Miss Manners: Graduation announcements seem to just be requests for money

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Dear Miss Manners: Seems the trend lately is to send graduation announcements, but only to receive a gift. I was taught that you don’t expect anything from others just because you did something.

I have received three recent graduate pics from friends’ children requesting support for their future. There is no party or get-together for these graduates — some explain it’s due to covid, and others don’t give a reason.

I was raised that if you get a gift, it’s usually because you had a celebration. I don’t want to be rude, but come on. This is just asking for money.

Apparently the announcements you received contained express requests for money, which is indeed crude. But so, Miss Manners believes, is your notion that a present is payment for entertainment.

You should give a present because you care for the person or the family, and want to mark the occasion. You are not even required to bring a present to a graduation party — although Miss Manners might add that you have no business attending a party where you do not care about the people.

Dear Miss Manners: There was recently an awards ceremony honoring athletes at a local high school. It is a “merged” school, and it adopted the mascot of one of the previous schools while the other’s was discarded.

Some of the athletes at the event were from the school whose mascot was sort of “retired.” However, in the announcements, they were all mentioned under the same nickname. For example, “These students are the pride of the Raccoons” — but some were actually Beavers (not the real names).

I feel it is a simple thing, and that both mascots should be mentioned. I hope what I am saying is clear. Please share your thoughts.

Why was that mascot retired?

If the mascot was deemed to be offensive, it would not be a good idea to launch one last offense. If you are one of the athletes, or a parent, an alumnus or a coach, and are feeling innocent of any intention to offend, you would be well advised to commiserate in private with others in the same position.

But if the Beaver was just an inoffensive beaver who was overlooked, the young athletes may want to register a polite protest.

Dear Miss Manners: What is the polite way to refuse an invitation to stay in someone’s home when it’s someone you truly love and enjoy spending time with?

My brother has a simply dreadful guest bed. Any nights sleeping in it — or, rather, not sleeping — make me regret visiting, but he’s very dear to me. The last thing I’d want to do is hurt his feelings, or his wife’s.

“I’m a restless sleeper” — as indeed you told Miss Manners you are, when in that bed — “but just tell me what time to be over for breakfast.”

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.

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