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Miss Manners: the niece will have her third baby, and her third baby shower

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dear miss manners: I always had the belief that your first baby shower should also be the only one. But now I’ve been invited to a third baby shower for my niece, whose eldest son is still very young.

I could understand if there was some space between the children, as new equipment would be needed, or if this third baby was a different gender. But they are all children, and the oldest is only 2 years old. This feels like a gift.

What do you think? Should I buy another gift and go to the shower? Or is it okay to send my regards, knowing that I will still present myself with a gift when the baby is born?

showers are gifts. That is the sole purpose of it. But Miss Manners agrees that the second and third are excessive.

Unfortunately, if you go, a treat is expected. If you don’t want to be pressured into shopping at a register, witnessing endless gift-opening, and playing unseemly party games, then it’s okay to show up with a gift after the baby is born.

Either way, it looks like these parents are going to get their loot.

dear miss manners: My husband and I enjoy the company of another couple we have known for years. I have invited them to dinner many times. I only eat plant-based foods (vegan); however, I prepare vegan and meat-based dishes for everyone else. I do not ask them to bring anything, since they are our guests.

A few years ago, we invited them to join us for dinner at a restaurant, which we plan to pay for. One day before the planned dinner, they called and wanted to invite us to their house instead of going out to eat. I asked if I could bring something and his answer was no.

When dinner was served at his house, it was stew with various types of meat and no vegetables. Even the salad had bacon in it. Her wife said, “I don’t think you eat meat, but I hope you can eat this.”

Miss Manners, you’ve known for years not to eat animal products. I chose the food the best I could without complaining. Since the pandemic, we haven’t hung out with them.

What do you think of hosts who don’t offer meatless dishes to an old friend? As a vegan, I have always prepared meat dishes for my guests.

than your friends they are thoughtless, inconsiderate, or perhaps just forgetful. The latter seems unlikely after all these years, but if you can believe that’s it, the friendship could be saved, if you think it’s worth it.

Miss Manners suggests that next time, you could politely say ahead of time, “Oh, I don’t remember if I told you, but I’m afraid I don’t eat meat of any kind. However, I’m happy to bring some if it’s hard to part for your other guests.” And if she serves you bacon salad again, you’ll know the cheating is over.

The new Miss Manners columns are published Monday through Saturday at washingtonpost.com/advice. You can submit questions to Miss Manners on her website, missmanners.com. You can also follow her @RealMissManners.

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