Ask Louise: Asking for credit where credit is due

In this column, Louise Fox, founder of the Etiquette Ladies, answers all your social conundrums and questions about modern manners.


Accordion streamers, party decorations, Jan 13, p146

Photo, Angus Fergusson.

Dear Louise,

My friend Susan and I are throwing a baby shower for our friend. Susan has volunteered to host the event at her house, while I will be taking care of the decor and half of the food. A few days ago, Susan sent out the baby shower e-vites. The invitation reads that the shower is being hosted by Susan and her husband, with no mention of my name. I’m more than a little irked by this. I’ve put as much care into the event as Susan has, yet the mother-to-be has no idea of my involvement. I’m not sure there’s a tactful way to bring this up. Please help.

As distressing and hurtful as this may seem to you, it is probably a thoughtless oversight rather than a mean and ill-intentioned action. View the incident rationally rather than emotionally. Oddly enough, for some reason, people often leave off very important information on invitations. Forgetting to mention the time, date, location or occasion or any one of the who, what, where or when is not uncommon.
Explain to your friend you were surprised by the omission by saying, “Susan, I am sure this was just an oversight but I was really surprised, and frankly a little hurt, that you did not include my name as one of the hosts on the e-vite.” Let her respond and then ask her what she thinks the best course of action would be. Options might include sending out a corrected e-vite or email apologizing for the omission, or recognizing and thanking you with a toast at the event or both. In many situations the best course of action is to give the benefit of the doubt before proceeding and then have an unemotional, honest and frank conversation with the other party.

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Louise Fox, recognized as Canada’s Etiquette Expert, is the owner of The Etiquette Ladies and She has over 20 years experience in hospitality and special-event-planning industries, and is Director of Eastern Operations of Civility Experts Worldwide and Certification Panelist and Master Trainer for the International Civility Trainers’ Consortium. She is a frequent guest on Breakfast TelevisionEntertainment TonightMTVBusiness News NetworkGlobal News and many others.