DEAR MISS MANNERS: Before the pandemic, I applied for a promotion at my workplace. I was told that the job was mine, and I just had to wait for the paperwork to go through.
Then the pandemic hit. My employer instituted a hiring freeze, and the position vanished. I've asked a few times since then for an update, and was told that there was no ...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: I have been diagnosed with a fatal, incurable cancer. Most co-workers are aware of my condition, but they still routinely ask How are you? when I come to the office.
I resist saying I'm fine, because it is untrue and insincere. I'm dying from incurable cancer is also not an answer of which I see Miss Manners approving.
So I ...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: Every other year, my husband and I travel to spend holidays with his side of the family. His father has a large home that is now an empty nest since all of the siblings are grown and have moved out. My FIL insists we stay at his home during these visits instead of a hotel.
The problem is, his home has become a museum to my ...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: I have been married almost 20 years to a wonderful man with a large and close-knit family. They're nice people, but they tend to run with misinformation, and they enjoy having political discussions among themselves.
It's not my cup of tea. What's more, they've begun engaging in these debates over a group text in which all ...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: My husband and I are in our mid-70s and live in a condo townhouse development. Six months ago, I went to the hospital by ambulance after an outpatient procedure was botched. After two weeks, I came home and spent several months recovering.
Several neighbors saw the ambulance, noticed that I wasn't around, and expressed their ...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: I am a single woman in my early 40s. I frequently receive invitations from single men (many of whom are more than 20 years older than me) to join them for dinner at their homes.
Knowing that I would enjoy dinner companionship and a non-restaurant meal, knowing I would accept these types of invitations from female friends or ...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: I want to address the greeting of Hi there/Hey there that people often say to me.
I am not a location, and I truly prefer that people call me by my name, if they know it. If they don't, I'd prefer if they just said Hi.
I have thought about telling them in a polite way what I prefer, but there is more to deal with in life ...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: I am in a wheelchair, so I must use the accessible restroom when out in public. On at least four occasions, I have waited a long time for the only stall I can use, while an able-bodied person (obvious when they exit) has been in the stall on their cellphone.
The worst was at the airport, where there were about 20 stalls -- ...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: I am a director in a major company, and I have 25 people reporting to me. One of my employees was out of line and lost their temper.
This incident occurred with an individual from another department. The manager of that department went directly to my boss to report the incident. I only heard about it a week later, when my ...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: I am aware that you strongly advise people not to respond to rude behavior or bad manners in a similar way. How, though, can you express in a polite manner that the guilty party's behavior is not acceptable?
Permit me to explain my situation. I am an unemployed librarian. I have applied for many jobs, and the applications are...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: Once the bride changes out of her wedding dress into something else, is it OK for the bridesmaids to also change out of their dresses into something more comfortable? Don't wanna breach wedding protocol.
GENTLE READER: What bewilders Miss Manners about this new habit of changing mid-celebration is why a bride would buy an ...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: A couple I know is expecting their first child. Their announcement stated We're pregnant, and was followed up with regular updates using collective phrasing, such as We've felt the baby kick and We're starting to show.
I know that this sort of inclusive approach to pregnancy is now popular, but frankly, I don't know how to...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: Our daughter has been dating a very nice young man for a couple of years, and it appears that a marriage proposal is forthcoming. If and when they decide to marry, we would be very happy for them.
But the hints that are being dropped leave me with one huge concern. I have always had a terrible relationship with my mother-in-...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: A few months ago, my husband and I, along with his parents, his sister and her husband, decided to go to a lake resort for a week this summer. Each couple paid for their accommodations separately.
My husband's sister married into a very religious family with a strict modesty dress code for women. When we are with just her and...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: I'm 60 years old, based in the U.K. and newly retired. I moved to a small town on the edge of an area of natural beauty. Some former colleagues have indicated that once it is safe to mix again, they'll come to visit me.
I think the location is part of the attraction. I'm a 60- to 90-minute drive away from them.
I don't want ...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: I've been in a bridge club for over 10 years. We have 12 members, and we get together about once a month.
Prior to the last couple of years, the host provided dinner and drinks. It was great! You had a night off and enjoyed someone else's hospitality and cooking. When it was your turn to host, you repaid the favor.
But now ...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: I am of an age when friends are beginning to take care of their ill, elderly parents. I am surprised at how often I hear them say they can't wait until they are free of this burden.
I lost my mother at the young age of 24, so I have no experience of what they are going through. How do I express empathy without sounding like, ...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: My husband and I were talking about the cicadas, and he asked, Why are you so worried about them? God will protect us!
He is an atheist, and even though he is surrounded by Christians, he often makes comments like this. I replied, Why do you have to say things like that? That's just rude!
He then went on to accuse me ...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: Please help me understand the polite way to deal with a communication issue with my husband. I feel like he tries to exert dominance over me when he engages me in conversation.
When I'm in another part of the house, he will call something out to me from another room. In order to hear and understand him, I have to stop what I'...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: My husband and I were at a restaurant the other day. While the waitress was pouring our wine, my husband suddenly said to the table nearest us (about 6 feet away), Can I help you? in a fairly confrontational way. He was not loud, just mildly aggressive and clearly annoyed.
When I asked him what had happened, he said the man ...Read more