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Miss Manners, Judith Martin, Published September 08 2012

Miss Manners: Forewarned is forearmed when it comes to music

DEAR MISS MANNERS: My husband and I are attending a 50th birthday party for his brother-in-law. My husband wants to bring his guitar along, although he has not been asked to do so. It seems very presumptuous to me, and selfish. Help!

GENTLE READER: It might help if you offered your husband a little musical treat: Gracie Fields singing “I Took Me Harp to a Party (but Nobody Asked Me to Play).”

Miss Manners finds herself especially moved by the lines, “I felt so ashamed of not striking a note/That I tried to hide the thing under me coat.”

If that doesn’t discourage him, you might persuade your husband to tell his sister or brother-in-law what he plans. For all you know, they will be delighted. At the very least, they will be warned.

DEAR MISS MANNERS: How long should a grieving widow remain chaste?

GENTLE READER: That is not for Miss Manners to say. However, she does believe that a year is a proper time for a widow to be discreet.

Please send your questions to Miss Manners at her website, www.missmanners.com; to her email, dearmissmanners gmail.com; or through postal mail to Miss Manners, Universal Uclick, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.