advice | Miss Manners: My wife says I need to put the flowers I’ve bought for her in a vase


Dear Miss Manners: After an argument with my wife, I brought home a bouquet of flowers as a gift of peace. She thanked me and put it aside.

After a few hours, she noticed that the flowers were still on the table, and asked why they weren’t in a vase. She said it was my responsibility to put them in a vase to complete the gesture. I told her I thought she should put them in a vase to show her appreciation.

which is? When giving a bouquet of flowers, does the giver have to put them in a vase to complete the gift?

On a similar note, my wife says that for birthdays, Valentine’s Day, anniversaries, or Mother’s Day, a florist should deliver flowers to be thoughtful. Handing someone flowers, or having them wait in a vase on a table, I think also shows thoughtfulness.

With all respect To your wife, Miss Manners thinks she has some very specific and strange ideas as to what constitutes the thought of giving flowers.

Do you think people who bring them to dinner parties have to search through their hosts’ cupboards to find a vase? True, this can be a difficult task for a busy host, but this is definitely not the answer. And it’s certainly more personal and thoughtful to bring flowers in than to have a florist deliver them. The attached note is often mistaken for a receipt — or suspiciously handwritten by a stranger.

But Miss Manners certainly doesn’t want to start another argument – if only because apology protocol would be too complicated.

Dear Miss Manners: My daughter’s bridesmaids were getting ready for her bridal shower when a relative of the groom offered to do the ceremony herself at her home. She has a rather large house, suitable for large parties, and we’ve been told she enjoys hosting such events.

Before we know it, the bridal shower has turned into a co-ed bridal shower. The hostess has now tried to assign the female members of the wedding party items to bring: all the alcoholic beverages, garnishes/juices, games, guest favourites, and prizes for the game winners. The bridesmaids were shocked to learn that they were also expected to prepare dishes, decorate them, serve them, tear them, wash them, etc.

It’s not that they don’t want to help, but that they weren’t asked. There was no communication at all until two weeks before the party, when they all received a list of duties and supplies. Nor were the men of the wedding party asked to lift a finger.

The women politely replied that they were eager to help, but made clear what they would do. They assigned themselves the roles they wanted to play for the hostess to work around. Are they right?

So flawless. miss Manners admits that this hostess can change the nature of the party, but then she also doesn’t limit responsibilities and expenses. The fact that these personalizations are also sexist makes them even more obnoxious.

New Miss Manners columns are published Monday through Saturday You can submit questions to Miss Manners on her website, You can also follow her @RealMissManners.

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