nobody will know what to do for a piano’s birthday!” I figure I can say something when people reply, as they usually do in the South, with, “May I bring anything?”

Am I leaning the right way or am I “out of tune” here?

GENTLE READER: Re-examining the reasons behind etiquette …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Lifestyle


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