No Excusing Poor Manners
Dear Annie: I was brought up to say, "Excuse me," when someone was in the way and I needed to pass. I have noticed when I say this to younger people they reply, "Oh, you're fine," and don't move.
One day a store employee was blocking the aisle with boxes all around, making it impossible to navigate, and I said, "Excuse me." When she replied, "Oh you're fine," I said, "I know I'm fine, I need you to move so I can pass." She seemed confused.
Is this phrase obsolete? Am I clueless about today's terminology? Or is it people of a certain age that don't know or weren't taught what "excuse me" means? -- Please Move
Dear Excuse Me: Saying, "Excuse me" is not a young or old person thing; it is merely a polite thing to do. Saying, "Oh, you're fine" as a response seems like the person, whether old or young, is oblivious to social standards.
If you need to get by, the polite way to ask someone to move is to say, "Excuse me" or "Pardon me." You can always add, "I need to get by."
Dear Annie: I need your help! I recently married my college sweetheart. Everything has been great. We met in Boston in college and moved to New York City for both of our jobs and to be close to his family. I grew up on a farm in Minnesota.
My husband's parents have been really kind and welcoming to me. His mother is extremely fashionable and chic. Think Anna Wintour. Sometimes I find her beauty and grace a little intimidating. But her kindness slowly melts any fear.
Her birthday is fast approaching, and my husband has entrusted me with finding her a beautiful piece of jewelry that will be a gift from both him and his father. He is an only child, so now I have sort of taken on the role of daughter. I am very flattered by all the love and acceptance I receive from my in-laws, but in the fashion department I am a farm girl at heart. Think T-shirt and blue jeans as my go-to.
Do you have any suggestions as what to give as a gift to my fabulously chic mother-in-law?? -- Blue Jean Daughter-in-Law
Dear Blue Jean Girl: Congratulations on your marriage. Your husband and his parents sound very loving, and being just married in a new city is such an exciting time of your life.
As far as your mother-in-law, my guess is that having a daughter-in-law as thoughtful and loving as you are is the biggest gift she could ask for. So rest assured that whatever material item you give to her will be appreciated because you already gave her the great gift of marrying her son.
However, every woman loves jewelry. You might want to look for a designer, such as Brent Neale, with the goal being to find jewelry that is colorful, nature inspired, timeless and, most importantly, just makes the wearer of their pieces happy.
"Ask Me Anything: A Year of Advice From Dear Annie" is out now! Annie Lane's debut book -- featuring favorite columns on love, friendship, family and etiquette -- is available as a paperback and e-book. Visit http://www.creatorspublishing.com for more information. Send your questions for Annie Lane to email@example.com.