Sunday, April 22, 2012

Emily Post is dead

Emily Post is gone, actually she has been since 1960.  But her standards of etiquette live on.  While good manners and civility are important to society in general and should be considered as healthy and necessary, things have changed in the last 52 years.

An etiquette subject came up in a group recently and this got me thinking.  Here's a brief synopsis of the situation:  A couple getting married had requested gifts be made in the form of payments to their travel agency.  They were an older couple and in no need of more "things" and wished for the memories of exploring the Mayan ruins for their honeymoon.

Several of the group were appalled at this lack of manners and breach of impropriety, some where silent and I was confused.  Apparently it is considered tacky to ask for money in your invite,  and yet it is an accepted practice to mention where you are "registered", which is a thinly veiled request for gifts.  What's the big deal?

Perhaps my opinion is influenced by my recent decision to become basically trailer trash on wheels and I'm the only one in this group who doesn't have (or want) the expensive clothes and jewelry, great hair, nice nails.....and on and on.  It should come as no surprise that when we all pull into a parking lot there are an abundance of white vehicles and I pull in with my shiny black sheep mobile.  I am the odd duck among swans.  They are Republicans, I am a get the picture.

My thinking is that you want to provide a gift to show your joy in their union.  I would prefer to give them something they can actually use and enjoy.  My gift should reflect their wishes, not my own thought as to what I think they should have.

Different couples have different needs.  Younger couples may need more household items than an older couple, so the registry makes sense.  However, I for one hate printing out a twenty page list of gifts and then having to decide what fits in my budget, locate the gift, pay for it, wrap it and bring it to the wedding.  They need to haul it home, open it, toss all the paper, boxes, ribbon and mess that go with it. Write a check and let them decide what to do with bet.  Tacky?  Maybe.  Practical, simple and always the right color and size and never to be returned?  You bet.

I will also acknowledge that my opinion reflects my desire for travel and memories versus collectibles and material things.  There are others who love decorating their homes, and I used to be one of them.  But to let the world know you have enough stuff and want to visit the Mayan ruins instead....tell me how this is offensive.

To me this was an honest and open request and I found it refreshing and fun.  I still believe that the invitation should be sent in a paper form and a formal paper handwritten note should be sent to the gift-giver.  Not that I'm old fashioned or nostalgic, but I do believe each person invited is entitled to a handwritten thank you note.  And I'm sure the Postal Service welcomes the business.

In this scenario it would be fun to receive a photo of the happy couple at the top of the ruins and a brief note reminding me that I helped to make this dream possible.  I'm all about helping to  achieve the dreams of those who dare to dream them.

Long Live the Queen of Practical Tackiness


  1. I agree 100%.

    And if Linda and I ever get married (we've been together 15 years now), you can direct the check to ....

    Thanks Cheryl.


  2. I always attach a photo of the gift I have received when I send the Thank You note... it just makes sense to me! I love your idea of the Thank You notes being sent from teh Mayan ruins... :) Becky