Once more, with feeling.

Over at the momania blog at ajc.com, they’re talking about the etiquette of graduation announcements and invitations. Should you send one, should you not sent one, who should you send one to, who should do the sending? If you get one, do you have to send a gift, or will a card do? Do you have to go? Do you have to RSVP? Can you ignore it? Can you bring a hooker, and may she smoke her cigar?

It’s mind boggling.

I will give you the answers once and for all:

Announcements and invitations are not invoices for gifts.

That is the rule.

The only exception to the rule is showers (bridal and baby) and children’s birthday parties. Bridal and baby showers are to help set up for new phases of life, and who doesn’t love to see children open presents?

An announcement is to alert the recipient that an event has occurred. Receipt of an announcement signals that one can stop worrying that Joe Bob will pass his finals or that Mary Ethel has finally browbeat someone into marrying her.

An invitation is to invite the recipient to attend an event. Receipt of an invitation signals, if not acceptance into some circle, that the sender has a pushy mother, at the very least.

Including “no gifts, please,” on an invitation is tacky and presumes the recipient was going to rush around and get one in the first place.

Announcements should be sent to anyone who you would like to tell of the progression forward (or backward, as the case may be); invitations should be sent only to whomever is genuinely wanted at the event – it has been my observation and experience that courtesy invitations are nearly always accepted and then you’re left entertaining someone you don’t even like who will never leave.

Both should be addressed by the person with the nicest handwriting; they should go out under the name of the person with the money.

You do not have to send a card or a gift, but you may if you feel so inclined, even if what you got in the mail said not to.

The recipient does not have to attend, as long as he RSVPs in whatever manner the host or hostess has requested on the invitation, by the date requested.

You may bring your hooker, as long as you introduce her as your niece. She may smoke her cigar on the sidewalk, as long as no one is offended.

We will not be discussing evites. I do not recognize evites.

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About S.

Reader, writer, talker, knitter, picture taker, tennis player, music lover, Southerner.
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9 Responses to Once more, with feeling.

  1. Melissa Maday says:

    Interesting and helpful.

    I just received a high school graduation announcement (with address labels instead of nice handwriting) from the daughter of a colleague. It included a small card listing the four stores where she has her “college gift registries” — suffice to say that I was astounded. I’ve met this young lady twice in my life. and now she wants me to buy her a stainless steel microwave or a bagless vacuum in honor of her high school graduation.

    • S. says:

      One assumes her sainted grandmother isn’t aware of this aberrant behavior.

      Might I recommend a copy of Miss Manners Guide to Excruciatingly Correct Behavior?

  2. Pingback: Do you have a gift registry for your next dental appointment? | Melissa Maday

  3. Jillian says:

    You really do need your own column.

  4. ellen herbert says:

    necessary reading for every person I know. A personal request – I would welcome a blog post about thank you notes written in your style.
    For example: an email thank you is a poor cousin to a hand penned note.

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