Dear Miss Manners: My husband and I own and operate a successful RV park in the Midwest. We have spent eight years keeping our park spotless and well maintained. We are friendly with our customers, and help them any way we can. As a result, we have hundreds of perfect reviews on dozens of sites.
People constantly tell us what great reviews we have, and I never know how to respond. To say "thank you" feels wrong because I would be thanking them for something someone else wrote. Am I overthinking this, and "thank you" is the correct response? Or is there something else I could say?
Gentle reader: It is not good to parse a compliment. You only seem to be challenging your admirers to flatter you even more.
In this case, they mean to congratulate you on inspiring, and presumably deserving, such good reviews. But not wanting to discourage modesty, Miss Manners suggests your saying, "We are thrilled that people seem to be happy here. We certainly try our best."
A secret marriage
Dear Miss Manners: Our daughter Keira was to be married last month. Due to COVID-19, we postponed the wedding until fall. We have sent save-the-date and save-the-new-date cards.
After the June postponement, our daughter and her fiancé decided they didn't want to wait to be married, so we held a small ceremony in our backyard with parents, siblings and our pastor — 10 people. No one else knows about the marriage.
It does not look like the fall wedding and reception we have envisioned will happen, either. Our church will currently only allow 10 people at a wedding, so it would be the same group as the small ceremony, with no attendants (who already purchased dresses). It's very important to Keira and her father to have their "walking down the aisle" moment, as well as to celebrate with friends and family.
The twist: Keira and her husband are both in their mid-30s and would like to start a family. So if the wedding is postponed again — until, say, next summer — she could be a pregnant bride. Should we tell friends and family that she's married? And if so, how should we notify them? Is it tacky to have a wedding during pregnancy, or after having a baby?
Gentle reader: Your daughter is married. No one, no matter how straitlaced, could possibly be upset about her having a baby. Nor about her having a delayed reception.
But Miss Manners is upset that you believe that a wedding is a party that can be divorced from the act of getting married. And the well-wishers will be upset if they find that you have lied to them about the marriage. So yes — tell them, whether formally, with an announcement, or informally.
"Miss Manners" is Judith Martin of the Washington Post. Send questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.