Life Advice



Ignore 'no Gifts' Request, But Don't Bring It To The Party

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: A former teacher of mine, a beloved figure in the community, is being given a surprise retirement party by his students, colleagues and friends. The hush-hush invitations read sternly, PLEASE, NO GIFTS! A money tree will be provided!

The rationale is that given his modest salary, he will need the money to help him retire, ...Read more

Uninvited Guest Steals All The Frosting

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: I had a group of co-workers over for dinner and one of the women brought a delicious chocolate cake for dessert. As we were finishing dessert, a neighbor dropped over.

She sat down at the dinner table and I poured her a glass of wine. She reached over and took a piece of candy that was sitting on top of the cake -- and I was ...Read more

Responding To 'Thank You For Your Service'

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: My husband is a Vietnam veteran who is retired from the Army. When we go out and he wears his Vietnam Veteran hat, people often come up to him and say, Thank you for your service.

What is the proper response to this? To respond thank you doesn't seem quite right. I suggested I appreciate it, but he said that doesn't sound ...Read more

Ready To Meet The Queen -- Just In Case

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: I'm never likely to meet Elizabeth II, but if I do, how would I be expected to act? I assume there would be someone there to give me protocol tips, but I am curious.

As a citizen of the United States, I assume I wouldn't curtsy (and if I were male, wouldn't bow), but would I slightly incline my head?

GENTLE READER: You would...Read more

Friends Don't Keep Movie Snacks To Themselves

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: I am a 63-year-old woman, and I met a friend (another 63-year-old woman) through a Bible study group four years ago. A week ago, we went to a movie theater. She brought out snacks and a drink for herself, and proceeded to eat and drink in front of me.

I would have never done that; I would have brought her a drink and snacks. ...Read more

Give Yelling-In-Public Beau A Taste Of His Own Medicine

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: My boyfriend has a horrible habit of calling out my name when we're in public. If he's looking for me in a store, instead of walking around a bit, he just starts yelling my name!

When we were meeting up at a store once, he was coming down an escalator and called my name out to get my attention -- from across the store! He ...Read more

Maybe Just Leave A Will

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: Over a century ago, when my grandmother had a heart attack, she collected her children and their spouses together and distributed her valuables, as she did not want to be bothered with writing a will.

When she gave her jewelry to her daughters, she said that she would like to see them wear it while she was still alive. When ...Read more

Former Colleague Doesn't Want To Socialize

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: A colleague and I had a good professional relationship for many years -- mostly because I let her feel like she was in charge. We also had occasional social contact, which I no longer wish to continue.

When I last ran into her, we chatted amiably. I felt awkward saying goodbye, as I felt there was an expectation of reuniting,...Read more

An Elopement Is Not Just A Small Wedding

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: Would you please define the verb to elope or the term elopement?

When I was growing up, elopement brought mental images of ladders leading to windows, and young women climbing out and running off to marry the gentlemen of their hearts' desire, despite the objections of their families. Or perhaps in a madcap romantic comedy of...Read more

He Slices English Muffins? Fetch The Smelling Salts

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: For the past 25 years, my loving but stubborn significant other and I have engaged in an ongoing argument over slicing, not fork-splitting, English muffins. Unfortunately, the first time I saw him slice apart a muffin, I reacted in horror, having never seen anyone do this before (especially as the package was labeled fork ...Read more

Feeling Lukewarm About Dinner Invitation

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: Is it wrong to accept an invitation to someone's house for a casual dinner if you don't plan on reciprocating?

They are nice people and I would feel bad not accepting their invitation. However, I don't entertain very often, and there are many people I would prioritize over them when I do plan to host a dinner.

GENTLE READER:...Read more

Boss Loves To Interrupt

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

MISS MANNERS: I have a boss who will barge in while I am on a work call and start talking about something else. I can be midsentence, phone on ear, and he will still continue to talk to me.

How do I handle this? Who is more important in this instance: my boss or the person on the phone? Again, these are always work calls that are interrupted.

...Read more

Criticizing A Grown Sibling: 'you're Mean' Won't Cut It

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: My older sister is a mean, opinionated, bossy person. To keep the peace, as children and into adulthood, I deflected or ignored her cruel actions or remarks.

The breaking point came when my 8-year-old daughter and I were invited by her and her husband to stay with them (as a rent-paying guest) during my divorce. I was hoping ...Read more

Gossip Poisons Lifelong Friendship

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: About three years ago, I began a relationship with a man I am head-over-heels in love with, and we have been living together for two years.

Early in our relationship, my best friend (we have been like family for half of our lives) heard some gossip about my man, believed it totally for the truth, and completely changed her ...Read more

Technology Has Changed And I Do Not Care For It

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: One of the worst technological advances has been the advent of text messaging. The expectation with this disease is that everyone is always poised to respond to any inane writing, and if they do not do so immediately, something is wrong. People sit with their smartphones in the expectation that they will receive something and ...Read more

If I'd Wanted Your Opinion, I'd Have Asked

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: It seems these days that people interject their opinions or input when not asked.

For instance, at work the other day, I asked a co-worker for input on a situation that had occurred. Another co-worker heard this interaction and immediately interjected their opinion on how they would have handled it.

If I wanted this person's...Read more

Arguing Couple Should Stop Discussing Work

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: I've been married nearly eight years to a man I dated for 11 years before we married. He's my best friend and I love him dearly, but we argue terribly all the time over small things relating to behavior, manners and protocols.

Specifically, my husband is in the process of trying to find another job, and he has asked me to ...Read more

Employer Doesn't Opine On Latest Crisis

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: Is it good manners that my employer showers us employees with recognition for going above and beyond the call to carry out the company's mission during this time of historic challenges, but never recognizes the toll that this yearlong crisis has taken on the home front -- for couples, for their children, for employees with ...Read more

Dinner Guests Want To Dictate Menu

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: Tell me, Miss Manners: What do you think of dinner guests who tell you they are on a special diet?

I have invited two people to dinner who have told me they are on a weight-loss keto diet. It's pretty restrictive. They are not diabetics and do not have other health concerns.

I will absolutely accommodate their wishes. But is...Read more

Inconsiderate Houseguests Unlikely To Be Invited Back

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: When my very best friend of nearly 30 years visited my new home, she brought her daughter. To say the least, they were terrible houseguests.

I share a communal property, including a swimming pool. A few highlights from the two-day visit: The daughter helped herself to all 12 towels at the pool (leaving none for other guests);...Read more



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