Life Advice



If She Won't Back Up, Just Let Her Go First

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: When I was in line at the post office, a woman stood directly behind me instead of on the plainly marked circle 6 feet away. I asked her politely to move back to the marker -- not once, but twice.

I was furious when she did not move back. She was less than 12 inches away from me. What else could I have done without causing a ...Read more

Practice The Life Skill Of 'pretending Not To Notice'

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: My classical guitar society meets online now, which is nice because we now have people involved who live around the world.

It's not so nice, however, when one of our participants performs from his bedroom, where we get to see his unmade bed, the dresser drawers partially open, and this week, a pair of used underwear.

I know ...Read more

Pandemic's Smaller, Warmer Weddings Could Be Here To Stay

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

GENTLE READERS: What will the post-pandemic wedding be like?

For couples who postponed getting married because of restrictions on crowds, it will presumably be that same pre-pandemic extravaganza:

Three days of parties, invitations to everyone in their personal and business contact files, four-figure (as in money) dresses, bevies of attendants...Read more

Toddler Dominates Family Video Chats

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: My sister and I are very close, and we chat about every other week. About a year ago, she moved across the country, so now (and especially with COVID) we don't have the chance to see each other in person.

She is married and is her daughter's primary caregiver, so she has her hands full. When I initiate a phone call, it ...Read more

Celebrity Comparison Rankles

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: On a frequent basis, I'm told I look like a former television personality who got caught up on the wrong side of the #MeToo movement. This person is considered attractive by many, so I should be flattered. However, this person is several years older than I am, so it doesn't necessarily make me feel great.

I realize people are...Read more

Friend Might Be Lying, But You Were Definitely Rude

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: I am a flight attendant with a major airline. However, one of my lifelong dreams is to finish school and become a registered nurse. When the pandemic began, I had the opportunity to take a leave of absence, and I applied to a nursing program to get my degree.

For about the past four years, I've been friends with a co-worker ...Read more

Can I Ask About My Hairstylist's Vaccine Status?

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: During the pandemic, there are a lot of services that I've forgone out of an abundance of caution. Now that the vaccine is rolling out, I'm looking forward to resuming a lot of these activities -- like getting my hair cut, returning to my personal trainer and visiting my therapist in person.

I'm in the last category that will...Read more

Time To De-Escalate This Non-Fight

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: My wife and I were watching the news when our adult daughter called on the landline. My wife answered, and I muted the TV as she returned to her chair for what ended up being a 15-minute conversation.

When she ended the call, she saw that I was a little annoyed. She asked why, and I said that I thought she was being rude by ...Read more

Keep Camera On -- But Only If You Can Look Interested

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: During normal times, we refrained from turning our backs on people speaking to us, or from looking elsewhere the entire time. Now, online, I attend speaker events in which the audience is primarily comprised of black boxes with or without their names listed. For the speaker, the lack of facial responses must be difficult, as ...Read more

Should Daughter Invite Distant Father To Wedding?

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: My daughter is getting married. Her biological dad and I divorced when she was about 2, and I've been with her stepfather since she was 4. Her biological father was in her life very (VERY) sporadically the first few years, and then he wasn't at all.

He tried to reconnect when she was in her early 20s, but it was awkward for ...Read more

Formal Lessons Preferable To 'helpful' Interruptions

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: How can I help my girlfriend learn to use the correct words during our conversations in English without constantly correcting her?

When I interrupt her to suggest the correct words, it appears to be more frustrating than helpful for her.

GENTLE READER: Much like with autocorrect, alternate suggestions while one is trying to ...Read more

Run Your B&B Like The Business It Is

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: I have owned a very lovely bed and breakfast in a boutique community for 15 years now. In the last year, I have noticed an upswing in guests being wantonly destructive.

For example, we had a woman dye her hair bright red in her bathroom sink and then wipe her hands on the vintage wallpaper, leaving unfixable stains. This ...Read more

Part Of Our Friend Group Only Takes, Never Gives

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: Six of us couples take turns entertaining and dining at all but one of our homes. One couple seldom entertains, as the husband is a clean freak who does not want his home dirtied. Additionally, he has stated that it is the inviting couple's responsibility to prepare a vegetarian dish for him.

We are obligated to invite this ...Read more

'Sorry I Didn't Fake-Compliment Your Terrible Cooking'

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: Once, when I was invited to a dinner party, all of us thanked the host/cook after we were seated and started eating. The food wasn't great, but the other guests started complimenting the host on a delicious meal. I didn't say anything, because I felt it would be dishonest.

Recently, I found myself in a similar situation: My ...Read more

Using Manners Can Look Very Similar To 'being Handled'

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: Why is it more polite to evade, deflect or dance around annoying or unwanted behavior?

I can't stop doing something if I don't know it is bothering someone, and I frequently wish people would just be clear on what they want, or don't want, when dealing with me. I can then decide to either amend my behavior or disengage, ...Read more

Responding To Unwanted Messages On Dating Sites

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: I am a single lesbian woman in my early 30s. Because I don't intend to stay single, I registered on a Christian dating site that allows LGBTQ people to join. My profile page lists my sexual orientation and I clearly state that I am looking for a woman.

I get quite a lot of responses. Unfortunately, most of them are from men. ...Read more

Parent's Self-Insult Sticks In Kid's Craw

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: I did a DNA test and found out that I am not biologically related to one of my parents, who passed on some years ago. This was subsequently confirmed by my other parent, to whom I am biologically related.

I will confess that this did cause my internal gyroscope to precess a bit, but I am pretty much reconciled to the ...Read more

Time For Exec's Assistant To Fix Printing Error

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: I have been the executive assistant of a prominent person for the past 10 years. I take care of matters both within the executive's company and in his personal/family life, as is common at this level of my profession.

My question involves an error made by the executive's wife. She had personal stationery printed for the use ...Read more

Declining Invitations To Marketing 'parties'

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: I have often been asked to attend parties that are actually commercial events to sell products -- say, plastic storage-ware, wine or other home goods. I consider these events a cheap way to exploit friends and acquaintances.

Now I am being texted directly to buy things from friends. These products do not interest me and are ...Read more

Rules About Difficult Topics Exist For A Reason

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: Can you share with us the origins of the guidance never to discuss religion and politics at social gatherings? Or the numerous variations of that rule? I'm a wonderful internet sleuth, but this one eludes me.

And what is your guidance on the topic, especially given the precarious state of our democracy and the rampant spread ...Read more



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